Adam Jensen: Hard Rock’s Vinyl a great addition to the South Shore |

Adam Jensen: Hard Rock’s Vinyl a great addition to the South Shore

I took a quick stroll through the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe this weekend — nothing major, just a quick lap to see what all the fuss was about.

The inside of the casino looks great and is a vast improvement over the former Horizon Casino Resort. It really does feel like a whole new property, and visitors dedicated the appropriate amount of energy to breaking it in Saturday night, gathering around gaming tables, at slot machines and in the casino’s bars and restaurants.

But I’m a bit of a music nerd, so I eschewed the craps table to gawk at one of Hard Rock’s claims to fame — its extensive collection of music memorabilia.

The Nirvana relics that greet visitors coming through the main entrance had me geeking out for more time than I’d like to admit. Artifacts like a guitar used by the Sex Pistol’s Johnny Rotten and a Flying V from personal favorite Gwar were highlights of my lap through the casino. It was also hard not to smile at James Brown’s jumpsuit, which has “SEX” written, oh-so-subtly, across the front.

Seeing some new energy and a completely revamped property was great, and music fans should check it out to see if there’s anything from their own favorites hanging on the wall.

But the thing I’m probably most excited about with the new casino, though, is Vinyl. Billed as “an intimate venue that showcases singer/songwriters, local favorites and tribute bands, open mic nights, comedy routines and late night dancing, as well as national touring acts,” it’s great to see another medium-sized music venue at the South Shore.

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa’s Theater, the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and the Harveys Outdoor Arena are all good venues that typically attract larger acts. The North Shore’s Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room is a great place to see a show and it typically attracts amazing talent from around the region and the country as a whole. I’ve had a blast at each of these venues over the years.

But I’ve always thought the South Shore could use a medium-sized room where popular local acts or up-and-coming national acts would fit. It seems like Vinyl could be just the spot.

I haven’t got the full experience yet, but I poked my head in long enough to see Scott Weiland’s characteristic gesticulation in full force above an energetic crowd.

It’s just the kind of energy I’m excited to see more of.

Adam Jensen is the editor of Lake Tahoe Action. He can be reached at ajensen@tahoedailytribune.

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