Nightclubs, concert venues and restaurants ring in the New Year in Las Vegas
By Jack Houston
If you’re reading these words, the end of the most recent Mayan Calendar did not bring about the apocalypse. At press time, we were all alive, well and happily preparing for another New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, one in which a Korean hip-hop star with nearly a billion YouTube views, a reality TV couple with a gangsta rap pedigree and improbable measurements and a singing competition judge set on conquering the Strip next year as a modern-day Liberace were all set to take on the biggest night of the year in high style. And now that we’re safe at least until 2407, it’s time to celebrate. So, read on, reader.
Palms’ Spectacular Spectacular NYE Weekend spans three clubs, including the now-shuttered Rain Nightclub, which returns to prominence for parties hosted by Kelly Rowland (Dec. 29) and featuring performances by Travis Barker and Yelawolf (Dec. 31). Ghostbar has DJ Lisa Pittman (Dec. 28), Brett Rubin, Jordan Stevens and Ryne Green (Dec. 30) and a special Ghostbar Dayclub getting under way at 1 p.m. (Dec. 29). At Moon, say hello to DJ M!keattack (Dec. 28), Questlove and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Dec. 29), Iggy Azelea (Dec. 30) and Wynter Gordon (Dec. 31). Chateau Nightclub & Gardens (Paris) welcomes UFC ring girl Brittney Palmer (Dec. 28), British electropop singer Neon Hitch (Dec. 29), Voice judge and future Loberace star CeeLo Green (Dec. 30) and 2 Chainz (Dec. 31). Tao (The Venetian) brings in Nas (Dec. 28), fresh off the release of the rapper’s Life is Good album in July, and J. Cole (Dec. 31), while sister club Lavo (The Palazzo) rings in the New Year with Moesha herself, the multihyphenate Brandy (Dec. 31). Pure Nightclub (Caesars Palace) flies in “Gangnam Style” rapper Psy (Dec. 29) for a birthday celebration and performance, while Nicki Minaj (Dec. 31) holds down end-of-the-year duties. The most celebrated of all Kardashians, the ubiquitous Kim (Dec. 31), takes over 1 OAK (The Mirage) following appearances by A-Trak (Dec. 28) and Tyga (Dec. 30). Over at LAX (Luxor), it’s all about Ice-T and wife Coco (Dec. 31), who recently began a headlining run in Planet Hollywood’s Peepshow. The Bank (Bellagio) gets the party started with a live performance by Ludacris (Dec. 29) and turns the calendar with “Pumped Up Kicks” hitmakers Foster the People. One of the year’s biggest success stories, chart-toppers fun. (Dec. 31) highlight New Year’s Eve at Haze (Aria), cranking out hits such as “Some Nights” and “We Are Young,” while Laidback Luke (Dec. 29) and John Legend (Dec. 30) set the tone earlier in the week. Elsewhere, R&B singer Lloyd (Dec. 31) makes his home at The Beatles Revolution Lounge (The Mirage). Jersey Shore’s resident DJ Pauly D (Dec. 30) gets things popping at Vanity (Hard Rock Hotel), but it’s nearby Body English that makes its triumphant return on Dec. 28.
Downtown, Buckcherry and Queensrÿche co-headline Fremont Street Experience’s festivities on Dec. 31, with special guests Quiet Riot, Pop Evil and Otherwise, and additional performances from Yellow Brick Road, Zowie Bowie, Jizzy Pearl, Rok of Ages, Party Rockers and Brazen. The annual TributePalooza (Dec. 29-30)brings in some of the country’s top tribute acts performing the hits of the Rolling Stones, U2, Van Halen, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and No Doubt. The Joint (Hard Rock Hotel) celebrates the return of Grammy winners The Black Keys (Dec. 30-31), while House of Blues (Mandalay Bay) welcomes back country singer Gary Allan (Dec. 31). Other concerts on Dec. 30 include offerings from The Eagles, Maroon 5 and MC Hammer.
Most of the restaurants on the Strip are rolling out special or prix fixe menus in honor of the changing of the calendar. Some of the finest can be found at Social House (Crystals), where executive chef John Chien Lee goes eight courses deep with Asian specialties—ginger sweetbreads, Chilean sea bass, Angus 300 tenderloin—for a very reasonable $125. New this year, Gordon Ramsay Steak’s (Paris) five-course menu is a $200 greatest hits list that culminates with Ramsay’s beef Wellington. The revamped Red Square (Mandalay Bay) puts together a four-courser of top shared plates for $125, with bottomless Veuve Clicquot for an extra $50, while neighboring Tender Steak & Seafood (Luxor) offers a filet and lobster special for $95 per person. For an upscale treat, Restaurant Guy Savoy (Caesars Palace) compiles five courses of Savoy classics on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1—the famed Colors of Caviar, crispy French sea bass and artichoke and black truffle soup—for $290 per person.