A&E

Vegas club pioneer Paul Oakenfold ushers in New Year’s Eve weekend at Chateau

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Paul Oakenfold plays Chateau on December 30.
Photo: Taylor Jewell / AP

Oakie’s back. The English electronic music icon who set the trend in Las Vegas with his Planet Perfecto residency at Rain at the Palms 10 years ago will return to spin at Chateau at Paris Las Vegas during New Year’s Eve weekend. And better yet, he’s scheduling more Vegas visits in 2019 to support the new music he’s about to release.

It’s been a while since you played Vegas.

It has, but you know what happens. With Vegas, especially if you were there every Saturday for nearly three years, you need a break. What a city. Sometimes I never even got out of the hotel. I didn’t know where the doorway was, it was so big. But it was my home for three years. No one was doing electronic music at that time, and certainly not as a resident. I had a wonderful team of people and guys who went on to be pioneers in their own right, but they helped me start this residency that ended shaping dance music in Las Vegas.

What’s your perspective now on the impact that residency had?

It’s amazing. It was wonderful then because you could really play great music, and what I mean by that is, we all know that in the electronic world in Las Vegas, it’s very commercial. It wasn’t back then. It wasn’t based on bottle service; it wasn’t based on tables. It was based on music. We were pioneering something Vegas hadn’t seen or done before, so much so that the model we did became the norm for many hotels. I was doing pool parties at the Hard Rock [Hotel] in 2009 on a Saturday, and now that’s the norm. That’s why I’m excited to come back, because hopefully I can still play [that way]. I think it’s important to play not just what you hear on the radio or the same old stuff people are familiar with.

You’re scheduling more Vegas shows for 2019. How frequently do you want to be here?

There are a few private events and special parties, and I’ve been offered a new residency there, but at the moment I want to just step back into it and enjoy it and not have the commitment. I want to take my time before I decide if that makes sense. I enjoy going around the world, and I don’t really to give that up at the moment.

Have you been following along with the big changes at your old Vegas home, the Palms?

I’m aware, but I haven’t been there. It will be interesting to see if they have enough money to compete with the likes of [nightclubs in Las Vegas]. It’s a really good team now, a lot of experience and very knowledgeable, and hopefully they succeed.

You become the first artist to perform at Stonehenge this year. How special was that experience?

For me, very special. The whole idea of playing at one of the Seven Wonders, the most iconic landmark in Britain, was bringing awareness to English heritage. When I was approached it was like, why me? You could get Adele or Ed Sheeran or someone like that. But they wanted to speak to the young and the old demo. So I played, and we recorded the set. It was not just dance music; there were elements of movie scores and rock and pop and dance and classical music. I was very lucky they asked me to do it. That will come out, I think, the third week in January. And I’ve finished the next album. I’ve got the first single coming out soon, and I’m looking forward to putting that out and going on the road and supporting it.

PAUL OAKENFOLD December 30, 10:30 p.m., $30. Chateau, 702-776-7777.

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