Empire update: a “Weekly” exclusive

Tabu Afterhours, Diablo’s Battle of the Bands, a brand new Stoney’s and a rave

Courtesy of Tabu

Empire update: a Weekly exclusive

“I wasn’t interested in a month-to-month lease with Metroflag,” says Empire Ballroom’s Gino LoPinto of the talks that ensued after landowner Metroflag evicted leaseholder Dan Makosky and company over Memorial Day weekend. LoPinto says he was subsequently contacted by MGM representatives about moving DJ Danny Tenaglia’s May 24 gig from Empire to Studio 54. But LoPinto wanted more than just a one-night stand. Five days later, a more substantial deal was inked, with LoPinto’s company Vegas Alliance delivering a new 3 a.m. afterhours event to Tabu every Friday and Saturday, beginning July 4 with DJ Times’ America’s Best DJ party featuring Prada Haus and then DJ Sandra Collins on July 5. Looking further out, LoPinto says Saturdays could eventually migrate to Studio 54. “Expect what Vegas Alliance has delivered for afterhours since pioneering the first one in Las Vegas nine years ago: incredible vibe, very local and industry-friendly, great music, biggest international talent, best local DJs and some cool new tricks up my sleeve. And for the first time I will actually have a huge support team behind me in a more upscale environment.” Says the veteran night owl and apparent punster, “This will be afterhours on a grand scale.”

A battle of some bands we actually know

Turn the volume up to 11 as Diablo’s Cantina kicks off Rock the Roof, a battle of the bands, on Thursday, June 12. In all, 36 bands will compete for a $10,000 grand prize, and we’re not just talking about those local bands you’ve never heard of, like What’s-His-Face and The Whatchamacallits. Familiar names in the scene competing for the cash include Kid Deposit Triumph, Lydia Vance, Slow to Surface, R n R, Valentine, Corner Stone, Soul’d Out and One Pin Short, just to name a few. The competition will run until October 16 and is hosted by Diablo’s own wrestling champion mascot Moose-o-Libre. During the competition, two-for-one draft specials will be available, and DJ Direct will spin between the bands’ sets.

Northwestward, ho!

With the skyward rise in gas prices, fans of Stoney’s Rockin’ Country living on the northwest side of town may have grown worried they’ll have to hang up their hats and skip line dancing as owner Stoney Gray’s eponymous country nightclub has, since the Gilley’s closure, been located down by the South Point Casino. But never fear—another Stoney’s is near! Stoney’s recently announced the arrival of Stoney’s North Forty at the Santa Fe Station. Slated to open in late 2008 or early 2009, the new addition to the Stoney’s family will feature multiple full-service bars, country/western music courtesy of in-house DJs and, of course, the signature Stoney’s mechanical bull.

“I am thrilled to be bringing the Stoney’s brand to northwest Las Vegas,” said Gray. “The residents of this area have long expressed a desire for a quality country nightlife establishment, and I am honored to fulfill this need by bringing Stoney’s North Forty to Santa Fe Station.”

VIBErations: A rave, reviewed

Last Friday, a new promotion company attempted to assist in reviving the underground dance scene and give the all-ages crowd a new place to go. In the wake of multiple licensed venues disappearing (such as the Fort Cheyenne and Tropicana Cinemas), a “100 percent confirmed Virgin Location” was touted for Outlawed Entertainment’s inaugural event, VIBErations. Arriving at what was described as the “Terrace Special Events Hall” on Hualapai between Tropicana and Flamingo, the Weekly staff was surprised to be confronted with no more than a room suitable for a bar mitzvah or Aunt Edna’s 75th birthday party. With the amount of promotion going on within the underground scene for this event, one would expect more than a few party balloons and minimal lighting. We were intrigued by the fliers, which promised a “full buffet-style fruit bar,” but were disappointed to see only minimal fruitage on a table in the corner.

Further complicating the situation and consequently spoiling the fun was what appears to be an escalating rivalry within the resuscitating raver scene. Numerous attendees expressed getting a “bad/weird vibe,” and when another events company, New Galaxy, stopped by, rumor has it its honcho, Richard Johansen, was denied entry. Drama.

Frequent rave attendee Joe Suzuki, 19, said that he had wanted to check out VIBErations to experience different DJs. “It’s all right,” said Suzuki, “but I think because it’s the first event, not many people are here, and it’s not very good.” He added that New Galaxy’s parties also started out small and have since grown a loyal following—so loyal that many boycotted the VIBErations event based on additional rumors Outlawed Entertainment may have been responsible for having a New Galaxy party shut down. Ooh, more drama!

Amidst all the hullabaloo, local DJ Kinekt spun at VIBErations and offered his review of the event via MySpace, saying that while it was “fun to hang out,” he didn’t think the attendees should have been charged $20. “I expected a lot more. Hopefully we can get some well-produced events going with a wall of sound and full setup like Fort Cheyenne again.” For more information about Outlawed Entertainment and any future events, visit Outlawed Entertainment on MySpace.


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