Relentless Beats

Upclose and Personal With Krewella at Light

There was a time when I would watch the live concert footage and back stage antics from the rock gods of my youth and think: “I would love to party with those guys.” Never would I have believed at that time that three DJs from Illinois would bring me back to that feeling. The reality however is that Krewella’s Rain Man and the sisters Yousaf have brought rock star swagger and live energy to a medium where the most stage action one might see is a DJ holding his hand up while clinching his shoulder to his headphones.

It was 10 p.m., practically sunrise by Las Vegas standards and the line outside Light Nightclub at Mandalay Bay was already filling the corridors. Rave kids disguised cleverly as the Sin City elite were blowing their cover as kandi bracelets peeked from beneath buttoned cuffs and baby deer steps revealed maiden voyages aboard platform heels.

“I can get you VIP access,” my Vegas contact Joe said three hours earlier in between shots of Fireball whiskey.

I had left a voicemail for the promoter of Light Nightclub in Las Vegas early that afternoon to request my media credentials for the Krewella show but with only a couple hours to go before the doors officially opened the likelihood of that happening was getting slimmer. Soon my cinnamon-breathed friend and I were in Mandalay Bay talking to a blonde Romanian woman who after a short conversation and a phone call produced two VIP passes and complimented my jacket.

My brunette companion and I slid to the front into the VIP line and were quickly ushered inside by the nicest bouncers I have encountered at any nightclub on the planet.

We walked up the stairs through the entryway bathed in crimson light and when we emerged what we found looked less like a nightclub and more like a theatre. Three levels divide the club allowing different experiences in each area. The bottom level is the dance floor, the second level is for VIP tables and the top level is the bar. This multi-level layout allows for those at the upper level to have a perfect view of the DJ booth, dance floor, and satisfy their inner voyeur by watching the who’s who at the private tables.

Gargantuan translucent screens spanned the length of the club and Cirque du Soleil performers hung down from the ceiling performing ariel acrobatics. There was always something going on throughout the night; performers in elaborate costumes, fog machines spraying onto the crowd, people falling from above on bungee cords or interacting with images projected onto the screens.

Too often the people in charge of the sound at a nightclub that takes in over $100,000 at the door alone are less qualified to do so than the guy running the mixer at a Catholic church. This often means cranking everything to 11 and calling it good. Louder is better, right? What so few people realize is that speakers all have an optimum operating range where they sound best without the blaring, distorted treble. Light has engineered both clear mid range and strong bass everywhere in the venue without being loud just for the sake of being loud.

By 1:30 a.m. the club was getting restless and eager to see the DJ trio take the stage. After hours of foreplay Jahan, Yasmine, and Rain Man took the stage as the club erupted in excitement. Live For The Night started and every human being in view could be seen with their hands pointed skyward. It didn’t matter if you were a rave kid in disguise or a millionaire popping bottles at your table, at that moment, in that place in time everyone there was a Krewella fan. Young men screamed their undying love to the women behind the tables. With feet probably aching from hours in beautiful but agonizing shoes young twenty-somethings bounced to the beats as the three behind the DJ tables shuffled positions with each other, dialing in effects, adjusting tracks and sampling the next. Although the space on stage was limited it was clear they were in perfect synchronicity. It was a hypnotizing symphony conducted not by one but by a three piece hive mind.

The world no longer has time for the rock stars of my youth. They are ghosts of an age where music companies forced songs onto the airwaves with mountains of cocaine. In the modern age a true rock star is self-created by passionate music composition. Tattooed, dressed in black and with skin tight leg wear Krewella has taken their place and I couldn’t be happier.

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