Sin City has something for everyone. To prove it, we’re breaking down the nightlife and giving each style its own spotlight. Tonight we’re dropping the bass on the EDM Freak.
You come alive at 2 a.m. You’d take neon over pastels any early morning of the week. And your heartbeat is basically dub step. You can’t say you have a set style because it evolves with the DJ you’re seeing. But as long as it’s freeing enough to dance you don’t really care anyway. In a city of big clubs and bigger egos on the DJs, you’re the one who knows true deep house from trap or whatever they’re passing off as trance these days. But even if you have to sit out a few songs because you just can’t stand hearing the phrase, “I don’t care” shouted by a crowd anymore, you still know the best times to get on your feet. So if you need a place to hold you over until EDC, here are the best spots to dance and freak to music that won’t totally kill the scene.
Sure, it’s pretty mainstream at this point, and commercial music reigns supreme, but Marquee still knows how to bring up a decent DJ, even if they have to cut it with some big names. But for a major and well-known club on the Las Vegas Strip, Marquee stays true to the innovative and underground nature of electronic music. Marquee is the place to catch the DJs who are just outside enough to give you some cred, while still popular enough that you won’t have to lie about knowing who they are. The digs get more mainstream toward the end of the year with Chuckie and Drake, but before then you can catch a lot of Firebeatz, a bit of Cedric Gervais and even some Ashley Wallbridge. When you want to feel like the most knowledgeable cat in the room, Marquee can be the place to dance past the masses and prove you know your music.
Part of a trio of outstanding clubs at Wynn and Encore also including Surrender and Tryst, XS is the place where artists like Zedd, Konflikt and Cazzette find their groove. Aside from the incredible music, XS has a perfectly designed layout to keep the true ravers engaged, even when they have to elbow their way past the people who just wanted to feel cool for a night. If you can swing it, score yourself a table on the dance floor and let everyone else stick to the upper tiers. But even if you’re a purist who doesn’t believe in sitting at a club, or is just used to sitting in a corner of a warehouse rave when you get too tired or dehydrated to move anymore, XS has the space, and the solid sounds, to keep you on your feet all night. Yes, they have some popular names in residence, but XS, and all the Wynn/Encore clubs, know their roots.
We’re not sure if they keep the “i” in LiFE small because they want to symbolize how the individual feels amongst the throngs or if it was just a style choice that seems to have worked out, but either way it brings a little something extra to this already expressive club. LiFE likes to say it’s all about rebellion, but we can’t think of a real rebellion that draws in the kinds of crowds that LiFE can. If you’re looking to rebel against the type of EDM you hear rehashed, remixed and regurgitated over and over in other clubs, LiFE is the spot for you. Fresh DJs like Erick Morillo, Zen Freeman and EDX get the beats raging and the lights blazing. And every night feels like a resurgence of what clubbing is supposed to be – a night for the people. When you’re tired of fawning over DJs who care more about their image than making great music, get to LiFE.
Now we get to go deep. After Las Vegas isn’t a club or a bar or even a current residency. At this point it’s more of a roaming party/concept. Previously gracing bars like 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque at Mandalay Place and events like the Life Is Beautiful Festival, After Las Vegas is currently throwing random parties around the city and doing everything possible to keep the underground scene alive. Featuring an alluring array of DJs like Spacebyrdz, Brett Rubin and Black Boots, this party is so pure the organizers have created a list of rules their DJs must follow. No hip-hop or trap, no pre-mixed sets, nothing by a list of mainstream artists that are at this point so popular your mom has probably heard of them and no saying “a f***ing word on the microphone (unless directed otherwise by management or singing live)” are just a few of the requirements. That’s the level of sincerity and care for the community we’re talking about. After is the party you might have to search for. But as any good EDM Freak knows, the places that take effort to find are the places you never forget.
Here’s the deal with Vegas, from an honest insider perspective: We go big, we go loud, we go bright and we go expensive. If you want to party all night in an abandoned warehouse to sounds someone put together in their garage, you might have a hard time finding that. But if you can handle even the medium names in EDM, and are alright with suffering through a few commercial tunes to get to the tracks you appreciate, the night will pay off for the purist – usually. Clubs like Surrender, Light and Drai’s bust up the mix with deep house. You just might have to listen hard. In Vegas, if you can afford to buy out the club for the night you can hear anything and everything you want. If you can’t, then enjoy yourself at one of the clubs we’ve mentioned and just be sure to pick a night with a DJ you know you can trust.