KAOS reigns during nightclub’s debut at Palms Las Vegas

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April 08, 2019 By Jason Bracelin

The fireworks were canceled.

No one seemed to notice.

Such was the giddy rush of light and sound as the new Kaos nightclub and dayclub opened at the Palms on Friday.

The planned pyrotechnics, which were to take place at midnight, had to be aborted because of President Donald Trump’s visit to Las Vegas and the need to keep any airborne projectiles out of Air Force One’s flight path.

Still, explosives or not, there was no shortage of things to make the eye pop here.

Part of the $620 million renovation of the Palms, Kaos was christened in a dusk-to-dawn bash encompassing multiple parts of the property, the celebration continuing on Saturday and Sunday with performances by the likes of Cardi B, J Balvin, The Zac Brown Band, Marshmello and others.

It was quite the night.

Here’s how it went down:

7:56 p.m. The faux Coca-Cola vending machine doubles as the portal to the evening. The novelty doorway opens up to Greene St. Kitchen, the luxe new Asian-fusion eatery flush with Banksy art, Top’s Big Boy statues and a vintage-arcade-game-festooned foyer. Here, the opening reception takes place. Expectations are high, the heels higher still as revelers sip Dom Perignon, feast on lobster tacos and get their first taste of Kaos dayclub and artist Damien Hirst’s “Demon with Bowl” sculpture, from which Green St.’s patio opens onto.

8:13 p.m. Ever eat oysters beneath the massive iron buttocks of a 60-foot-tall headless statue? You should try it sometime.

10:05 p.m. “We get to celebrate the beginning of something great, and we get to do it together,” Alicia Keys announces early during her set at the Pearl, where the floor is lined with candle-lit tables. By “something great,” clearly she’s referencing the act of eating oysters beneath the massive iron buttocks of 60-foot-tall headless statues.

10:11 p.m. Still marveling at how Keys manages to expertly work her piano foot pedals while sporting massive clogs with heels the size of saplings.

11:30 p.m. A trio of lines full of eager clubgoers feed into the nightclub. Anticipation hangs heavy in the air. No, wait, that’s cologne. Lots and lots of cologne.

12:15 p.m. Standing directly in front of the speakers on the Kaos dance floor as subwoofers vibrate is akin to standing in front of a baseball pitching machine set to “Nolan Ryan.” You feel as much as hear that which booms through the room.

12:25 p.m. “Matrix”-esque visuals pulsate across the high-tech layer cake of LED screens that illuminate the room from top to bottom. To quote Keanu Reeves himself, “Whoa.”

1:00 a.m. An equally punctual Skrillex clambers atop the DJ booth, swinging his arms like a desert island castaway trying to capture the attention of a passing ship as he begins his 90-minute set. The crowd on the floor is packed mosh-pit tight. Hard to bust moves when, you know, you can’t move. No one seems to care, because, Skrillex!

1:10 a.m. Tesla coils on the ceiling zap to life amid a constellation of seven disco balls. Shiny things rule.

1:54 a.m. Jellyfish swim cross the video screens — appropriately enough, as the spine-hammering beats threatened to reduce everyone here to invertebrates.

1:58 a.m. The DJ booth rotates around. Now Skrillex is performing in front of the throngs of fans massed outside in the dayclub area. The night air is cool. So is the contraption in question.

2:08 a.m. There are two things that no one needs right now: To be reminded that their bar tabs are approaching the kind of numbers that drive black-market kidney sales, and that “Gucci Gang” remix Skrillex just played.

2:16 a.m. “How you feeling right now?” Skrillex yells into the microphone. Numb. Thanks for asking.

3:12 a.m. Rapper Travis Scott begins his performances on the dayclub stage, the chill of the outdoors chased away by the heat of so many bodies packed in tight.

3:18 a.m. Scott makes his way into the nightclub, performing “Butterfly Effect” as the crowd explodes like a punctured keg. “That’s the energy we need right here,” he marvels.

3:25 a.m. “Oh my god, if you’re as drunk as I am. …” Scott pants into the mic. If? Rhetorical question, that, for those here doing it right.

3:50 a.m. The heels are off as a phalanx of partied-out partiers wait for Uber rides barefoot. The sun will be up soon. But not this crowd. Not after this night.

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