R.I.P. Book & Stage

Vintage Trouble at Book & Stage in 2012. | Photo by Shy McGrath.

Vintage Trouble at Book & Stage in 2012. | Photo by Shy McGrath.

Back when the Cosmopolitan debuted in 2010, the Book & Stage solidified the new resort’s artistic cred. The lounge/sportsbook/live music venue opened onto the casino floor, catching passersby and pulling them in with some unexpectedly great tunes. It was, as the property’s slogan goes, “just the right amount of wrong.”

For a minute, Book & Stage was the coolest place to be, offering a new twist on the Old Vegas lounge singer tradition: Up-and-coming indie bands played twice a night for multiday mini residencies … for free. Even the most hardened local music fans shared a sense of innocent glee at the prospect of so many great bands playing such a unique setting. Highlights included Fitz and the Tantrums, Walk the Moon, Foster the People, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, ZZ Ward, Mayer Hawthorne and Vintage Trouble. It felt like Christmas morning every night. In 2011, Vegas Seven even named Book & Stage the “Best New Venue” in our annual Best of the City awards.

Alas, all that free awesomeness was too good to be true. The Cosmopolitan, which has been famously and fabulously unprofitable, eventually scaled down the shows to a trickle. Soon the spotlight of our collective attention moved elsewhere (including to other venues on the same property).

Now, that brief, bright era is finally ending. According to a statement by the Cosmopolitan, the Book & Stage will close on July 12 to make way for “an exciting lounge concept” that will be announced soon. It’s hard to imagine anything as exciting as those early days of the Book & Stage, but since it’s the Cosmo, we’re optimistic.

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