The Vegas Years – Part 1

2 Aug

It’s been almost six years of living in Las Vegas and I don’t even know where to begin with the musical moments I’ve had a chance to enjoy while living in Sin City.  My hope is that I have included a good amount of them below but given that my memory has slipped a bit since living here, I’m sure there will be plenty of “The Vegas Years” posts as I recall parties, concerts, performances, red carpets and the likes of.

In the clubs, performances lent themselves to be everything from one song to a couple hours depending on the musician and where the night was going.  I’ve worked and seen everyone from The Killers at PURE and Jay-Z at TAO to the Black Crowes at Studio 54 and New Kids on the Block at LAX (this might have been the most insane crowd I’ve ever seen at a club).   Dare I even say we had an event at PURE for Paris Hilton’s CD release party and at LAX Heidi Montag debuted her first single during her 21st birthday but I was also part of far better events that included Christina Aguilera, Diddy, Ludacris, Britney Spears, Usher, Ne-Yo, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Gavin Rossdale, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Lil’ Jon, LMFAO, Big Boi, Flo Rida, Korn, Switchfoot, Fat Joe, R. Kelly, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Timbaland, Panic! At the Disco, Puddle of Mudd, Busta Rhymes, Fall Out Boy, Dave Navarro, Wyclef Jean, Travis Barker, Fabolous, Too Short, Korn, 30 Seconds to Mars, Vanilla Ice (was hysterical), The Game, Rick Ross, Juliette Lewis and The Licks, Kid Cudi and Asher Roth, John Legend, Coolio, Doug E. Fresh, Ray J, DMX, The Sugar Hill Gang, Naughty by Nature, Crazy Town and of course the Pussycat Dolls (since we had their lounge at PURE).  The list goes on and on but so many memories and what an unbelievable feeling to look back on.

I was also spoiled with the best DJs in the world on a nightly basis.  When DJ AM signed a residency with PURE it was like musical euphoria when he was spinning and for a few years you couldn’t ask for anything better until LAX opened at it became unfathomable to be able to listen to DJ AM and DJ Vice on a weekly basis.  Two people who I consider the best club DJs and can make a party rock but more importantly, genuine human beings.

Add in that Vegas is a mecca for international renowned DJs and so it became a regular occurrence to bounce around from club to club and pool to pool to hear the very best (and still happens J); from Oakenfold to Paul Van Dyk and Ferry Corsten to Erick Morillo, Tiesto, Steve Angello, Robbie Rivera, Carl Cox, Donald Glaude, Chris Cox, Laidback Luke, Deep Dish, Roger Sanchez, Fedde Le Grand, Sander Kleinenberg, Deadmau5, Kaskade, John Creamer & Stephane K, Dave Aude, Ivano Bellini, Oscar G, Bob Sinclar, Markus Schulz, Victor Calderone, Afrojack, Chuckie, Nathan Scott & Tony Arzadon and so on it is truly incredible the music that descended upon the desert of Las Vegas.  Spoiled is an understatement.

As I mentioned, one benefit of working with nightclubs was the fact that I had the opportunity to not only facilitate many of these events but being a music lover, see many acts that I wouldn’t have in concert.  Here are some of my favorite nights of music in Vegas clubland.

1)      DJ AM and Travis Barker first time at LAX Nightclub: The way LAX was built and with the stage setup in the middle of the dance floor it felt like you were in the round as a packed house of partiers were witness to 45 minutes of intense DJ/Drumming to old school and current tunes.  You could see the genuine fun AM and Travis were having and while I had seen this collaboration before at PURE, there was something magical about the performance at LAX.

2)      The Killers at PURE Nightclub:  We had this thing called the Summer Surprise Series with different music acts popping up on Industry Tuesday nights and really the cat was let out of the bag days in advance but to kick off the 2008 series, this performance was kept pretty much under wraps until about the day of (which is an eternity in Vegas and quite frankly shocking when you consider the nature of people to keep it quiet).  With a packed house on hand, The Killers took a break from recording their album down the road at the Palms and delivered a two song performance, their first in a nightclub and very fitting as they are Vegas boys. A club version of Mr. Brightside and a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” were the tracks of choice for the evening.

3)      When we opened LAX Nightclub, Bob Sinclar was one of the hottest house music DJs in the world and we had him spin and Gary Pine who is the vocals on many Sinclar tracks (World Hold On, Love Generation) on-hand to sing to track.  At LAX the DJ booth has a loft above for live performances and sure enough you had Sinclar spinning with Gary Pine above belting out the vocals – truly a crazy fun night of work.

4)      2007 MTV Video Music Awards Weekend was probably one of the craziest times to work in a nightclub in Vegas.  Coming off of a week straight of MAGIC parties and then the grand opening weekend of LAX Nightclub with Britney Spears, MTV Video Music Awards made it 14 straight days of parties let alone having four nightclubs to look after (luckily I had a great team working with me).  With LAX brand new, the first night was hosted by Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship and on a personal note that night ruled because Mark Ronson made an appearance and I think he is one of the most gifted musicians in the world.  The second night Christina Aguilera hosted a big bash (it was the event where Paris Hilton outted her pregnancy) and the third night at LAX was hosted by Diddy and DJ AM which was complete insanity after Diddy announced on-air at the Awards his after party at the club.  I practically lived at Luxor that weekend and bounced over to PURE at Caesars Palace where Diddy hosted an event one night and Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls hosted the next.

7 Responses to “The Vegas Years – Part 1”

  1. Justin J August 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    I would often freestyle at NineFine Irishmen. WTF? how could I not make the list?

    • craignyman August 2, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

      Well I’m happy to have you “guest blog” whenever you want. I think your opportunity may be coming up in 12 days too.

  2. Kate August 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Ah…. the memories….
    I’m glad you can remember all of these because, I’ll be honest, they kind of blend together for me. Thank goodness I have you to remind me of the crazy/fun/once-in-a-lifetime events we worked on!
    Congrats on the blog!
    xo
    k.

    • craignyman August 2, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

      let’s just wait and see what I remember in the future and post to the Vegas Years cause we know there are so many amazing things we got to be a part of. I do however think that our famous NYE email exchange at PURE might not be appropriate for the blog but it was damn funny and still is.

      • Kate August 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

        LOL! Yes, probably not appropriate….. and yet somehow still framed in my office…..

  3. erik kabik August 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I love the blog! Also love that we were both at that Giants Stadium 1995 Dead show and thats the front and center ticket on your page.
    YES>…Travis and AM was just great and I have you to thank for making sure I was part of that experience. I got some awesome photos of a historic performance too.
    Look forward to following your updates and nice job!
    E

    • craignyman August 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words E.

      Yeah, crazy about the Dead show! I know we’ve talked about it but I have the ticket stub, the live recording and a bootleg video from that show!

      Maybe I’ll have to put up a bigger post from that AM/Travis show just to show off your photos from that night!

      Can’t wait to see where this thing goes but we’re going to have some fun with it!!

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