Cardi B is just the start at Las Vegas Palms club KAOS

Updated January 25, 2019 - 4:32 pm

The Palms has bridged the gap between Cardi B and Maxwell Smart.

It’s Kaos.

That was the name of the evil international organization from the famed 1960s sitcom “Get Smart,” and is the new dayclub and nightclub at the Palms set to open in early April.

Unlike Kaos from the TV show, the powerful entity in Las Vegas is a force of good.

“I know we will have the most diverse range of talent anywhere in the world,” says Palms’ General Manager Jon Gray, in the role of the property’s Mr. Smart. “From pop to rock to hip-hop to all forms of electronic music, we’ve got truly great performance venues. The guys who do production for these entertainers have looked at our tech packets (outlining the venue’s production capacity) and have been blown away.”

The first set of resident headliners at Kaos has been announced, the formidable quintet of Cardi B, Skrillex, Kaskade, Above & Beyond and G-EAZY.

Cardi B, of course, has created a maelstrom with her politically charged Instagram posts blasting President Trump — talk-show host Stephen Colbert started a social-media petition to draft her to deliver the rebuttal to the State of the Union address, whenever it happens. Thus, she has has snared the balance of national publicity in this week’s announcements.

But Cardi B’s announced residency is just the start — she might not even be the opening act when the club celebrates its grand opening this spring.

The announced artists have signed deals between 5-10 dates, up to 20-plus appearances, Gray says. Cardi B is likely the most “socially relevant” artist in the mix, he says, but all have been recording hits and headlining major shows for years. G-EAZY is in the “Park City Live” music event this weekend at Sundance Film Festival, which the Palms is using as a platform to promote Kaos.

The indoor-outdoor club’s scale is impressive. The dayclub covers 73,000 square feet, or 1.7 acres, and the nightclub 29,000 square feet (by comparison, the pure combined size is greater than Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace’s 75,000 square feet). The design is completely interactive, with guests moving in and out from the vast pool deck to the indoor club through a retractable glass partition.

The club is presenting, not one, but two large pools in its Greek-oasis design (by Freidmutter Group Las Vegas), 39 cabanas (many of which have their own private pools) and a 65-foot bronze sculpture by Damien Hirst effectively titled, “Demon with Bowl.”

More pertinent for concert-goers is the club’s crowd capacity of 8,000 for a performance. That is larger than any club or theater venue in Las Vegas, discounting arenas.

“It’s a big, big space,” Gray says. “We’re taking what the Palms used to be and taking it to a whole other level.”

This is what the club has had in mind since it severed its partnership with Tao Group to develop the space in October, and focused on KAOS as the signature entertainment amenity in its property-wide, $690-million overhaul.

Those who remember the earlier iteration of the Palms recall a healthy complement of headliners at Pearl Concert theater, coupled with headlining shows at since-closed Rain nightclub. The club was host to such headlining shows as Kiss, Britney Spears, the re-formed Doors, DJ AM and Travis Barker, along with Paul Oakenfold’s ground-breaking DJ residency.

So, it is possible Pearl will host say, Billy Idol one night and bring similar-scale star into KAOS the next.

“That’s the thing I think that people are not quite yet grasping, is that every weekend is like a festival here,” says Gray, ticking off the entertainment offered at Pearl, the day and nightclubs at KAOS, Apex, even the new Mr. Coco speakeasy club. “If you looked at Thursday night through Sunday night, we’ve got a better lineup than most festivals.”

Around the hotel, Gray says Pearl could conceivably host comedy performances or one-man-show concepts similar “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth” or Chazz Palminteri’s “A Bronx Tale.” But the busy schedule of touring bands, presented in partnership with international booking company Live Nation, makes moving from the all-music formula a challenge.

“We have an incredible lineup, and in its entirety it will ring true to what our local and tourists guests are looking for,” Gray says. “We’re going to offer the market what it wants.” It’s an approach that is, dare we say, Smart.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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