After more than a year of construction, Hakkasan got down to the business of bass on what was billed as its preview weekend, with a DJ roster that wasn’t so much “preview” as it was “major headliners.”
As far as we can tell, the only difference between the preview and the grand opening (set for April 25-28) is the number of Kardashians on hand. (Setting the over/under for the grand opening at two-and-a-half, and we’re taking action up through 8 p.m. on that Thursday.)
What the club may have lacked in Extra fodder, it made up for in DJs. Deadmau5 kicked everything off April 18, and Hardwell started his “Go Hardwell or Go Home” gig on April 19.
The space-and-the-future-themed set gave way the following evening to the Bingo Players, who came on around 1:30 a.m. and went until 5. Which still isn’t quite as cool as what was happening in the Ling Ling Club, where Roots drummer and future Tonight Show bandleader Questlove was doing an open-format set that ran from Miles Davis to Terence Trent D’Arby. So, really open format, then.
The last time Miles Davis got a spin in a Las Vegas club had to be about 1961 at the Dunes.
Indiana Jones and the Palace of Caesar
CinemaCon, the annual convention for the National Alliance of Theater Owners (as opposed to that other NATO of minor note), took over Caesars Palace April 15-18, with all the Hollywood players that it entails, like most of the cast of Star Trek Into Darkness, including producer Damon Lindeloff, or Michael Bay, who was there to tell anyone who’d listen that Pain & Gain showed off his new, mature style of filmmaking with fewer than six explosions per minute.
But if you wanted your stars accessible, you’d have needed to hang around the property’s restaurants. On April 18, Morgan Freeman ( who was there to collect his Cinema Icon Award) took in the Bacchanal Buffet for lunch.
That same day saw Owen Wilson checking out Restaurant Guy Savoy before the awards ceremony, and then dining again with Vince Vaughn at Nobu later in the night. The pair were given the Comedy Duo of the Year Award, either because of the upcoming The Internship, or because CinemaCon just got around to checking out Wedding Crashers on Netflix. Look, CinemaCon has been busy, so it had to wait until it worked through The Tree of Life, which had been on CinemaCon’s coffee table for like a month and a half, because it seemed like something CinemaCon should see, but ugh, CinemaCon totally had to be in the mood to sit through two-and-a-half hours of Terrence Malick.
The big gun, though, was Lifetime Achievement Award winner Harrison Ford, who got coffee at Payard Patisserie. It was really intense and slightly angry coffee that reminded Ford of a cup he had 30 years ago, when coffee seemed so effortless and charming.
Another One for the Road
The Great Nightlife Wars of ’13 will have to wait a little while longer to get going. Citing construction delays, Light at Mandalay Bay has pushed its opening back to Memorial Day Weekend, leaving Hakkansan uncontested for a couple of more weeks as the only shiny new toy in the box. … Nic Cage continues his Unlikely Pairing Tour of Las Vegas, following his April 16 visit to Million Dollar Quartet with Vince Neil by hanging with Jeff Bridges April 20 after Bridges’ concert at Red Rock Resort’s Rocks Lounge. … Rehab kicked off its 10th season April 21, meaning the girls who are climbing into bikinis and heels now were 11 when the weekly pool party first started going. You’re welcome.