In his video for the 2016 hit “24k Magic,” from the album of the same name, modern day purveyor of all things funk Bruno Mars strutted his stuff through the casinos of Las Vegas in his own inimitable way. Surrounded by his glamorous entourage, the flamboyant singer looks perfectly at home in the exuberant surroundings of the Fremont Casino. Roulette wheels are spun and slot machines are fed by the star and his entourage of friends.
The concept of using a casino as a backdrop for a music video is far from new. In fact, the Nevada hotspot has provided the setting for many of the music world’s videos over the years.
Some, such as Mars’ effort, have simply celebrated the glitz and glamour of the city and its casinos itself, while others such as the Killers 2013 number “A Shot at the Night,” have used the location to tell tales of love and romance. In that particular video, a hotel maid appears disillusioned with her mundane existence – perhaps after having to tidy Bruno Mars’ room – but her life is transformed when she falls for one of the guests. Together, they embark on a night of fun and passion which includes a spin on the roulette wheel.
The roulette wheel crops up quite often in these types of videos, the game perhaps representing themes of chance and probability that run through life. Roulette is still one of the most familiar and popular of all the casino games and has traditionally been played at the table in gaming establishments worldwide. It isn’t just online that you can enjoy these games anymore of course and these days you can play roulette online at William Hill Live Casino and in other electronic forms such as those featured on Vegas’ very own slot machines.
But it is not always roulette that finds its way into Las Vegas-based music videos. In “Do You Realize??” By the Flaming Lips (2002), the surreal magic of the neon-clad city itself is the star of the show, working in perfect harmony with the slightly experimental music of the American alternative rock legends.
In 2017, Australian indie singer-songwriter Holiday Sidewinder popped up with the tune “Casino.”The music itself draws on disco pop influences, while the video takes us on an evocative trip through the streets of Vegas. With lyrics such as “lay your cards on the table” and “close your eyes and take a gamble,” the song certainly conjures up plenty of imagery but unfortunately for the singer she spends most of her time hanging out in her hotel room.
Other notable artists to use a casino or gaming setting for their music videos include Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith, Sheryl Crow and Katy Perry, with most of those being set in or around the Las Vegas area. And the aforementioned Killers, who hail from the city, returned there in 2017 to film the video for their single “The Man” in which singer Brandon Flowers features in numerous roles.