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Nightlife

Life at SLS promises to break the formulaic EDM bubble

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The after life: The Sahara’s theater has been reincarnated as SLS’ marquee club.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas
Deanna Rilling

A bit of Las Vegas history is coming back to Life (sorry, we had to) August 23, when the newest nightclub from SBE hits the Strip as the marquee party spot at the SLS.

A raw, industrial, almost backstage feel permeates the space, which was once the Sahara’s theater and retains some of its original structure. (Since you’re probably craving aesthetic comparisons, we’ll just tell you that it’s a bit like the former Studio 54 at MGM meets Light in Mandalay Bay).

“What we’re trying to do is bring the right music paired with performances that are visually impactful,” says Mio Danilovic, SBE vice president of nightlife, during the Weekly’s tour. “The best and worst thing about Las Vegas is it is the most competitive nightclub market on the planet—the best nightclub operating groups, the best nightclubs, the biggest budgets, the biggest artists—so when you’re stepping into this market you really have to fight for it. It’s hard to do something different in a market where people have seen it all.”

If which club you’re at has become a blur, you’ll never forget where you’re partying at Life, as its name is spelled out in giant marquee letters front-and-center upon entering (a perfect photo op for the #selfie set). Look opposite the DJ booth and check out the projection mapping on curtains that conceal the former theater’s front-of-house balcony (though if you’re a total baller, we bet they’d figure out a way for you to throw a party up there). For those who like numbers, there are three bars, 70 VIP tables, 460,000 pixels on the walls/DJ booth and one rooftop pool, which we’ll see more of next year with summer pool season already almost over.

Life will have the big-name DJs Vegas clubbers crave, such as Erick Morillo for the grand opening August 23, followed by Laidback Luke August 29 and Dirty South August 30 during Labor Day Weekend. Then there’s Deep Dish and Pete Tong on August 31; don’t miss that one, as Sharam has promised a sunrise set on Life’s pool deck. Looking ahead to September 20, we’ll have our “Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.” signs held high for Fatboy Slim.

But what really piqued our interest? Industry night! Though the day of the week is still up in the air—you know, competing club schedules to take into account—if what Danilovic teased us with is true, we’re finally going to hear some of those underground sounds we’ve been searching for in a prime-time spot.

“We’re trying to educate the Vegas scene that this is the new sound and this is the future,” he says. “You see that trend growing more and more throughout Europe and other cities in the States.” Looks like you’ll know which dancefloor to find us on.

Life SLS, 702-761-7617. Friday-Sunday, doors at 10 p.m.

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