Road-ready Band Finds Overnight Success With A Call From The Crüe
by Todd K Smith

"The overall talent and energy of The Last Vegas surpassed our wildest expectations." ~ Motley Crue’s Vince Neil

The Last Vegas are a hard rock band from Chicago whose style draws from glam, punk, and sleaze metal. Comprised of Chad Cherry (lead vocals), John Wator (guitar), Adam Arling (guitar), Danny Smash (bass), and Nate Arling (drums) the band cites among its influences AC/DC, the Stooges, Mötley Crüe, and Ted Nugent. The Last Vegas made their recording debut with the full-length album Lick 'Em and Leave 'Em (2004) on the independent label Get Hip Records. A second full-length album, Seal the Deal (2006), followed on the same label.

After leaving Get Hip, the Last Vegas released a five-track EP High Class Trash (2007), spotlighting the song "Raw Dog," which was featured in the popular video game Guitar Hero II (2006). The full-length, The Last Vegas (2008), showcased the band growth with new singer Cherry and bassist Smash. In December 2008 the Last Vegas won Guitar Center’s On-Stage: Your Chance to Make Rock History contest opening for Mötley Crüe. They also won $25,000 cash, $20,000 in new gear from Gibson, a management deal from 10th Street Entertainment and a label deal from Eleven Seven Music. They beat out 8,000 contestants for the coveted prize.

Now that’s one hell of a story. The last time we saw the Last Vegas they were playing Mt. Tabor in Portland, OR with Bible of the Devil in tow. They’d just released their 7” split You Want to Know How to Love Me / S & M and were out putting some muscle behind Lick 'Em and Leave Em (2004). Live, these guys are absolutely relentless with in-your-face-guitars, deafening drums and head-banging bass - truly high energy from start to finish. On top of all that they are genuinely nice guys, so to get a shot like the 2009 Crüe tour is what we call good karma.

Lead singer Chad Cherry, who joined the band 18-months ago called in to give us his version of their straight shot to super-stardom. “When bands talk about when they ‘made it’ they always say it ‘happened overnight,’ but it really has been an overnight phenomena for us.” says Cherry. “From opening for Motley at the Palladium just four days after they announced we had won the Guitar Center contest, to releasing our first single “I’m Bad” that drops today, it has changed our lives in an instant.” Hailed as one of the hardest working bands in the Midwest for the last 6 years, the Last Vegas feel they are ready to tour with their icons. “We like the fun house,” continues Cherry. “And touring with the Crüe is party central. Nikki’s been like a big brother to us, making sure we get what we need and helping along the way. He’s just like us and even wants to help write and record our next record.”

Cherry’s roots are in Michigan, home of the Detroit sound. A friend of the Crank County Daredevils, he was notified the Vegas were on the lookout for a singer with passion, charisma and a flare for performance. All that came when they invited Cherry to join the band. “Right off, the vibe in the band felt great. We locked in on the right direction from our first rehearsal together. We looked around at each other and knew we were going to kick some serious ass.” Mixing a little Motor City madness with their turbo-charged stage show soon had the band in high demand from local haunts, down the Delta to the southern circuit.

“We were down in Texas in December doing shows, when we got the call to be in LA for the Guitar Center contest,” says Cherry. “The members of Mötley Crüe would be there and it was the deciding bout. We knew we we’re getting close ‘cause they started with 8,000 entries, then it was cut down to 30 and we were in the top 6. Our guitar player John (Wator) had submitted our tape last summer and the rest of us we’re like ‘yeah, right.’ But, after the call it got serious. We cancelled a couple shows and drove strait back to Chicago to catch our flight to LA. That’s when it sunk in.” The band showed up at the famed Whiskey A Go-Go, saw that they were on first, played three songs and entered the history books. “The Crüe guys we so cool. They took us under their wing right away. Four days later we were playing the Hollywood Palladium with them – it was surreal.”

The Last Vegas will be promoting their self-titled fourth disc with plans to record and release a fifth this spring under their new contract with Eleven Seven Music. “We get 25 minutes a night to show the Crüe fans what we can do,” says Cherry. “We come out swinging every night and have been blown away with the audience reaction to our set. We like to have a good time all the time but we know that there is still a lot of hard work ahead. It’s tough but it’s fun too. This is what we want to do all the time because we love to rock!

Go see these guys open for Mötley Crüe on their “Saints of Los Angeles” tour also featuring Hinder and Theory of a Deadman. It’s the only true rock show left.

Website: The Last Vegas