Queen of Rock: Brandy Vinyl

Concert booker, band manager

Photo by Jon Estrada

Photo by Jon Estrada

ACHIEVEMENTS If you’ve been to a rock concert in Las Vegas this century, odds are Vinyl had something to do with it. She estimates she’s booked “a few thousand” shows in the region over the past 15 years, including at “pretty much every venue” in Las Vegas. She handled some of Neon Trees’ and Imagine Dragons’ first shows, as well as beyond-Vegas names such as Snow Patrol, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, TV on the Radio and the Butthole Surfers. Although she also books gigs in Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as an annual showcase at South by Southwest, Vinyl says, “Vegas is definitely my market.”

PLUGGING IN Born in Chicago, Vinyl moved to Florida with her family when she was 10. There she became a child-singing star, which she quit upon moving to Vegas at age 13 so she could “be a normal teen.” But she says she never lost her passion for music and was soon sneaking into local concert venues. One of her first bookings was Silversun Pickups in a dive bar off the Strip—when her ex-husband’s band got signed to a major label, she spent a lot of time in the Los Angeles rock scene and got the idea of bringing acts to Sin City. “They weren’t even a signed band. They played on the floor with a few clip-on work lights”—something she and the band still joke about.

NO NAME TOO BIG, NO DETAIL TOO SMALL “I don’t feel like anything’s out of reach for me,” she says. “I don’t put limitations on who I think I can book.” She points out that bands who “clearly could go to a casino or the Joint or the Pearl [would] rather do the show with me at a smaller venue, because they know they can trust me.” Of course, part of a show booker’s job is meeting a band’s many needs, and Vinyl is on top of that, too—whether it’s getting Peter Murphy black towels or making sure it’s OK for Of Montreal to drop trou onstage.

COMING ATTRACTIONS Since 2006, Vinyl has also managed bands, namely electro-pop trio TeamMate and garage rockers 1776. Still, she says that “booking is my 24-7. … I tried to stop, and I can’t.” Gigs already on her 2015 calendar include a series of shows at the Bunkhouse; she also hopes to grab a couple of bands on their way to Coachella. What is Vinyl’s assessment of the Vegas music scene today? “It’s a cool city, but it could be way cooler.” And she’s determined to help make that happen, one concert at a time.

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