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Kaos set to make a splash in Las Vegas club scene

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April 05, 2019 By Jason Bracelin

The neon greeting illuminates the entryway — and the reason for entering.

“Disappear Here.”

This is the message that welcomes those who cross one of the three thresholds to Kaos, Las Vegas’ newest Xanadu of light and sound debuting at the Palms on Thursday night with confetti cannons and telescoping chandeliers.

The opening corridor of the luxe, labyrinthine nightclub/dayclub complex is an attraction in itself, a luminous, immersive walkway with an LED canopy swarming with color.

On a preview tour of the property, one spectator aptly likened the experience of strolling through said passageway to boarding Disneyland’s Space Mountain roller coaster during its glowing, vertiginous initial ascent.

Once inside the nightclub’s main room, the setting is dominated by a massive lighting rig befitting an arena rock act fond of shrinking pupils en masse — speaking of arena rock shows, the sound system here is large enough to power two of them simultaneously, 125 subwoofers and all.

The 29,000-square-foot club is engulfed in more than 50 million pixels of LED video mapping, the facades of its multiple levels and the custom Tesla-coil ceiling itself pulsating with programmable video screens.

They tower over a champagne vault on the nightclub’s main floor. Inside the chilly room, patrons can select rare and high-end bottles presented to them by white-gloved servers.

Nearby, a movable DJ booth sits on a base that rotates 360 degrees, allowing artists to perform to the nightclub or the dayclub just outside the sliding panel doors.

‘Everything is just over the top’

“The production as a whole, I’ve never seen anything like that at any nightclub space in the world,” says Ronn Nicolli, senior vice president of creative strategy for Kaos. “We have certain DJs and artists who have really geeked out on the whole production side of it. I remember sitting in my first production meeting, and we did a walk-through with one of our tier-one artists, and the guy is just geeking out. Everything is just over the top.”

Kaos’ talent lineup during this weekend’s opening festivities and beyond is defined by diversity, featuring hip-hop stars Travis Scott, Cardi B and G-Eazy, Latin music prime movers J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Ozuna and EDM heavyweights Skrillex, Deadmaus, Marshmello and Kaskade, to name a few.

“I remember looking around town and seeing that everyone was identifying themselves by a specific music type,” Nicolli says. “I didn’t think anyone had come out of the box and said, ‘Hey, let’s look at a deeper selection of opportunities, let’s go after a lot of different demos, let’s create a lot of different sounds and package them under one brand that we’re building.”

That brand extends to the dayclub.

The most neck-swiveling feature of the 73,000-square-foot space is artist Damien Hirst’s headless, 60-foot-tall, anatomically correct “Demon With Bowl” sculpture. It’ll cast shadows over what’s being billed as the dayclub with the most pools of any such property in North America, with most of the 39 cabanas and their navy-blue-and-white color schemes boasting their own private dipping spots.

The high-tech flourishes extend to the outdoors, with a customized stage whose lotus-petal-shaped roof doubles as a video screen for all the lasers mounted atop white light poles.

As with the nightclub, the bookings will favor a wide range of artists, with country troupe the Zac Brown Band, for instance, performing there Sunday night.

A welcome opening

All told, Kaos’ debut is a timely one, especially for a nightclub veteran such as Nicolli, who joined the Kaos team around five months ago after serving as a senior marketing executive for Wynn Las Vegas, where he helped oversee properties such as Tryst and XS.

It’s been four years since the last megaclub opened when Omnia debuted at Caesars Palace in 2015, and some of the most popular dayclubs such as Wet Republic at the MGM Grand and Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas have been packing them in for a decade.

Though Nicolli once faced the prospect of having to go head-to-head with Kaos, he saw an opening in its opening.

“Even when I was going to have to compete with this property, I was looking at the opportunity of, ‘Wait a second, this opening puts something new in Vegas that I think can create critical mass and buzz,’” Nicolli says. “I feel the last few years have kind of fallen short with having that type of buzz. I remember thinking to myself, ‘In the end, this is good for Vegas.’”


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