Next month will mark one year of the Let’s Be Friends party in Downtown Las Vegas, and the second-Thursdays event at Commonwealth is stronger than ever.
“Basically it’s the inclusive exclusive party,” explains DJ Tim Tones, who created Let’s Be Friends back home in Rochester, New York, with collaborator DJ MdotCoop. “The emphasis has always been inviting everyone to participate and connecting through music and maybe fashion. We don’t want to have people thinking they need to be a certain way or dress a certain way or buy bottles. Everyone’s included.”
The party’s name came from the two DJs’ friendship, constructed around a shared love of hip-hop. It’s still happening in Rochester twice a month, making it a rare bicoastal club party, and MdotCoop is considering following Tones and moving to Vegas.
Let’s Be Friends launched at Velveteen Rabbit before moving to Commonwealth on Fremont Street thanks to support from the like-minded DJ Crykit. “She’s been a great friend to us and was one of the first people to help us promote this thing,” Tones says. “Getting into Commonwealth was a big move.”
Of the other locals who’ve been spinning at the party, including familiar names like Presto One and up-and-comers like SpydaT.E.K., Tones says, “They’re all really talented, they have their own vision of how a night should go and they’re able to creatively manipulate that.”
Mostly driven by hip-hop, Afrobeat, moombahton and a bit of “Jersey bounce,” Let’s Be Friends doesn’t have a specific sonic strategy. That’s a reason why it has been growing steadily and why it’s a great fit Downtown. The distinctiveness of the area was a surprise to Tones when he first landed in Las Vegas.
“We try to keep an uptempo energy, and you’re going to hear those cuts you’re not going to hear at a big-name club or a Top 40 spot,” he says. “I was definitely pleasantly surprised to discover all these venues you can walk to and that’s what makes it unique in Las Vegas. That’s why we need to keep it inclusive. There’s no cover, anyone can walk in and check it out. That’s the type of environment we want, and if it ever came to a place where that was not the case we’d have to figure out a way to still be that inclusive.”
LET'S BE FRIENDS February 14, 9 p.m. Commonwealth, 702-445-6400.