Chart-topping country trio Rascal Flatts arrives in Vegas to headline Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s first-ever country residency.
He may not be flying in on a trapeze, but Gary LeVox promises “a big ol’ Rascal Flatts party” for the band’s Vegas residency.
It took 15 years and a 1,789-mile trip from their home in Nashville for Rascal Flatts to arrive in Las Vegas and decide to stay awhile. The country megastars—Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney—will headline the first-ever country residency at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas when they take the stage beginning February 25 for a nine-date run of their show Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot!
Going country is certainly not a new thing for Vegas. After all, the Academy of Country Music Awards have drawn thousands of fans to the city, and Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, and Faith Hill and Tim McGraw have all played extended residencies here. But it’s quite another thing to bring country to the epicenter of rock. “So many artists are offering so many different kinds of music within the country genre,” says Bobby Reynolds, vice president of booking for AEG Live, which helped broker the residency. “The lines are blurred. Is it country? Is it pop? Is it rock? At the end of the day, it’s a great concert and a great experience for the fans.”
We caught up with LeVox, the group’s lead singer, to hear his aspirations for his stay in Vegas.
How did the group know the time was right to take up a show residency in Las Vegas?
We just thought it was a great way to kick off the year. Very rarely do we get to stay and play our music in one place for that long of a time.
Vegas is having a love affair with country music.
One thing people love about our genre is the truth behind our lyrics. Country music tells the way people feel better than any other genre of music.
You’ve been touring for years. How is your Vegas show going to be different?
We thought we would all come in on a trapeze. [Laughs] But yeah, we’re just going to throw a big ol’ Rascal Flatts party at the Hard Rock every night. We’re going to take our regular show and scale it down and Vegas it up. I’m pretty sure Jay is going to dress up as Elvis.
The Vegas crowd isn’t like any other crowd on the planet. How do you plan to feed off that energy?
Yeah, we know there are going to be a lot of people coming into the show disappointed about the money they lost out there in the casino, so we’re going to give them something fun to take their mind off what they don’t have. [Laughs] People always go to Vegas on vacation, so it’s going to be cool to see how many of our fans will come from, like, Minnesota.
I would assume you’re getting a lot of ticket requests right about now.
It’s funny how many friends you get when you start taking up a residency in Vegas. I mean, they had no interest in coming to see us at the Des Moines, Iowa, show…. Why are they all calling me now?
What do you personally love the most about Vegas?
First of all, I love the weather. I love the golf. I love seeing our friends like Carrot Top and Criss Angel when we’re out there. I just love the whole Vegas experience.
Are you a big gambler?
Jay and Joe Don are. Me? I mean, I don’t know. I would rather go down there and just give you a couple grand and go back to my room rather than sit there forever and watch myself lose it. That’s just not fun for me. But I can guarantee that I will be taking the wife out shopping. That’s a must. And the kids like to shop at New York-New York and stuff.
With all this shopping, I sure hope you’re going to make some money off this gig.
[Laughs] Those are years gone by. You get a little nest egg and you book a show in Vegas. That’s the way it goes. [Sings] We’re going to have a riot! Rascal Flatts’ nine-show residency, Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot!, at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas runs from February 25 through March 14. For tickets, which start at $39.50, call 702-693-5583 or visit axs.com.