Friends With Benefits: Peter Ron-Monroy
When Peter Ron-Monroy transforms into Kid Hollywood he captures the very essence of the decade of decadence. As the lead singer and founder of the Las Vegas-based ’80s band Spandex Nation, he brings all the hits and big-haired hijinks to life onstage at Level Up at MGM Grand. The band recently scored a residency at the adults-only lounge that mixes cocktails and arcade games.
Ron-Monroy is a genuine child of the ’80s—born and raised in L.A., he grew up in the heyday of the heavy metal genre, frequenting the famed Sunset Strip to catch a glimpse of bands like Poison and Mötley Crüe. “L.A., that’s where everything was happening,” he said. “The Whiskey, The Roxy—I would sit outside and wait to see rock stars. It was considered crazy, wild, rebellious music back then. It really was.”
Ron-Monroy was encouraged by his parents to pursue music and, when he turned 18, he scored a record deal and recorded in just about every music studio in L.A., he said. But he got burned out with the L.A. scene and moved to Las Vegas in 1998. That’s when he decided to take a more lighthearted approach to the music industry, and formed the band Kid Hollywood (he changed the name to Spandex Nation in 2014). And for the past two decades he’s been both entertaining audiences and transporting them back in time.
“I think that’s why the people that hear us today really connect to it, because they were the rebellious kids that were listening to that music,” he said. “I just see their faces turn that age, back to 14, they get transformed back to 1984. It’s really amazing.”
These Melons are on Fire
Catch Ron-Monroy and Spandex Nation every Thursday night beginning at 10 p.m. “We put on the best, most authentic show we can,” he said. ”But I don’t take it too seriously—I’m dressed in a costume, ya know. But we know what people expect to hear and we try to translate that. When people come to a Spandex show we want to take them away for those few hours. We don’t want them to think about anything else except having a good time.” Transport yourself into party mode even more by ordering one of Level Up’s specialty cocktails, some themed around the Spandex Nation show, like the popular These Melons are on Fire. The sweet treat is a blend of Grey Goose vodka, watermelon juice, simple syrup, lime, hellfire bitters and ginger beer. Rock on, dude!