To put it in vehicle terms, it’s Tao Beach Club ZX, and Jason Strauss said, “We really want to take this car for a ride.”
Bigger and more chic than ever, the Tao Beach Club hums once again at the Venetian. The rooftop pool deck was an unseen oasis for the past two years before reopening this weekend. Decked out in burnt orange and mahogany hues, the club now has a capacity of 3,000 guests, double the original. Luxury cabanas, 29 in all, surround the pool deck. Thirteen of these are the Jungle Cabanas with their own plunge pools and views of the pool deck and DJ stage.
“I think what we’ve built is a really big, beautiful day club that’s also intimate,” says Strauss, co-CEO of Tao Group Hospitality. “There is so much innate decor and little moments, I think guests are going to be wowed by the evolution of everyday Vegas life with this property.”
As Strauss speaks, the soft sound of a bamboo flute plays on the bridge, as if we are about to meditate.
TBC’s shiny setting feels unreal, like stepping into a movie set. It’s brand new, of course, not yet surpassed by these thousands of visitors. But the club’s singular renovation and expansion shows there’s no stopping the trend of massive, opulent dayclubs in Las Vegas.
Tao Group Hospitality operates many of these clubs, several of which were snapped up when it acquired the Hakkasan Group in April 2021 (with Hakkasan and Wet Republic at MGM Grand and Omnia at Caesars Palace in its arsenal). Its headlining lineup is dotted with club acts such as Above and Beyond, Alesso, Armin van Burren, Chris Lake Fisher, Flo Rida, John Summit, Loud Luxury, Mustard, Pauly D, Sam Feldt, Sofi Tukker, Timmy Trumpet, Tyga and Vintage culture. Tao’s resident DJs will also be touring via TBC. Lil Jon, Mustard and Tyga lead Sunday’s grand opening party.
Along the Strip, competition for everyday life has intensified with Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas, Drai’s at Cromwell and Ayu Dayclub at Resorts World Las Vegas (celebrating its first full-capacity pool season this year) also satisfying tourists’ thirst for daytime festivities.
“Everyday life is exploding,” says Strauss. “In nightlife, you arrive at noon and stay there for three hours and it’s a bit condensed. Here, people come at 1 p.m. and leave at 6 a.m., they have plenty of time for the experience. day is more enjoyable for a certain demographic, and you can have 15 to 20 people in a cabana instead of six at a table.
Some of these VIP huts can be quite steep. The Jungle Cabana, with full bottle service and a capacity of 15, costs $25,000. These are the favorite cabanas of famous club superstars. But the range drops to $1,000 for Daybed cabanas, $750 for a patio table (both for groups of up to six), and $20 individual pre-sale tickets for women, $30 for men.
In the longer term, Tao Group is a subsidiary of MSG Entertainment and owns a stake in MSG Sphere, which is expected to be completed next year. Strauss promises, “We also have restaurant announcements coming to the Strip soon.”
MusicCares pays tribute to Mitchell
Joni Mitchell was Person of the Year for this year’s MusicCares pre-Grammy fundraiser. The event took place in the Ballroom of the MGM Grand Conference Center. Jon Bastiste and Brandi Carlile served as co-directors. Violet Grohl, daughter of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, performed Mitchell’s “Help Me”.
The all-star range included John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, Angélique Kidjo, Allison Russell, Sara Bareilles, Chaka Khan, Leon Bridges, Black Pumas, Chloe Bailey and Pentatonix.
Mitchell has been largely absent from public appearances since suffering a brain aneurysm seven years ago. As she said from the stage, quoted by Variety, “It was such an exciting musical evening for me, to hear my music performed so well by everyone on stage. I could retire now and leave the others do it.
Viva Boe Vegas
A Westgate Las Vegas headliner is up for a Grammy, and it’s not Barry Manilow. Not this year, anyway. Musical theater icon Alfie Boe is nominated for Best Musical Theater Album for “Les Miserables: The Staged Concert”. Boe won a Tony as a cast member of by Baz Luhrmann 2002 revival of “La Bohème” on Broadway. Boe is set to perform a show called “Showstoppers” (we remember that title at the Wynn) on June 3-4. We also remember him as one of the first singers to debut “Super Karaoke” at the Westgate SuperBook last June. “We Are The Champions” was the lid lifter.
“The Masked Singer” has a three-headed character named Hydra. It could be a duo inside this costume. The voice sounds so familiar to me. And Hydra is actually a Gillette product. Penn Jillette has already participated in competitions (“Dancing With the Stars”, “Celebrity Apprentice”). I think Penn & Teller are in this show, people.
Block party on Fremont East
Cheapshot the nightclub and “Mavericks” the variety show both opened Friday night. Amy Saunders of “Miss Behave Game Show” fame reenacted the kind of show she promised: Ribald, unique, talented, funny and passionate. Saunders, hosts, also swallows most of a cocktail table leg and slides a rose stem up her tongue.
Snaps last night from @WeAllScreamDTLV “A sensory overload of club, music, art… and ice cream”, next to @cheapshotdtlv on Fremont East. Groovy 10,000 square foot nightclub/confectionery. Soft opening Friday. Grand opening on May 4, like Cheapshot. #RJNow @reviewjournal pic.twitter.com/85SWYR2IjC
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) April 2, 2022
Among the many highlights: Adam Kutchler performs a juggling act with a cigar box. Burlesque icon and 2006 Miss Exotic World Champion Julie Atlas Muz revives his original fake hand act, dubbed simply “The Hand”. Harrah’s Cabaret headliner band face featured guest, bringing his duet “Endless Love” with his singing oven mitts. There is a chicken, or rather a person in a chicken costume, spinning hoops. She is Tanya Won. Get to know her.
We consider “Mavericks” the type of spectacle Vegas needs to fully earn its reputation as the entertainment capital of the world. We have festivals. We have touring shows in stadiums and arenas. We have superstar headliners, night and day clubs (see above), top production shows, magic acts and comedy clubs.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) April 2, 2022
But we also need specialized adult actors, offbeat and quirky, downtown. And we need someone we can trust to bring him home. Something that is not institutional fare. This is where Miss Behave comes in. She sings (a little) “My Way” to finish, and when you visit Cheapshot, you’ll know why.
Fremont East does not have a glacier. I hadn’t thought of that until Ryan Doherty casually mentioned it as we were crossing what will be a glacier. We All Scream is the venue, a project of Doherty’s Corner Bar Management, next to Cheapshot, which is also a Corner Bar space. The new confectionery/club opens softly on Friday, with its grand opening on May 4, also when Cheapshot celebrates its official premiere.
We All Scream is a two-level, 10,000 square foot venue designed as the kind of malt shop where Archie, Bett and Veronica would hang out (Google it). The club opens on Fremont Street. In the back, you see…well, the back, the club’s driveway patio, where some of the former Beauty Bar pieces are currently stored.
Inside there are pastel colored ice cream cones, stars, a funky stairwell that leads to the rooftop terrace overlooking downtown sights like El Cortez, Therapy, Evel Pie and (Friday) a chain of Metro Police units.
There are half a dozen flavors in We All Scream, but more relevant, plus a full bar, dance floor (or, if you like, grove terrace), and dedicated DJ booth. “A sensory overload of club, music, art…and ice cream,” is the formal description. Hours will be 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. A day-long party opens in September, at 3 p.m. on these days, when the temperatures cool down.
An announcement is expected this week that a longtime Strip act is moving to an off-Strip showroom popular with locals. More to reveal…
Silk Sonic is all this
Members of BTS visited Sonic Silk at Dolby Live on Saturday night. Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak posed with three of the guys, who would have been wise to take mental notes of the show’s choreography. And also prepare a cover of “Fly As Me”.
cool hang alert
The vocal ensemble These guys in the world runs the 5:30-8:30 p.m. slot on Fridays and Saturdays at the Desert Star Bar at Mohegan Sun Casino inside the Virgin Hotel Las Vegas. That’s almost as many thing titles as there are members of These Guys. But the act is really fun, inventive, all the signature, rapping, music and beats coming from the vocals. No cover. Tips accepted.
John Katsilometes’ column airs daily in Section A. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] To follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.