Words & Pictures: Adrian Hextall \ MindHex Media
One of the best shows you can catch if you’re on a trip to Las Vegas is the critically acclaimed ‘Raiding The Rock Vault’. The multi-award winning show which has already been performed over 1,000 times is heading to the UK for the first time ever.
Raiding the Rock Vault brings the history of rock ‘n’ roll to life, featuring classic anthems by the biggest acts in music including The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Free, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Boston, Kansas, Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Heart, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Survivor and many more. The show is performed by some of the best performers of their generation – artists with a who’s who of credits.
The show is a fully immersive experience – backed with projections relating to the iconic songs the band will be performing – as the band deliver a journey through the history of rock music.
Raiding The Rock Vault debuted at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles on November 29, 2012 and has since won many awards including “Best Tribute Show” in Las Vegas Review-Journal’s 2018 Best of Las Vegas Awards. This award marks the fifth consecutive win for the rock show after being awarded “Best Musical” (2014, 2015) and “Best Tribute Show” (2016, 2017, 2018).
For the UK show, the following line up was announced:
And so to the show in London. Situated near the famous Portobello Road Market, Subterania is a good sized venue tucked behind the market traders stalls. As the hue and cry of “two juicy melons for a pahhhnnd” dies away, the night falls and the deserted market area becomes the store front for the Vegas show that is ‘Raiding the Rock Vault’.
A meet and greet with the stars for a lucky few with VIP tickets takes place before the main event. As that finishes, the mostly seated (with table service and bars both upstairs and downstairs) venue quietens in anticipation of a show that will run them through the history of rock music, focusing on the 60s, 70s and 80s.
The lights dim and 90 minutes of musical heaven for those who either grew up in those eras or simply have a love of quality rock music, commences. As you’ll see from the set list below, the classics were fired out in rapid succession. Yes, there will always be a detractor bemoaning the lack of one song in favour of another, me included who would love to hear Wishing Well rather than Alright Now by Free but it’s a personal favourites thing and no one can say that some of the best rock classics weren’t performed by some of the best rock musicians from those eras as well.
The format is simple. Those not singing form the house band for the night with solos and spotlight moments highlighting their particular skills against songs that, in some cases, they made their own first time around. The vocalists then come on stage either as solo artists or as a collective sharing moments of the song in front of the crowd.
As with all seated venues and a typically British crowd, no one wants to stand up until they are given permission. Thankfully this is Vegas baby! Sitting is not allowed. The balcony are up on their feet early on, as soon as they are prompted from the stage and the downstairs crowd soon follow suit.
The musicians are flawless. Consummate professionals and deliver everything one could expect of a Vegas show. There’s massive competition for shows on the strip and to survive you have to be the best of the best. Raiding The Rock Vault ticks every box in this aspect and the show has the awards (by the truckload) to prove it.
With Robin McAuley, Paul Shortino and Todd Kerns have great pedigrees as vocalists and make powerful, short work of tracks like ‘Highway To Hell’, ‘Eye of The Tiger’ and the classic ‘Juke Box Hero’ as shown below.
With the typical The Voice audience being a real mixed bag and not just your classic rock fan base, it’s no surprise that a show like this delivers the goods to the wide spectrum of people that have come through the doors of the Hard Rock Hotel where the show has been resident since 2017. From 2019 the show moves to the Rio hotel and suites. Check out the web page for more details.
All in all, a stunning show on a dark cold British winters night. The perfect antidote for the winter blues and the perfect example of what to expect if you ever make it out to their Vegas shows.
My Generation (The Who cover)
Light My Fire (The Doors cover)
All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan / Jimi Hendrix cover)
Honky Tonk Women (The Rolling Stones cover)
All Right Now (Free cover)
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin cover)
Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple cover)
Hotel California (Eagles cover)
We Are the Champions (Queen cover)
More Than a Feeling (Boston cover)
Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd cover)
Dream On (Aerosmith cover)
Kashmir (Led Zeppelin cover)
Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas cover)
Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi cover)
Heartbreaker (Pat Benatar cover)
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (Journey cover)
Eye of the Tiger (Survivor cover)
Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top cover)
Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Leppard cover)
Addicted to Love (Robert Palmer cover)
Alone (I-Ten / Heart cover)
Here I Go Again (Whitesnake cover)
Juke Box Hero (Foreigner cover)
Highway to Hell (AC/DC cover)
Jump (Van Halen cover)