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Clubs — missing star power — line up New Year’s shows

The haters have won.

Nightclub detractors inside and outside of Las Vegas have bemoaned the burgeoning-cum-bloated club scene on the Strip for years.

“Clubs are hurting ticket sales for concerts, and to hell with these DJs who don’t do anything but push a button to entertain young people in meet markets,” non-Millennial haters in town have basically complained to me for years.

“Las Vegas can’t afford all these overpriced DJs, and the hotels overbuilt clubs, so the sky is falling,” is essentially what Los Angeles and New York writers have suggested of our rival city after they accepted free travel junkets to come party here.

And now, just look at the deteriorated offerings in clubs on New Year’s Eve week. It’s not a result of the haters, which oddly included Wynn DJ Deadmau5.

It’s a result of entropy, those DJ overcompensation packages, the usual shortsighted overexpansion of clubs, big moneyed interests pulling out of clubs, some clubs’ hubristic taking locals for granted, a few too many roofie problems gone unchallenged, and the natural phase out of a movement that went from zero to hero to goat over the course of five years.

There are some big names coming to Vegas clubs, and I guarantee most clubs will be packed to the rafters with beautiful people who wouldn’t give you the time of day, and that includes club workers who “audition” for their stressful jobs.

It’s just that star power is nothing like it was the past few years, as clubs experiment with their next “What now?” moment.

Here’s what we see at a glance.

— Somewhat-of-a-local Snoop Dogg performs Thursday, New Year’s Eve, at Tao nightclub in the Venetian. I saw him there last New Year’s Eve. It was good. I just wanted him to sing on stage longer.

— Diplo, who resurrected Justin Bieber’s singing career this summer with a Skrillex collaboration, DJs New Year’s Eve at Surrender nightclub in the Encore hotel. This is the most appealing EDM show on Dec. 31, since Diplo is a stellar musician.

— Calvin Harris (Taylor Swift’s publicity boyfriend) DJs New Year’s Eve at Omnia nightclub in Caesars Palace.

— Skrillex DJs Saturday, Jan. 2, at XS nightclub in the Wynn. Skrillex is the best contemporary EDM DJ I’ve ever seen.

— Hakkasan nightclub in the MGM Grand hotel has a solid line-up of contract players: Hardwell on Dec. 30; Tiesto on New Year’s Eve.

— Drai’s nightclub in the Cromwell has the biggest cluster of hip hop names: Perceived villain Nicki Minaj performs with Meek Mill on New Year’s Eve; Perceived villain Chris Brown sings there on Jan. 1; The excellent singer The Weeknd performs at Drai’s on Jan. 2; And fun A$AP Rocky performs there Jan. 3. However, you should go read the Yelp complaints about the difficulty of Drai’s waits and entrances.

— “Orange is the New Black” actress Ruby Rose DJs Wednesday, Dec. 30, at Surrender, then Friday, Jan. 1, at XS.

— Singer Nick Jonas will pick up a paycheck by ringing in the new year at Foxtail Nightclub in the SLS hotel. (The SLS has the band Plain White T’s that night in the Sayers Club.)

— It’s also The Return of the Kardashian Actors week. Brody Jenner will co-DJ Dec. 30 at Hyde Bellagio. Scott Disick, whose storyline is he just got out of rehab, hosts New Year’s Eve at 1 Oak nightclub in the Mirage. But where is Kim and Kanye, etc.?

— Others DJing Dec. 30: Baauer at Light nightclub in Mandalay Bay; Chuckie at Omnia in Caesars Palace.

— Others performing New Year’s Eve: Alesso DJs at XS in the Wynn; Hip hop’s J. Cole sings at Light.

— Others DJing Friday, Jan. 1: Cedric Gervais at Marquee nightclub in the Cosmopolitan hotel; Morgan Page at Light; Borgore at SLS’s Foxtail.

— Online, Bellagio’s Bank, Cosmopolitan’s Marquee, Paris’ Chateau, and the Palms and Hard Rock Hotel’s clubs have zero famous people listed as a DJ or as a celebrity host on New Year’s Eve itself. That will likely change, of course. Something has to appear on I-15 billboards. But the golden years of splashy EDM excitement has faded into a “used to be,” and star hosting still hasn’t fully resurrected.

Everyone who made the scene spectacular during the recession and recovery should take comfort in the anti-hater’s credo: “It’s better to be a has-been than a never-was.”


People routinely spend tens of thousands of dollars on watches and earrings on the Strip, so it is perhaps a bargain to consider spending a mere $275 to $295 on a pair of slippers co-designed by Steve Wynn’s daughter Kevyn.

“Cocktail Slippers” debuted the other day during a soiree (I’m middle class, I hope I’m using “soiree” correctly) in the Wynn Collection, at which the mother of three unveiled seven styles she created with a shoe-design guru, according to ShulmanSays.com.

Kevyn Wynn was inspired by the lack of supply of really nice luxury slippers, Michael Shulman (who DJ’d) wrote on his blog.

He described the shoes as denim with crystals, black with crystals, taupe with pearl and crystal, and other cozy-sounding gear. You can see them at KevynWynn.com.

Doug Elfman can be reached at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman. On Twitter: @VegasAnonymous

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