If you’re going to name your party FlossVegas, it’s good to get in touch with the city you’re celebrating. Chicago trap/EDM duo Flosstradamus does just that when not performing at numerous Surrender and Encore Beach Club gigs. Members J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci) are no strangers to venturing beyond the Strip. The first time they played in town was at the Double Down Saloon, they frequent the Pinball Hall of Fame and they even spent J2K’s bachelor party Downtown.
“We’re always in the clubs on the Strip, so it’s more expensive there and it’s fun for someone our age—but we’re getting a little bit older,” Autobot says. “Anytime we come Downtown, the people around here just seem more real, it’s a little more gutter, but it’s cool. Everything’s cheaper, it seems like your dollar can stretch a little bit more if you’re trying to gamble, and it’s a little more organic and better of a time.”
Adds J2K: “We just found it a little more catered to our personality, our sense of style. There’s some places on the Strip that are real hoighty-toighty, like, ‘Take your hat off,’ and all that sh*t, so we avoided all that and just came and hung out with the people.”
The personable pair were all-in when I invited them out to the Fremont East Entertainment District to expose them to a few more spots they might dig. They then paired each of their drinks—and the bar that served them—to a Flosstradamus track for a FlossVegas pubcrawl playlist.
Song: “Lana’s Theme” | Drink: Blood Orange beer
“This is a bar definitely for craft beers,” Autobot says upon arriving at the Griffin. The guys order a round of blood-orange drafts. “This is the most bitter, lemony thing I’ve ever drank in my whole life,” J2K says with a sour face. Autobot sips his beer. “It’s like a Cry Baby! Remember that gum? It’s like a Cry Baby soaked in beer.”
Later, J2K takes in the scene. “I would say this is like a Fleetwood Mac kind of bar, like a ’60s or ’70s kind of vibe, or it could be even older than that; it’s like a dungeon a little bit.” Adds Autobot, “It [has] a very Wiccan-y vibe.”
Song: “Total Recall” | Drinks: Zelda (Autobot), Black Ops (J2K)
After checking out the video game-themed cocktail menu, the guys are inspired to make up their own Mortal Kombat cocktail called the Finish Her. “It’s a double shot of Jäger,” J2K jokes.
Before running with a handful of quarters to play arcade games, Autobot surveys the room and decides the bar would be perfect for breaking the ice on a date. J2K agrees. “It’s definitely a place I’d bring a girl, for sure. My wife and I, before we go to the movies, we always go a little early to hit up the arcade every time. We’re always playing Time Crisis.”
Autobot then comes up with his own soundtrack for the venue. “You could be cliché and say ’80s [music], dance music, Hi-NRG—you could even say happy hardcore could get played here because Dance Dance Revolution, and that sh*t is all about that happy hardcore stuff.”
DOWNTOWN COCKTAIL ROOM
Song: “Soundclash” | Drink: Vieux Carre absinthe
“I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna turn it up,” Autobot says, looking at the menu and spotting the absinthe. “Last time I had absinthe, I set my whole hand on fire. It was on my 24th birthday or something, and I started off the night with absinthe and I blacked out really quickly. Then we had flaming shots at a bar and I cheersed it, but I was so drunk it spilled all over my hand and lit my hand on fire. Just keep the flames away.”
“Liquor before beer, always,” J2K says. “Absinthe before beer, you set your hand on fire—lesser known thing.”
Autobot suggests DCR—with its extensive craft cocktail options and high-end mixology—would be a night’s good first stop to get a tasty drink. “Then once you’re drunk, you can buy the cheaper sh*t, go to Beauty Bar and drink PBR or something like that.”
The guys later return to Surrender, but not before one last sip of absinthe—and one last observation from Autobot: “Downtown Vegas—[where] the laws don’t apply.”
Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly.