Among the many first queries upon entering Kaos Nightclub at Palms on Thursday night was, “OK, who posed for it?”
That was in reference to the 60-foot-tall, fully nude statue “Demon With Bowl” by British contemporary artist Damien Hirst. That figure towers over the scene, and it is not alone.
About 8,000 revelers poured through the club’s three entrances for its industry night preview, the evening’s beauty countered by the bedlam that unfolded in the heavily hyped opening. The party raved through the early morning hours, with bucket-capped star DJ Marshmello bursting on the scene at about 1:45 a.m.
Asked what he’d learned just three hours after the doors opened, Palms General Manager Jon Gray, a top nightclub exec during the hotel’s 2000s heyday, said, “I’m learning what it feels like again to have this place slammed with guests, just like it was in the old days.”
Gray had posted a video on his Instagram story showing the crush of guests at the club entrance, with the message, “I remember these views … excited to have them back!”
Gray also said the club’s operations’ team will need to learn and adapt on the fly.
“We had a play day, but you can’t pressure-test for 8,000 people in one night,” the veteran hotel exec said. “You have to experience it, take care of the people the best you can in real time.”
The hotel assumed all operational responsibilities after original nightlife partner Tao Group and the resort ended their partnership in October.
Hotel co-owner Frank Fertitta III was among those on hand as the club took its first step to its premiere weekend.
Those who partied at the space when it was Rain Nightclub in Palms’ early, golden era, will not recognize the space. The indoor club, where Marshmello made his residency debut, covers 29,000 square feet.
His set was peppered with requisite party-cannon blasts, with his bobbing, marshmallow-shaped, LED mask shown on the 270-foot-tall video panel covering the side of the hotel’s Ivory Tower. The thundering set was also splashed across the club’s outdoor-facing LED screen.
The club’s outdoor pool deck spans 73,000 square feet, with a circular main pool at Demon’s feet and second-level VIP cabanas furnished with private pools surrounding the space. Overlooking that scene is a suite informally titled the owners’ villa, its windows opening to the deck.
The party continues tonight with Travis Scott and Skrillex headlining the formal opening of Kaos Nightclub and Alicia Keys at Pearl at the Palms. Saturday its Marshmello again at Kaos Dayclub, with Cardi B, G-Eazy and J. Balvin at Kaos Nightclub. Sunday is highlighted by Kaskade at the Dayclub, Hozier at Pearl Concert theater, and Zac Brown Band kicking off the Kaos Pool Concert Series.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.