Cardi B & Travis Scott Usher In The Era Of Hip-Hop Las Vegas Residencies
Las Vegas is often referred to as Sin City: casinos, sex, parties, spur-of-the-moment marriages, and everything in between are typical when describing the Las Vegas experience. With the massive $690 million renovations that the Palms Casino Resort undertook a year ago, the famous destination is looking to refresh and reinvigorate the Vegas idea. This year, we've seen more hip-hop musicians sign on for exclusive deals in the city, already beginning to reconfigure the status quo. Instead of Britney Spears and Mariah Carey, Travis Scott and Cardi B have become the main musical attractions. The days of nostalgia-filled Vegas nights will soon be an era bygone.
The reveal has already been one of the most buzzworthy talking points around Vegas. The locals are generally excited for an off-strip hotel to be regaining some much-needed traction after slightly falling off and losing visitors to their competitors in the center of the action. Instead of relocating, the Palms is content with bringing all the action to their doorsteps. A few months ago, they introduced a stellar list of residencies that would be kicking off during the opening weekend of KAOS. Cardi B, G-Eazy, Travis Scott, Marshmello, Southside, J Balvin, and so many others were included on the list. This reimagined Las Vegas staple is no longer relegated to the confines of our mind, because this weekend KAOS officially opened, giving us an intimate look at what their residencies will entail.
Before the event even kicked off, a promotional video was released, showing just how extravagant the renovations are. Among the new arrivals at the Palms are fine dining destinations like Shark, a concept created by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, and Greene St. Kitchen, which features gorgeous artworks by Banksy and a selection of works by some of the most world-renowned street artists. KAOS itself is the real draw though. Staying true to its roots, KAOS Dayclub & Nightclub is where the "resort" part of your stay comes in.
Roger Kisby/Getty Images - A view of the fireworks at the 'Night Two At Palms Casino Resort's KAOS Dayclub & Nightclub With Cardi B, G-Eazy, J Balvin For Grand Opening Weekend' event on April 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada
The space is absolutely massive with the nightclub clocking in at 29,000 square feet and the dayclub hitting a modest 73,000 square feet. You get to choose between a large number of pools in the day area, with the opportunity to camp out by the stage to witness one of the world's top DJs performing up close and personal. If you prefer to take everything in from a distance, you can stay inside your cabana with bottle service and an extensive food and alcohol menu, still enjoying a great view of the stage. In the middle of the main pool, there is a gigantic Damien Hirst installation, seen in the photos above and below, which is the true focal point of the dayclub's design.
Things get special when you consider all of the star power involved in making the grand opening of KAOS so successful. Upon my arrival, I dropped my bags off in my room and made my way downstairs to the casino. When I walked out of the elevator, Xzibit was standing right there, speaking with a few fans. The feeling of perpetual star-studded-ness would continue throughout the weekend. Friday night, Travis Scott signed on to complete the first night of his Vegas residency, closing out the night, or rather, next day, with a set at 4 AM. Before taking the stage though, the Houston-bred talent could be seen lounging at one of the table games in the middle of the lobby, pushing his luck and gambling with hundreds of other high rollers.
Denise Truscello/Getty Images - A general view at Palms Casino Resort's KAOS Dayclub for grand opening weekend on April 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Friday night's festivities began with an intimate performance from Alicia Keys before everybody made their way over to KAOS to catch performances from the legendary Scott Storch, the buzzing SAINt JHN, the always-entertaining Skrillex and, the main attraction, Travis Scott. Screens line the ceiling as you walk into the nightclub, filling the hallway with a mystifying amount of detail and glitz. You have the choice of either being part of the action on the ground floor or you can climb up to the mezzanine for table service and comfortable seating. I opted for the latter, overlooking the lively room and absorbing the impressive acoustics. The energy transferred from the 360-degree revolving DJ booth to the complete opposite end of the room. The celeb-filled audience, including Floyd Mayweather Sr., Reggie Bush, Machine Gun Kelly and more thinned out slowly before the night came to a close with Travis Scott.
Night two actually began at 3 in the afternoon with a special performance from Marshmello to kick off the residencies at the Dayclub. There is a more traditional stage next to the primary pool but at night, the space can be converted into a mega-club with both the Day and Night sections meeting by way of the spinning DJ booth. Shortly after a fireworks display gave everybody a much-needed jolt to stay awake, J Balvin made his way onto the stage to kick off the evening proceedings.
David Becker/Getty Images - Travis Scott performs during night one at Palms Casino Resort's KAOS Dayclub & Nightclub for the Grand Opening weekend on April 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada
The highlight of his set was his performance of "I Like It," which would be repeated later on by the Invasion of Privacy songstress herself. Balvin got the at-capacity crowd in the mood for what was to come, warming everybody up and bringing his signature reggaeton flavor to the mix. During his set, G-Eazy stood at the side of the nightclub, mingling with his former rival Machine Gun Kelly and mentally getting ready for his own set, which would be up next.
As we reported earlier today, G-Eazy and MGK officially squashed their beef by performing "Loco" together. Their feud was originally intensified because of Gerald's relationship with Halsey, who has dated both rappers. G-Eazy excited all areas of the audience, starting at the pool stage before walking through the crowd toward the DJ booth and continuing the show there. Fans piled into both the day and night spaces, taking in the action from wherever they could fit. Closing out the evening, at the reasonable hour of 4 AM, Cardi B made her introduction to the Las Vegas crowd, smiling big, showcasing her signature humor and rocking an insane feather ensemble, complete with a giant hat.
Roger Kisby/Getty Images - J Balvin performs at the 'Night Two At Palms Casino Resort's KAOS Dayclub & Nightclub With Cardi B, G-Eazy, J Balvin For Grand Opening Weekend' event on April 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Bardi was on stage for approximately fifteen minutes, running through a series of her biggest offerings. "Money," "Bodak Yellow," "I Like It," and all of the hits were played before G-Eazy joined the superstar on stage to sing their collaborative joint.
Roger Kisby/Getty Images - Machine Gun Kelly and G-Eazy perform at the 'Night Two At Palms Casino Resort's KAOS Dayclub & Nightclub With Cardi B, G-Eazy, J Balvin For Grand Opening Weekend' event on April 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada
So, what does a residency at the Palms Casino Resort entail in 2019? To keep things brief, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. You can expect to see performances from high-profile stars day and night. Instead of remaining seated in a stuffy theater, you can enjoy the freedom of walking around a large area, and lounging with a bottle of bubbly while enjoying a superstar like Cardi B perform her biggest hits. Stage sets are kept short making this experience more festival-esque than stadium tour-esque. Instead of one main artist, there are up to five performers per night. Instead of one main stage, artists are free to circulate between the more traditional set-up and the spinning booth. KAOS is the Vegas experience re-defined, and ultimately, it's another win for hip-hop.
Roger Kisby/Getty Images - Cardi B performs at the 'Night Two At Palms Casino Resort's KAOS Dayclub & Nightclub With Cardi B, G-Eazy, J Balvin For Grand Opening Weekend' event on April 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada