by Deb Rao
– Senior Columnist —
APRIL 17, 2013 at the Las Vegas Hotel Theater in Las Vegas, NV. —
Raiding The Rock Vault
One more great reason to book your next vacation to Las Vegas is the new rock show experience at the Las Vegas Hotel called Raiding The Rock Vault. The show is slated to run throughout the year and Hardrock Haven was invited to check it out this past week.
Raiding The Rock Vault chronicles historic footage and music that spans the ’60s, ’70s, ’80 music genres. The staging is pretty impressive with three videos screens, a vault time capsule, palm trees and costume changes. What really sets this show apart from any other music show on The Strip is the caliber of musicians taking part in the show. Raiding The Rock Vault features guitar god Tracii Guns, Las Vegas own Paul Shortino on vocals and guitar, Robin McAuley on vocals, John Payne on bass and vocals, Jay Schellen on drums, Michaels T. Ross on keyboards and Andrew Freeman of The Offspring on vocals. The performance on Wednesday also featured special guest star Joe Lynn Turner.
The Las Vegas Hotel has a beautiful theater with great acoustics that seats 1300 people. The show kicked off with actors with gas masks on streaming down the aisle onto the stage to investigate the rock time capsule that landed on the earth. Raiding The Rock Vault kicked off with the ’60s genre. Emerging from the capsule was Tracii Guns, John Payne, and Paul Shortino and the rest of the crew. The band launched into The Who song, “My Generation” with Andrew Freeman on vocals. The ’60s hits continued with Paul on vocals on The Free song “Alright Now.” Next up John Payne sang “Light My Fire.”
Highlight of the set was a guitar solo by Tracii Guns on the Led Zeppelin hit “Stairway To Heaven.” Tracii sported a double-neck Red Gibson SG. Reminiscent of Jimmy Page. The video screen also depicted photos of Led Zeppelin. The show jumpeded into high gear as special guest star Joe Lynn Turner sang “Smoke On The Water.” It was great to hear Joe sing again. He still has one of the most amazing voices in rock.
How could we forget the Disco era? Or many of us would like too. There was a short segment with actors that actually was pretty funny dancing to the beat of the disco ball. Next up a great performance of the Eagles hit “Hotel California.” This time Tracii pulled out the white Gibson SG for some pretty impressive finger picking. Paul Shortino also played guitar on this song.
The band played a medley of hits including Queen’s “We Are The Champions,” Boston’s “More Than A Feeling” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall.” Highlight of that set was “Live And Let Die” and “American Woman” with Paul Shortino on vocals.
At last the ’80s genre kicked into high gear featuring John Payne with a cowboy hat playing bass on the song “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” I had the opportunity to see him perform with Asia last year a true talent indeed. The ’80s set featured hits from Def Leppard, Survivor and ZZ Top. But the one song that had the audience on its feet was Journey’s “Separate Ways.” No matter where you go in Vegas Journey songs always steal the show. Singer Robin McAuley was outstanding. One more time Joe Lynn Turner took the stage for Rainbow’s “Stone Cold.” The band had everyone on there feet for Van Halen’s “Jump” and Foreigner’s “Jukebox Hero.” The ’80s set ended with Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” featuring Paul Shortino. Paul tells Hardrock Haven that. “The show is working on new material and hopes to add a Aerosmith song soon.” Paul has a true bluesy vocal style and overall is a great entertainer.
I have to mention that I have seen other shows on the Strip including The Beatles Love, and Rock of Ages but Raiding The Rock Vault is where it is at. It features so many great musicians from the ’80s with accolades to back up the star power. The songs will bring you back to your youth. A definite all-star line-up. Tickets range from $49 – $ 100. There is also a Rock Star VIP Package. Plus a discount for locals. If you love Classic Rock this is a must see. This show is all about the music. The Strip may have Celine Dion and country stars but Raiding The Rock Vault is keeping classic rock alive.