Saturday was supposed to be a low-key evening.
Hit the Mary J. Blige concert at The Joint, drop in at Social House restaurant at Treasure Island to interview Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson and then head over to Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace.
And then Lindsay Lohan showed up.
Not since the NBA All-Star Weekend in February has there been a night like LiLo’s surprise visit.
The 21-year-old starlet, fresh out of her second stint in rehab this year, had the city abuzz when word spread that she would be at Pure to celebrate her assistant’s birthday.
The line for Pure was a couple hundred deep snaking around the sports book at 12:15 a.m., with Pure security and uniformed Caesars security everywhere. The crowd (aka loiterers) outside the club was even larger.
Once inside Pure, I was escorted to the main stage where Lohan was stationed with her posse, plopped down at Johnson’s table and exchanged greetings with Brody Jenner and Lauren Conrad, stars of MTV’s "The Hills," who sat at the next table.
Lohan’s crew populated the rest of the main stage and even commandeered the table Conrad and Jenner had with fellow "The Hills" stars Whitney Port and Frankie Delgado, forcing the foursome to merge with Johnson at one table.
All eyes were fixed on Lohan from her arrival until she exited stage left around closing time with illusionist Criss Angel in tow.
LiLo was an absolute train wreck this year, including her arrest by Beverly Hills police for driving under the influence following a May 26 accident. Nothing was going right for her. She was lumped into the "what bad thing is going to happen next" group, led by Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.
But regardless of her personal woes, Lohan’s stock and popularity remain high. The majority of people on the dance floor had their cameras flashing and cell phones snapping shots any time Lohan appeared from behind the long white curtains blocking her from sight.
Other stars in Lohan’s section reaped the benefits, with Johnson getting the most attention from the awe-struck patrons. "The Hills" stars also seized the opportunity, taking photos with fans and leaning over the railing to shake hands with everyone.
Once Lohan had the curtains opened in her section, she bounced around from spot to spot onstage to mingle with friends and Pure staff.
She spent a good chunk of time in the DJ booth with Pure resident DJ Hollywood, addressing the crowd on the microphone and even helping pick out a bunch of her favorite songs on a laptop for Hollywood to play during his set.
But watching Lohan choose music, checking out the alcohol-monitoring device strapped to her ankle or seeing her get chummy with Angel weren’t even the most interesting parts of her appearance.
It was the public’s fixation with Lohan and what people were actually willing to do to get closer to her.
From the women offering $1,000 to get onstage to the guy who tried baiting Johnson into an invite by saying he was former Penn State star LaVar Arrington’s captain in high school, people were doing everything in an attempt to get near Lohan.
A common trend is becoming obvious when it comes to these young female celebrities: The more problems and notoriety you develop, the more popular you become.
If you get charged with multiple DUIs, wind up in some home porn video, have nude photos of you splashed across the Internet or check in to an elite rehab facility, you will be worshipped and fawned over by the public.
The size of the crowd at Pure on Saturday and everything about the biggest night of the summer so far at a Las Vegas nightclub solidified that observation.
Jeremy Pond is the celebrity writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Vegas Confidential. His column appears Fridays in Neon and online at www.reviewjournal.com and www.normclarke.com. He can be reached at 383-2098 or via e-mail at email@example.com.JEREMY PONDMORE COLUMNS
THIS WEEK’S HOT SPOTS Here’s a quick look at the places to be: FRIDAY Tangerine — The ladies of Hawaiian Tropic host the party inside the Treasure Island nightclub. SATURDAY Krave — The popular alternative hotspot, located next to the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, brings you Junior Vasquez, with an opening set by DJ Morningstar. Pure — The ladies of Hawaiian Tropic host the night at the Caesars Palace venue. SUNDAY Body English — The weekly Sunday School party takes top billing inside the Hard Rock Hotel. DJs Vice and Dig Dug spin in the main room, with house music in the Parlor with Jack Lafleur. MONDAY Red Rock Resort — The hotel brings you its weekly Red Rock Retreat. For $139, individuals receive a one-night stay (check-in from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.), a VIP bowling tournament at Red Rock Lanes, a midnight pool party at Cherry nightclub, a Tuesday Retreat pool party and late 4 p.m. check out. Seamless — The after-hours nightspot brings you a late-night, early-morning party, featuring the sounds of DJ Inferno and DJ Mikey Swift. TUESDAY Pure — The Caesars Palace megaclub continues its Surprise Summer Concert Series with one of today’s hottest recording artists performing live. WEDNESDAY Sedona — The weekly Image Wednesdays party, hosted by the Syrup Swimwear Girls, kicks off at 9:30 p.m. at the restaurant/lounge located at Flamingo Road and the Las Vegas Beltway. Specials for industry workers are available. — By JEREMY POND