“My name is DJ AM and I have one question for you…”
”Do my ladies run this motherfucker?”
And with that popular crowd-rousing sample, AM kicked off his first set at Rain.
The preceding video intro for AM was classic: AM getting ready for the gig, pulling up to the venue and walking through the backstage area. A digital alarm clock on the screen at precisely 12:00 a.m. signified his arrival, and the insanely packed nightclub went expectedly wild.
This was all before I almost had to cutta bitch. But I’ll get to that later.
When the Palms brought DJ Paul Oakenfold on last year for the high-production Perfecto party on Saturdays, the ultimate Vegas nightlife experience was born. Now, with AM decamping from his longtime home of Pure at Caesars Palace, the Palms has the two biggest residents in town and is likely going to kick some nightclub ass. Other clubs are probably pissing themselves in fear right now.
Where Saturdays with Oakie have over-the-top performances, insane visuals, aerialists and a crowd of dance music fans, the AM audience was just as enthusiastic for the mash-up master, though on Friday it was a sea of camera phones raised in unison instead of glowsticks. Warhol-esque images of AM’s face intermixed with a game of Pac-Man on speed projected on the screens. Good times.
Rain has made a decisive move to cater to various Vegas nightclub crowds. For the folks who love all things commercial—songs they recognize, old skool hip-hop throw backs, top 40 floor shakers—there’s AM. Then Oakenfold delights the electronic dance music community who worships house, trance and the like. While I fall into the later category and cringe every time I’m commanded to put my hands up (at least five different times while I listened to AM’s set), I can understand and appreciate the appeal to the masses.
And AM is a master at what he does. Watching him on stage is entertainment in itself, as he beat juggles between his two records with amazing skill (and before you say anything, I know he’s not using vinyl. You could see his MacBook from the back of the club; I’d bet he uses Serato).
“To the windooow. To the wall! Shake it like a saltshaker ‘cause I’m crazy in love—drink spilled on me—Work it. Make it. Do it. Makes us. Harder, better, faster, stronger—foot stepped on—That that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger, I wanna rock with you (all night). Dance with you—spill a drink on myself—Louie, Louie! Let’s hear it for the boy. Push it real good and gimmie more.”
You get the idea. And the crowd loved it, so good for AM. Go-gos in neon bikinis with his logo on their asses didn’t hurt either.
Speaking of ass, I saw a lot of it last night. Girls getting down on the dance floor and pressed against the glass on upper levels in über-short skirts were oblivious to the fabric riding up to alarming heights and exposing entire derrieres. I felt like an OB/GYN. Goodness.
I almost had to kick some ass, too, thanks to a drunk bachelorette with a stupid veil adorned in plastic penises who busted out the kitten claws and scratched my back as I tried to get through the insanely packed club to the exit. Since I’m a big fan of Perfecto, I restrained myself from retaliating and facing subsequent banishment from Rain.
My personal rants and opinions aside, it really was a stellar night at Rain for AM’s inaugural set at his new home. People are going to flock to his new Friday night residency, and they will surely have a blast. Just watch out for bachelorettes. Hip-hop makes them angry.
(Originally published at LasVegasWeekly.com)