- Top 100
March 28, 2012
Las Vegas is one crazy place. We’ve all seen the movies and heard the stories. Heck, some of us likely have a few tall tales of our own! Forever focused on gambling and entertainment, the Las Vegas we love—and sometimes loathe—was built solely to provide experiences that just can’t exist anywhere else. Luckily for us Wet Coasters, Las Vegas has worked hard in recent years to become a top dance music destination—and is only a short flight or drive away. With ridiculously elegant (but expensive) nightclubs galore and popular beach-themed day parties attracting scantily clad revelers and top DJs to stunning venues, the desert oasis is really putting on a show … in true Las Vegas style!
My short trip here coincided with what proved to be a banging show: Porter Robinson’s performance at Encore’s beautiful XS nightclub on Monday, March 19. The 19-year old electro wunderkind, fresh off Tiesto’s massive 2011 College Invasion Tour and his own Spitfire Tour (with shows in B.C., Alta. and Que.), was absolutely bursting with energy. As such, I wasn’t surprised when the North Carolinian jumped on the decks with true adolescent fervor: fist-pumping and turning the stereo system way up. Laying down track after track of bass-heavy, dance-floor destroying cuts, Robinson’s set relentlessly simmered into what may have been the wildest point of the night: Dada Life’s anthem, Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker. In predictable fashion, the well-dressed and sexy XS crowd went nuts, only to be driven further into madness when Robinson dropped his brand-new unreleased bomb, and recent Pete Tong Essential Tune, Language.
XS stayed absolutely rammed until it’s close around 4 a.m. and I can say with confidence that every single patron was left breathless with the no-expense-spared decor of the club. Seriously, the price tag on XS must have been astronomical. Chandeliers dangle from the ceiling, marble and gold adorn most surfaces and the sound system rocks. On top of that, the room is perfectly-sized and airy, and the bartenders and other staff are complete professionals. Notwithstanding, I did find XS to be more crowded than what would be ideal. Also, dare I say it, it seemed like the average patron was simply not as into the music as in other, pure dance music clubs. I definitely understand that the nature of Las Vegas—people come from all over and with all kinds of different tastes—creates a crowd with varied musical knowledge. It’s just that, rather unfortunately, at XS it is hard to tap into that intoxicating, kindred emotion and communal love for the music that one would get at, say, Avalon in Los Angeles or Stereo in Montreal.
So what is the Las Vegas scene like? Well, it’s busy and bumping, that’s for sure. It’s expensive, well dressed and ready to party. But I do think it is still evolving, and that there are a lot of big things to come from the desert metropolis. Contributing to the scene and helping it to secure an identity will be an awesome thing for us dance music fans to contribute to. With unparalleled support from massive international DJs, and investment into the dance music genre by the deep-pocketed hotels and resorts, I can only see the scene here continuing to improve rapidly. In fact, and in perfect Las Vegas style, an awesome scene is almost in sight, and is clearly a sure bet.