It’s 9:57 PM on Saturday night when I arrive at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Tonight we have an itinerary of music that includes three shows at three different venues. First up is a band from Manchester U.K. that goes by The 1975, followed by two club shows performed by Toronto’s Abel Tesfaye otherwise known as The Weeknd. We’re prepared for a late night as the expected set times for all three shows are 10:30 PM, 1:00 AM, and 2:30 AM. However, our night won’t go according to plan.
(Photo credit: Chase Stevens)
The 1975 is performing in the Hard Rock’s newest music venue that goes by the name “Vinyl”. It’s a smaller venue that can pack a large sound. Vinyl is perfect for up and coming artist, and perfect for fans to get up-close and personal.
Before tonight, I didn’t know much about The 1975’s music or what to expect. When the band took the stage wearing all black, the crowd filled with late teenagers erupted in screams and applause. The band wasted no time getting straight to business playing an energetic set with barely any breaks between songs. The sold out crowd danced all night to a sound that included a mixture of pop rock and electronica. After the band played a full set of hits which included “Chocolate” and “The City” from their self-titled album, we were on to the second show of the night.
The Weeknd is set to perform at PURE Nightclub inside Caesars Palace. Unlike The 1975, I am very familiar with The Weeknd’s catalog of music. In 2011 The Weeknd came out of nowhere and released three 50 minute mixtapes for free download. His sound caught the attention of Drake who then heavily recruited The Weeknd to work on his second full-length album, “Take Care”. Both The Weeknd and Drake share a Grammy for Best Rap Album under “Take Care”. The Weeknd’s three mixtapes were later re-mastered and re-released under the album name, “Trilogy”. Even though The Weeknd released all three mixtapes for free, “Trilogy” still managed to go platinum. Now coming off his tour in support of his debut studio album “Kissland”, the Weeknd will play Vegas for the first time.
(Photo credit: Erik Kabik)
We arrive to PURE Nightclub and its wall-to-wall jammed packed with fans. It’s a little after 1:00 AM when The Weeknd arrives on stage. He jumps into “Crew Love”, a song he collaborated with Drake for the “Take Care” album and then into “Remember You”, a song he collaborated with Wiz Khalifa. However, that was it. The set was over. Luckily we had one more show to go before the night ended. This time The Weekend will be performing at Hakkasan Nightclub inside the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
(Photo credit: Erik Kabik)
Traffic was heavy on the strip so our driver took us down the back roads. But for some reason he made a stop. We arrived to Hakkasan a little after 2:30 AM and got the news that The Weeknd’s performance was over. We missed his second act. However, the energy was still buzzing inside the nightclub. We danced until our feet couldn’t take anymore and checked off a night filled with great music, great friends, and great moments.
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What I’m listening to:
Taj Simpson is OLE MASON JAR's music correspondent who lives in Las Vegas, NV. Always dressed for the right occasion, Taj also has a keen ear for the right sound...keeping us at the forefront of the music scene, and in tune with the freshest tracks and artists you may / or may not have heard of.