Vice president of entertainment is all about the music
Metallica performing New Year’s Eve, 2003. Aerosmith, No Doubt, Kiss, The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, The Who, Santana ... the list goes on. Chas Smith, vice president of entertainment at Hard Rock Hotel, has booked (and seen) more than 1,300 concerts inside The Joint, in addition to producing and developing each show from start to finish.
“What I do is just pure excitement if you ask me,” Smith said. “There’s nothing better than coming in here, seeing a packed show, seeing everyone rocking out to their favorite band. That’s when I like to sit back and take it all in.”
Smith has worked hard to get to this moment, to his current position. “Yup, I worked my way up the ladder for 16 years, starting out as an on-call stage hand at The Joint,” he said. His duties constitute a heavy workload, sure, but Smith’s passion for music and putting on concerts makes everything seem effortless. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” he said. “This is a livelihood. I live, breathe this. … Still to this day, I love coming to work every day.”
And when Smith is on the clock, he’s going 100 mph. “We do our best to keep our hand on the pulse,” he said. “I keep that motto inside me every day.” And the results have been successful, as The Joint has managed to book some of the biggest names in music for residency shows, a trend that other properties have followed. “We make sure we’re setting the pace, staying ahead of the curve.”
The Scorpions are on an extended run at The Joint, and a cocktail was created in the band’s honor. The Voodoo Hurricane uses three Cruzan rums, Black Strap, 151 Proof and White, and mixes them together with pineapple and orange juices and grenadine. Smith is especially psyched about the rock band’s run—one of the first albums he ever bought was the Scorpions’ World Wide Live. “They’re just amazing artists and great, great people,” he said. “They really enjoy what they do and you can tell.” Catch the band, along with fellow rockers Queensrÿche, as they bring their run to a close this week with three final shows, May 18 & 20-21.