When Tiesto proposed to Annika Backes, his supermodel girlfriend, he set the stage with customary flair.
The superstar DJ popped the question as the couple was vacationing in the South Asian island Republic of Maldives at the luxurious One&Only Reethi Rah resort. He rented out the resort’s Botanica restaurant and had the place plunged with flowers.
The MGM Grand’s Hakkasan Nightclub and Wet Republic headliner arranged a live soundtrack, too.
“I even hired a band just to do this,” he said.
A band? Anyone we know?
“No, not like Coldplay — but I would if I could,” Tiesto said, grinning. “Just a little band to play all kinds of music for his.”
The couple announced their engagement Dec. 3 on their respective Instagram pages. The wedding date is to be determined.
It’s a period of benchmarks for Tiesto. He spent the weekend celebrating his 49th birthday (which is Wednesday). In December, he signed a two-year residency extension to perform at Hakkasan and Wet Republic through 2020.
Tiesto has successfully crossed over from electronic dance music to a mainstream audience. A medley from his 2014 release, “A Town Called Paradise,” is featured in the loop of classics at the Bellagio Fountains, joining Elvis, Sinatra, the Beatles, Andrea Bocelli and Elton John, among others.
Tiesto also performed with Jabbawockeez in the MGM Grand lobby Saturday afternoon before signing autographs for hundreds of fans. He filled Hakkasan again Saturday night, when upwards of 6,000 clubgoers helped celebrate his birthday and fireworks were fired from the hotel’s roof.
Lil Jon turned up as the night’s unbilled guest star.
What’s next? Tiesto’s next collaboration, the dance track “Boom,” with hip-hop star Gucci Mane, is out next week. There is also a promise of another high-profile collaboration in 2018.
“I’m working on a very big track with one of the biggest rappers in the world,” he said.
Tiesto said he’s interested in investigating any music genre, but knows the artistic limits of EDM and his own sensibilities.
“The music has to fit my sets, and my feelings, who I am,” he said. “Sometimes I get a request, ‘Can you play Queen? Michael Jackson? Elvis?’ Well, they are legends. I would not touch their music. It’s amazing music the way it is, and it doesn’t make any sense for me to change it. But otherwise, I will listen to anything to see if it fits me. If it does, I’ll do it.”
Tiesto, at 49, is famous enough that he needs security escort to wade through the casino — this happens when your face has graced the side of the resort — but he is most comfortable as a normal guy.
“I like to just put on a hat or a beanie and go out and walk the Strip, or go to Starbucks,” he said. “I’ll go have a hamburger at White Cross.” His idea of a great weekend is to hit Whole Foods, pick up provisions and head to Valley of Fire or Lake Mead.”
“I’m very casual, I keep pretty much to myself, and do what I like, to do,” he said, then laughed. “I’ll walk around in a Broncos jersey.”
Otherwise, he’s simply eager to solidify his relationship with MGM Grand and a city he considers his second home.
“I have been obsessed with Las Vegas since I got here in 2005, and I still am,” he said. “A lot of people ever thought I would do a residency here, they thought I was crazy. But now, my life really is a dream come true.”
Savard on ice
Marc Savard, the hypnotist headliner at V Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort, is a lifelong Edmonton Oilers fan who has performed on the Strip for a decade. But one of the city’s great hockey authorities had no problem picking a team to back Saturday when the Edmonton Oilers visited the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.
“The Oilers are my team since ‘79,” he said Sunday afternoon. As proof, he sent a photo of himself with a half-dozen friends who had flown in from Canada. The whole bunch of ’em wore Oilers jerseys.
Savard is still on his quest to see a game in every NHL Arena in North America. He’s been to 33, over the years. Remaining on the list are Air Canada Centre in Toronto; Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida; and Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. We will continue to track his progress.
Al croons it, and calls it
Column fave and broadcast legend Al Bernstein is performing an only-in-Vegas doubleheader on Feb. 16-17. He performs a tribute to Nat “King” Cole at Kenny Davidsen’s show at 9 p.m. that Friday. The next night, Bernstein will call the Danny Garcia-Brandon Rios fight card at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Money at HRH
On the topic of famous boxing people …
Floyd Mayweather and the crew known as “The Money Team” hit the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday night for Tracy Morgan’s stand-up show. In an unrelated development, Mayweather has posted a video clip of a money machine counting hundreds at his Girl Collection nightspot at 2580 S. Highland Drive. The device is shown counting the cash in stacks of $10,000 at a time.
Was that Joey?
Yep, ex-’N Sync band member Joey Fatone, was in town Friday night for an appearance with Monster electronics company at CES, at Matt Goss’ show at 1Oak Nightclub at The Mirage.
It was Fatone’s first visit to the Goss show, and for the event he donned a hoodie and ball cap reading “I Know,” a sharp contrast to the well-suited Goss.
Unable to resist a barb from the stage, Goss called out, “Thanks for dressing up for the show tonight, Joey. I’ve never wanted to take another man’s hat, but tonight I’ll make an exception.”
One star of the night
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid celebrated his 21st birthday late Saturday night at XS Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas. McDavid was joined at a VIP table by teammates Patrick Maroon and Cam Talbot, among others, for a celebration of champagne and Grey Goose cocktails.