Most 62-year-olds sit back, relax and collect their social security checks. My mother comes to Vegas and goes clubbing with me.
Whenever my mother, Sue, visits from her home in Macon, Georgia, she barely sees me thanks to my schedule as a nightlifer. This time, I figured, why not just bring her along and show her what the Vegas club scene is all about?
The setting: Moon nightclub, Sunday, July 19. Markus Schulz headlining.
The challenge: Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Mom’s on East Coast time, so she’s already sleepy and staying out for a few hours might be difficult. I want to check out Schulz’s set after interviewing the no. 8 DJ last week, but he’s probably not going on until at least 1 a.m.
The solution: Mom brings her friend, Theresa, and Theresa’s boyfriend, Dan, to party as well. They'll provide a ride when she can’t hang any longer.
Full disclosure: Knowing my mother would be with me at the club, certain details of my regular club routine had to be avoided, such as happily accepting a dozen free shots, doling out lap dances and making out with same-sex strangers for photographers. (Just kidding. I know my Mom will insist on reading this, and I’ve noticed that affects my ability to write freely about nightlife debauchery, whether it’s mine or others’.)
Arriving at 10:30 on the dot—unheard of for regular clubbers—I met my mother and her friends at the Palms.
The door host carded me, but just smiled and laughed when I told him I was with my mother. Maybe I should have slipped him some cash to check her ID, as well. One of the nicest VIP hosts in town, Pasquale Romano, led us up to the Playboy Club and helped impress my mother by skipping the line and buying us a first round of drinks.
A good crowd was already forming as we took the escalators up to Moon and I took a turn playing mom, doling out earplugs to my mother and Theresa.
“Maybe I should have brought hair nets,” said my mother, gesturing to a barely-there mini-skirt on a passerby.
“Hair nets?” I replied.
“For the girls with short skirts,” answered my mom with a touch of a southern accent.
I made a disgusted face.
Theresa chimed in. “Forget it. There’s no hair there.”
Though we hung back by the bar nearest the elevators for the most of the night, my mature guests claimed to be enjoying themselves. Free champagne from 10:30-11:30 p.m. helped smooth that over the ruffles caused by what they found to be shockingly high drink prices. And people watching kept them entertained, too.
“Hey, I’m (indistinguishable tourist mumbling in lieu of a name). Who are you here with?”
“Actually, my mother,” I replied.
“Really? Hi, Mom! Are you having a good time? You look good for being a mom. That means your daughter will still look good when she’s older.” He turned to me. “Wanna get married?”
“Noooo,” I replied. “I’m not your ‘What happens in Vegas’ experience, but thanks.”
Throughout the night, I introduced Mom to others in the scene. With a trance headliner like Marcus Schulz at Moon, local DJs were out in full force, and my mom and her friends concluded that DJs are the only people I know. From Sunday night’s opener Jordan Stevens (also from Macon, interestingly enough), to scene regulars DJ Levon James, Freddy B and Damien Jay, my mom seemed impressed by what she interpreted to be people of near celebrity status.
The kicker came when Markus Schulz arrived and insisted I bring my mother over so he could meet her. Though she had no idea who he was, Mom seemed awed after meeting the German trance guru. “He said I was better looking than most of the girls here,” she delightedly relayed to me. “I told him ‘I’m three times older, but thank you.’”
Mom, Theresa and Dan ended up leaving before Schulz took command of the tables around 1 a.m., but still, they were troopers.
As to my companions’ overall impression of the night? Color them impressed – by the ceiling opening up, the fake snow and the view. And the music? I think Theresa squealed a little when she heard a sample of “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” and they were glad it wasn’t hip-hop.
“Overall, it’s really good for what they’re doing, and we really did enjoy ourselves,” said my mom. Though she couldn’t resist adding, “Most of the girls look like clones.”
On that one, at least, mom and I were in full agreement.