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deadmau5: It's Something Special

By MikeE on Monday, 23rd January 2012 12:00pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 9


When you see a concert at the Hollywood Palladium, there's always that one guy...

It doesn't matter whether you're there to see a band who writes their own songs or a DJ who presses play on a MacBook Pro behind a veil of smoke machine haze. Somewhere amongst the crowd - perhaps he stood in line next to you - there's a guy eager to tell you about his lucky day: June 9, 1972.

You see, The Rolling Stones announced a last-minute gig at the Hollywood Palladium that day - a tiny venue for a band used to selling out arenas and stadiums. And that day, that guy was just around the corner, heard the news on the radio, and high-tailed it to the box office as quickly as he could.

That guy will always tell his story to anyone he can. His future grandchildren will grow bored of it, some Palladium concertgoers in line with him will appreciate it. That day, he stood so close to The Stones that he could smell the drugs coursing through Keith Richards. It was something special.

Now, before I receive the wrath of hell for comparing deadmau5 to The Stones, let me assure you that this isn't a musical comparison in the slightest. On strictly a popularity standpoint, however, 'mau5 is one of the hottest figures in music at the moment and his residency in the relatively small venues of Wynncore this year at this time in his career is something truly special.

I was drinking my weight in vodka at Bill's pai gow tables when superfriend JohnD texted me: "deadmau5 tonight? I've got an extra ticket." I was actually on the fence about it. I'd sworn off nightclubs after having a blast the last few trips not stepping foot in any of them. But whatever. It was that or pai gow for the rest of the night and you can only push so many times before you realize that you're actually incredibly bored.

And so I cabbed it to Encore and made my way towards XS. Entering through the back ballrooms, I was in the venue within minutes. The energy was already electric - never had I seen the place as packed and as excited as it was that night.

'mau5 took the stage at exactly 1:30am. Smart of the XS people. With nightclub curfews way later than any concert venue, it means he still got to play a solid two-and-a-half hour set starting after most every ticket-paying customer had made their way through the doors.

Go. No, seriously. Just go. If you've ever at all even considered seeing the guy in Vegas, take the plunge. Here’s why...

XS isn't a nightclub when he plays. It's a concert venue. This means a significant drop in the douche quotient. No pretense, nothing superficial - just people from all over the world (as opposed to any other night when you'd swear half the crowd is from southern California) enjoying themselves and the music. There's little room to move on the dance floor where all the attention is on the DJ booth. Snow showers, lasers, and confetti are the norm. It's a sight to see.

But if the crowds are too much to handle, make your way out to the pool and view from the back of the DJ booth. One of the awesome things XS has done is they've dropped a screen behind deadmau5 reflecting in real time what's happening at the front of the stage like a mirror image.

Encore XS Deadmau5 live

Out here, the crowds are light Melbourne Shuffling dangerously close to the pool. Drinks are easy to get and I'd venture to guess that you've never felt the excitement of a live dice table backed by *the* top DJ in the world right now. You won't find this kind of camaraderie and good vibes in Vegas outside a baccarat table riding a nine-banker streak.

And best of all, when the Electric Daisy Carnival neohippie tells you about that one time he saw deadmau5 some 400 feet away, you too can be like that one guy who once saw The Stones at the Hollywood Palladium. Seeing deadmau5 in this environment is truly something special.

Tagged: encore   deadmau5   nightlife   xs   


Comments & Discussion:

The dude puts on a good show don't get me wrong. Electric music is starting to make a comeback and with comebacks comes people like him who get popular really quick. Deadmau5 got really big really fast and he's super mainstream now. Some of his stuff gets a little repetitive but that's what you get with electro. It just gets like that sometimes. ATB is another electro-trance-ish DJ from Germany who has a residency over at Marquee. So if anyone gets bored, doesn't get in to see Deadmau5, go see ATB at Marquee. The dude is full of energy and he's freakin nuts. Plus he's German and everyone knows :: start sarcasm:: Germans are just a "little bit better" than everyone else. :-)

By the way VegasTripping if you need a resident concert reviewee I can do this!! We're planning several several trips out there this year just to go to ish like this!!

I think the point of the article is that seeing a 'mainstream' act such as deadmau5 in a relatively small venue like XS is something special. Add to that the fact that the nightclubs are selling tickets to these residencies means that the crowds tend to be actual fans, therefore increasing the fun vibe of the place.

I'm a pretty big critic of EDM, but I do have to admit that this particular gig at XS was really, really fun. Everyone is extremely hammered by the time the DJ makes an appearance, but they're all having a lot of fun. There's almost nothing that tops the vibe of a crowd that is into it. The pool area outside of XS is also welcome respite when the crowd gets to be a bit too much, too.

glad you had fun! seeing any of the big deal EDM guys in Vegas is awesome...that's what we've been saying!

we were planning on seeing Kaskade on our upcoming trip, and saw that Skrillex was playing XS's big 3rd birthday bash a few nights later. we saw him at Surrender last year and he totally converted me. the EDM Vegas renaissance can last forever as far as I'm concerned. =)

Damn, he must be tired after hitting the "Enter" key every 3 minutes for 2 hours. Serious talent.

I usually can't stand mikeE's writing. That's just my personal opinion.

When Wynncore announced his residency I was excited, and I am not a fan of his music. People who just brush off GOOD djs as people who just hit play obviously have no idea what they do to lead up to hitting play. The key word is GOOD. Someone like Deadmau5 and Skrillex work extremely hard writing music that lead up to that moment when the hit play. Then during the show they craft the experience, in Deadmau5's case he really controls the whole environment he is performing in. So Thanks mikeE for writing a story from someone who knows music and recognizes that while he is not everyone's cup of tea he is talented and Wynncore is extremely smart for bringing him in.

Thanks, Mike. You're dead-on about the significance of seeing a gamechanger in an intimate setting. I'm glad to read about it.

I guess stuff like this just isn't special to me since huge name acts like this come to Tampa at least once a month and play in the same two clubs, both of which are 2/3 the size of XS. Places that literally are pushing the envelope with a capacity of 250ish people.

Not saying it's not cool, XS is a very nice club though. I do have a question for JohnD or Mike, when you buy tickets to shows like this, is there a separate entrance for ticketholders? Since it's more set up like a concert venue on these nights and not like a club. When we go see ATB out there this year we're getting tickets in advance at Marquee and I'm sure they have the same set up. We'll probably see Deadmau5 here to if we can catch him and ATB in the same week.

Does anyone EVER get in the pool at XS or are you even allowed to when theres an artist playing? Like at this show for instance....

Yes, Tampa is wonderful.

Ticketholders at XS get priority entry into the club through the Brahms ballroom, separate to guests who purchased a table or the GA line. I don't know what the situation at Marquee is, but I do know that their door situation is a thing of nightmares. The ENTIRE second floor is an absolute clusterfuck when Marquee is open. Never mind that the crowds that frequent each club are vastly different.

I'm not really sure if the average guest is allowed into the pool at XS, but this particular night it was a little below 50 degrees outside. Clubgoers were having fun and drunk, but not insane. I've seen video of people in the pool during service, but those were of private functions and promotions the club had during pool season. Not sure if it's standard.

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