Atlantic City is best known for its casinos, but it’s also a hub for all kinds of entertainment and manages to attract bigger names than one would normally expect for a place of its size.
To prove its worth to skeptics, here’s a look at some of the best shows staged in Atlantic City over the past few years, including acts from all metal and alternative music scenes.
Megadeth, House of Blues, 2006
Providers of the best thrash metal, Megadeth graced the House of Blues as part of their Giantour show series in 2006.
In addition to being exceptional headliners, this particular show was significant thanks to the quality of the accompaniment. Megadeth was accompanied by Lamb of God, Overkill, Opeth, and Arch Enemy, making it a mini festival of punchy beats, searing riffs, and searing vocals.
KISS, Boardwalk Hall, 2014
KISS is a frequent visitor to Atlantic City, so it’s hard to pick one performance in particular that deserves to be elevated above the rest. The reason this 2014 show is remembered is because it was one of the 40e Anniversary tour, celebrating their four decades in the spotlight.
As you might expect, the set list was packed with classics, starting with Psycho Circus and ending with Rock and Roll All Nite.
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Cover, House of Blues, 2012
Clutch might not be the greatest American alternative rock juggernaut to still be touring and releasing music, but among their fans they are revered, and like many of the best bands, they really make sense. in a live setting even more than on disk.
Their most recent trip to Atlantic City dates back almost a decade, but it deserves a mention here because of the electric atmosphere that always accompanies their performances.
Propelling songs that you can feel deep within your core, Clutch remains a force to be reckoned with, and frontman Neil Fallon is always value for money as he feasts the crowd like a bearded ex-preacher.
Guns n ‘Roses, House of Blues, 2012
Although they have a mixed reputation for live performances, Guns n ‘Roses arrived on stage on time when they appeared in Atlantic City and then blew fans away with a sprawling ensemble that included 25 songs followed by a reminder of another five hits, culminating in a cover of Paradise City.
The fact that even after all this time, they’re happy to be playing their hits rather than insisting on playing only newer tracks, is a godsend for die-hard fans and casual viewers alike.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that it is not common to see a band the size of Guns n ‘Roses take the stage in such a compact venue; with a capacity of just under 2,400, the House of Blues is positively intimate compared to the stadiums they usually play.
Motley Crue, Borgata Events Center, 2014
When Motley Crue appeared in Atlantic City for two nights in October 2014, they were on their ‘Final Tour’ tour, claiming that at the end of that stint on the road they would retire from live performances for good.
Of course, that turned out not to be the case, with their 2018 reunion and the plans for a world tour with Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts ready to reverse that earlier decision. Even so, none of it was on the table at the time of the show, which helped inject energy into the crowd and the group; a lot of fans thought they would never see the Crues together on stage again, so they wanted to make the most of it.
Alice Cooper was arguing that night, so there was another amazing reason to put this show in the heavy metal show history books.
Atlantic City will no doubt be home to many more amazing bands and shows in the years to come, so now you know it truly is a place with pedigree.
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