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Shaq’s star power boosts Wynn Nightlife DJ roster

Updated February 24, 2023 - 6:39 pm

You could argue that Wynn Nightlife’s roster of headliners is larger than life. This is especially true of the superstar DJ performing in June.

Shaquille O’Neal in his DJ Diesel stage persona, plays Encore Beach Club at Night on June 10.

“No pun intended, but he’s larger than life. Right?” says Wynn Vice President of Nightlife Ryan Jones, who is right. “He brings something we don’t have a lot of, and that’s the celebrity side of the DJ sphere. But musically, he’s a really good DJ, too.”

I would not tell him otherwise.

Shaq’s big spin is among the highlights of Wynn Nightlife’s headliner lineup for XS Nightclub and Encore Beach Club and Encore Beach Club at Night. The announcements sort of seeped out on Instagram from Feb. 13 through Friday.

The list of returning resident headliners are topped by Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, David Guetta, Diplo, Kygo and Swedish House Mafia. New to the resort’s nightlife collective are Tyga, Acraze, Dom Dolla, Mochakk, DJ Ruckus, Morten, Two Friends and Surf Mesa. Diplo appears Saturday, Morten is Sunday at XS Nightclub.

The competition for nightlife live entertainment is torrid on the Strip, with Zouk Nightclub, Tao Group and Drai’s Nightclub at the Cromwell offering standout superstars every weekend. Fontainebleau, which operates Liv Nightclub in Miami, is also expected to develop something adventurous when it opens this year.

Jones plays up the brand equity, and equity generally, of Wynn/Encore to remain at the top of the field.

“It helps being inside of the Wynn. We can’t take all the credit because we’re in what is, in my opinion, the best building on the Strip,” Jones says. “We have great customer base that comes here, and a terrific standard of practice of how we service our customers and our guests. Being at the Wynn will always be a huge help to us.”

Jones carries the Wynn card when he scouts talent that ends up on the XS and Encore Beach Club stages. In 2022, a major outdoor music festival was among of his destinations. Jones caught a supergroup at the festival, one that had never played an extended engagement in North America.

“Last year Swedish House Mafia headlined Coachella, and I went up there with their management to see how the crowd reacted to their headlining set,” Jones says. “And once I saw that reaction, it was a slam dunk for me to bring them here.”

The architecture of XS and Encore Beach Club will be revamped.

“We’ve got some big plans for both places,” Jones says. “There will be some different things coming out in phases, but I plan on seeing some pretty cool things in both spaces over the course of the next year.”

Katy’s ‘Awakening’

Katy Perry provided a review of “Awakening” so glowing it could melt the crayons in her show at Resorts World. The pop superstar Tweeted on Thursday:

“Y’all, I just saw the new show @AwakeningatWynn in Vegas and it was next level tech/dancing/costumes whole bit. Like a burning man meets avatar meets 5th element meets the craziest magic tricks etc. Congrats @bazhalpin and co for takin’ it to the NEXT LEVEL … ONCE AGAIN.”

Let the record show, “Awakening” is now the industry leader in “meets” in a single superstar review, with three.

With meets or vegetarian, we agree with Perry’s excitement with those individual elements. Her call-out to producer/director Baz Halpin reminds of the bridge between Perry’s show and “Awakening.” Halpin has developed both.

Perry’s endorsement will span the globe, to her 108.6 million Twitter followers. Great luck meets great timing meets great relationships for “Awakening,” working to right itself for the long run.

What about ‘Legends?’

The longest-running show on the Strip when it shut down at Tropicana Theater the last week of the year, “Legends In Concert” officials say they are on the cusp — the cusp, I tell you! — of a new deal in VegasVille.

We’re staying on top of this one. “Legends” is a biggie. It is not the type of show to box it up and slip away after a handful of performances, if you get the drift.

Downtown Pauly

Pauly Shore, who was a Vegas resident for a hot minute before returning to L.A., is back in town March 10-11 at Wiseguys Comedy Club in the Arts District. I caught Shore at the club a few months ago. Really enjoyed the performance, the vibe, the location. Also the Famous Nachos, which are $13 of messy fun. The same could be said of Pauly, actually (hey-oh!). In good fun, in good fun …

Cool Hang Alert

Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton-Holmes, Giada Valenti and Travis Cloer are a quick list of performers who have signed on for the seventh annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation/Johnny Kats Birthday Bash, set for 7 p.m. (doors) and 8 p.m. (show) Sunday at The Space. And a few more: Cassie Stone with Christian Brady, Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie and Michelle “Las Vegas’s First Lady of Jazz” Johnson. We could extend into the 30s with the singers rolling into this classic-Vegas kicks gig. “Colors” is the musical theme with Kenny Davidsen and the D.C. Magic Tones backing band furnishing the music.

No cover. No gifts. Give to the charity at StBaldricks.org, search “Katsilometes.” This is the first time we’ve partnered with Mark Shunock and his team for the Baldrick’s show. We expect frivolity, grooving, possibly a concussion. See you there.

PodKats! Episodes

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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