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Deadmau5 headlines ‘historic night’ in downtown Las Vegas

Updated May 22, 2021 - 3:37 pm

A few hours before Deadmau5 flashed his famous ears, Derek Stevens flashed a grin and spun the truth.

“It’s been a long, long time since I got to stand up here and welcome people to downtown,” Stevens said from the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center stage. “Tonight’s a rather historic night. We are, all of us, bringing Las Vegas back to life.”

The crowd, which at the time was about a third of its expected 10,000 capacity, roared. By the end of the night, the crowd had indeed swelled to that 10k capacity.

Stevens, co-owner of the D Las Vegas and Circa, operates DLVEC. The outdoor events platform on the corner of Carson and Third streets serves as his company’s primary entertainment platform. But before Friday, the most recent activity on the grounds was a Vegas Golden Knights watch party on Feb. 29, 2020.

“Please tonight, remember, we’ve got a year’s worth of pent-up energy,” Stevens said. “Let’s go out and have some fun.”

The event was three weeks in the making, filling the void left by the move of Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival from this month to October at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. EDC would have opened Friday night at LVMS, with Deadmau5 as a leading headliner.

“This feels like the reward for making it through the pandemic,” the D, Circa and DLVEC vice president of operations Jeff Victor said. “We worked very well with state, the city, with Commissioner (Marilyn) Kirkpatrick to make sure we were being safe, and to promote vaccinations. This event shows how important it is to be vaccinated.”

A set by the British group Nero opened the night, followed by an appearance by Southern California production trailblazer No Mana.

The event was restricted to ages 18 or older, and those in attendance were required to show proof of at least a first vaccine dose or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of entering. Those who were fully vaccinated (both doses of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of Janssen) two weeks before the event were not required to wear a mask.

Ramiro Chavez, originally from Modesto, California, who recently moved to Washington, D.C, had planned on being at EDC this weekend.

”This feels like a breath of fresh air, for real, Chavez said. “I feel excited, and I feel like having a very enjoyable weekend.”

His friend Nefi Rodriguez, who recently moved to Henderson from Seattle, said he is a big Deadmau5 fan. He, too, had planned to be at EDC on Friday and intends to be at the relaunch in October.

“This feels amazing,” Rodriguez said early in the evening, as No Mana took the stage. “It feels a little weird to have people in your face. We went to some casinos and I felt a little weird being around people, but right now I am feeling used to it.”

After his address to the fans, Stevens took an upstairs VIP seat with his wife, Nicole. He once more wore a trenchcoat with his company’s social media handles on the back, and a Deadmau5 logo on the front.

Stevens said he was grateful to make a deal with Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella to bring a big show back to downtown.

“This one’s pretty special, bringing large-scale entertainment back to downtown Las Vegas,” Stevens said. “It’a great to see smiles, ear to ear.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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