Thursday, June 19, 2014

that was fun...

Will and I just had an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience: we had dinner with The Crystal Method, then got to hang out with them behind the scenes at one of their gigs. And party with them. Lots of dancing and partying.

It ended up being a last-minute thing, with about a week's notice...we were on the list to hang with them for "a Vegas show", but no idea when it would be [we were crossing our fingers it didn't conflict with any of the copious travel Will has been doing for work]. We get a call last week, saying there was a spur-of-the-moment show happening in Las Vegas, could we make it? We had about a day to decide/arrange things, and we were already burning our "dog/house-sitting" credit with a friend for a trip coming up in a few months, so it was looking like we were going to have to say "thanks, guys, but we'll pass on this one and catch up with you a bit later on". Then Will saw an article online about this show being their 20th anniversary celebration in their home town of Vegas.

Thus began the scrambling.

Long story short: we found someone to watch the dog and the house, and we headed to Vegas Tuesday afternoon. The flight was a good one, one that could have been so, so much worse...we were seated next to a woman holding her five-month old baby. But she was awesome company; we shared stories about traveling and the Louvre and Paris and Normandy, and her little one was amazingly well-behaved. The two times he started to fuss [take-off and landing, when the change in air pressure bothered him], she soothed him quickly and he quieted down almost right away.

We lucked out. Big time.

Got into McCarran with no troubles, and grabbed a cab to the hotel while exchanging texts and emails with Sadaf, the seriously awesome woman who was wrangling everything [crazy respect for her...what she does a tough job, and she rocked it]. We were staying at The Cosmopolitan...I'd not stayed there before, so I had no idea what to expect. Interestingly eclectic decor, like they were trying for a New York "urban couture" fashiony kind of the wallpaper in our bathroom:


The band were staying in the same hotel, so dinner location was easy: downstairs. We headed to The Henry and met with Sadaf, then hung out for a bit waiting for the rest of the gang arrived. We had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be even better than we could imagine...the group ended up being Scott and Ken [aka The Crystal Method] and Sadaf, a few friends of the guys, and Ken's wife, mom, dad, and brother. A much more intimate and personal gathering than we expected, and we were lucky to be a part of it.

It was a fun, chatty, interesting, and relaxed dinner; everyone was just so frickin' cool and genuine and down-to-earth. Ken was a brilliant host, making sure to introduce us to everyone, telling them we were "with the band". Lots of good conversation with Ken's brother Frank [a musician and artist] and his parents, interesting talks with Scott about Fantasy Island plots and how the EDM scene has grown and changed over the years. It was truly mind-boggling to be in the cab from the airport and see billboards for Tiesto and Avicii and Benny music is now not only a club staple, but DJs and musicians are *headlining* huge shows. It's an awesome thing to see.

We had to actually reign in the dinner fun to head to the club, since it was getting late...we peeled off in twos and threes and headed over. A surprisingly short walk for Vegas [where distances are really deceiving], and ten minutes later we were in the guest line, watching a poor guy stressing about not being able to find our names [seriously, he seemed like he was going to get in trouble for the confusion...I guess there were some troubles with the list that night, so some high-power people were getting really upset].

It all cleared up with minimal fuss, so up we headed to the rooftop to Drai's Beach Club. Palm trees, a swimming pool, and waitresses in skimpy bikinis and sailor's caps [the guys working there were in less revealing attire, a serious double standard, I think]. Can I just say how cool it is to be the ones going behind the ropes?? I could definitely get spoiled by it.

The aforementioned bikini and sailor's cap.

A fuzzy panorama of the view from the Beach Club.

And so the party began. Many bottles of vodka, tonic, cranberry, and tequila were consumed, and copious limes were sacrificed to the tequila gods. The opening acts were excellent, there was much dancing [and drinking] and mingling [and drinking] and a surprising number of good conversations were had [and drinking]. A very large number of very genuine and fun felt like a big family, and they were all going out of their way to make sure we were a part of everything. Phone numbers exchanged, email addresses traded, hugs given, and much dancing and bouncing and swaying and complete enjoyment of the music.

Our hotel, The Cosmopolitan, "just down the street" from the club.

Caesar's Palace across the street [that's Ken in the lower right and Janine in the spangly headband].

The Bellagio. We had some amazing views of the water show from up here. Bonus shot of Will trying to avoid being photographed. :^)

I'm sure it goes without saying that Ken and Scott's set was AWESOME. A mixed set of some of their own stuff and some DJing, some old, some new. It is always cool to watch a DJ do their thing, and these guys worked hard while making it look easy. High, high energy from them and from the crowd, and they were crazy interactive with could tell they love what they do.

Scott on the left, Ken on the right.

It was hard to get a good picture of this...that's Janine on a raised platform on the side of the stage, dancing and absolutely owning a hula hoop. She rocked it.

Really good crowd, very high energy.

Another DJ kept it going after Scott and Ken were done with their set, and the party lasted until about 4:30am...we were going to go out with Frank and some friends after, but it meant he would have had to drive us to and from our hotel and we didn't want to cause complications, so we begged for a raincheck and made our way back to the hotel. Before everything ended, Janine grabbed us for a photo with Scott and Ken:

I love how it looks like Scott is photobombing his own picture.

And so we all said our goodbyes, with us thanking them many many times for such a terrific time...then Will and I made our way back to the hotel, to try to grab a few hours of sleep before we headed back to the airport and back home. It was an experience that we will remember for a very long time...and one not without its aftermath:

Tequila is a cruel and wicked master.

An absolutely awesome time that we would do again in a heartbeat.

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