Las Vegas, an Unlikely Hero

Here we are, pushing the last days of summer from the bottom up. I go big in the summer, and always choose carefully where I’ll put my time.

This year I did Vegas. My fiercely protected Summer was promised to a residency at the Marquee. Saturday nights in a club, and Sunday afternoons by the pool. An unprecedented one-two punch. And what an amazing summer it has been. Just rocking. Labor Day weekend will close out this season, and I will be sad to see it go. But Vegas? Really?  

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Las Vegas screams fake everything. He’s got a big mouth and a hot temper, and is just a little self-conscious that he’s only a mirage in the desert. Historically, Las Vegas has been a feeding trough for the overindulgent American and the gaudy world traveler. This is his rep, his street cred born from decades of being fake. 

But that’s yesterday’s Vegas. That’s your Grandmother’s Vegas. What’s happened is this: Vegas has shifted, and has uncovered what’s next. That “next” has just whispered in the ear of your Grandmother’s Ibiza to sit down and take a few notes. 

Las Vegas seems to have accidentally created the most fertile and nurturing home that Electronic Music has seen in the past two decades. Far from his old-time dodgy tricks, the landscapes that Vegas has built for his DJs and their audiences are lush. The clubs have the best, top-of-the-line sound systems. Music sounds better in Vegas. It just does. The light programming is beyond what most places will even dream of a decade from now. The crowds come from everywhere. Not only the nearby states but continents across every ocean. This setting creates a place where a DJ can stretch out and push the boundaries of where they usually go. This setting provides a previously unimaginable training ground for the up-and-comer looking to cut their teeth in style. This setting has been long, slow and steady in it’s coming. But it’s here now. Las Vegas is the DJ’s new hero. 

Here is the truth. America has been owning this culture, scene, sound and community since we breathed life into it  back in Chicago and Detroit. Somewhere along the way, the rest of the world adopted it, and it grew in millions of directions. So now there are names that nobody can agree upon to describe what we’ve done. House, Electronica, EDM, Techno. It doesn’t matter. Call it Fred. I don’t care. What matters is this. America is taking it back and giving it a proper home.

In Las Vegas, the opportunities for this music are endless. As a listener, as a producer, as a DJ. You think Vegas can’t go deep? Think again, princess. Here’s a sample of a live set I played, coming off the apex of a Big Room night. Recorded sometime between 4am - 6am. Close your eyes and press your eyelids with your fingertips until you see colors flashing. You’re almost there.

It’s not lost on me that as recently as six or seven years ago, I wouldn’t even stop in Las Vegas on tours. It wasn’t the scene I was looking for. It was full of Rat-Pack ghosts and Tiger shows. The entertainment was an extension of the crude billboard of a town. Flimsy, in-your-face, and big.

But things are different now, and you should tell a friend. While all the usual suspects  are scrambling to catch up, we’ve had a pool party happening over here. And in true Vegas fashion, everyone who should see and needs to be seen, has been diving in and gotten wet.

*TRACKLISTING

01.    Two Door Cinema Club – Handshake (Amtrac Mix)
02.    Francesco Rossi - Paper Aeroplane
03.    Mark Knight – Your Love
04.    Nikola Gala – Broken Chords
05.    Strictly Ibiza - Wamdue King of My Castle (Crazibiza Mix)
06.    Purple Disco Machine – My House
07.    Le Youth – Cool (Ben Pearce Mix)
08.    Magic Eye – Inside My Love (Mike Mago Mix)
09.    Justin Martin – The Sad Piano (Charles Webster Mix)
10.    Josh Butler – Got A Feeling (Bontan Remix, Pleasurekraft Edit)
11.    Caseno - Sebastian (Kolombo Mix)
12.    Hot Since 82 – Mr. Drive
13.    Andre Sobota – Voyager
14.    Kaskade vs. Pryda – Sometimes Powerdrive (Kaskade Mash Up)

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    I wish I could have heard this at Marquee day club, but I’m glad I was still able to hear Kaskade at TAO the following...
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    Truth. Would do again 10x over.
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