GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

October 3, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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NIGHTS A NEW SPIN Global event Sensation reimagines the DJ festival—now for America BY MIKE PREVATT Music festivals aren't just for Europeans anymore, as Coachella and Bonnaroo proved more than a decade ago when they inspired a glut of day- and weekend-long events in the U.S. And they're hardly the exclusive domain of bands and rappers, thanks to the recent American explosion of large-scale DJ extravaganzas like Electric Zoo and our own Electric Daisy Carnival. We can add another electronic music fest to the roster: Sensation, an institution in its native Netherlands since 2000 and a global event since first being exported in 2005. Among dance music fans, it's known for its Eurohouse soundtrack, extravagant and synthesized production, and allwhite theme—which includes the party's ticketholders, all required to wear white tops and bottoms (or be refused entrance). It's taken the arena/stadium-sized event 12 years to cross the Atlantic, but after a successful twonight stand last October in Brooklyn, Sensation creator and Dutch music promoter ID&T has conceived a four-city American tour that, naturally, includes Las Vegas. "We've [done] Sensation almost around the globe, and of course the U.S. is very attractive," says ID&T creative director Gerard Zwijnenburg. "The scene is ready for Sensation." Especially Las Vegas, a fit for Sensation beyond the obvious musical connection. The audio/visual wonder of the event overlaps not only with the immersive presentation of EDC, but with the dreamlike and whimsical aesthetic of Cirque du Soleil. But while the long history of Sensation—and Europe's rich electronic music culture—makes EDC (and our unique nightlife scene, for that matter) less of an actual influence, Zwijnenburg cites the Strip as a muse that helps Sensation differentiate from other giant dance fests. "Sensation has a big show effect in it, and Las Vegas, being a No. 1 show city, does inspire us in our event shows," he says. "Of course there are cer- > WHITE PARTY A dress code helps unify festivalgoers at a previous edition of Sensation: Ocean of White. Zwijnenburg says. "It's really big in the tain acts and ways to show [them] to the show; it's organic, it's sexy, and the light audience, which does stimulate us to not SENSATION: effect on the water gives it an organic only make [the event] house-minded—the OCEAN OF feeling." first and foremost thing about Sensation— WHITE And then there's the white, described but real show-driven in multiple aspects, October 5, 6:30 by ID&T as a "core value" of Sensation, [with] full-on dancers and decorations, p.m., $154-$254. as well as a unifying agent for the tens lights, etc." MGM Grand of thousands of festivalgoers surroundID&T rotates various Sensation Garden, 891ing the center-stage DJs (which include themes—the white dress code remains 7777. Note: Marquee residency duo Sunnery James consistent, its darker, all-black hardstyle Only those 21 and Ryan Marciano and Hakkasan excluevents excepted—which usually begin in and over and sive Michael Woods) and performers. Amsterdam and filter out as internationdressed in white "I think it's pretty psychological … al shows are announced and developed. will be admitted. when people are in uniform, it bonds The American tour's theme is Ocean of you in a way," Zwijnenburg says. "The White—a favorite of Zwijnenburg—which 'we factor,' partying together, being on the same debuted in Holland in 2008 and marked Sensation's level, going to the same show, listening to the same Asia debut last year. It aims to turn an arena such as music, dressing the same, really contributes to the MGM Grand Garden into a human aquarium, with fact that, in this atmosphere, everyone is the same. waterfalls, floating approximations of marine life There's no differences—straight, gay, the color of and underwater lighting effects. your skin—everyone is dancing together to the same "Looking into the arena, there's a lot of elebeat. That's one of the thoughts behind Sensation." ments from the ocean, like the water and jellyfish," C O C KTA I L O F T H E W E E K of enchanting. –Sabrina Chapman Pay tribute to the spirit's national holiday with Velveteen Rabbit's new creation—the Rose Marie RECIPE: 1 ½ oz. Svedka Vodka ½ oz. Leopold Bros. Cranberry Liqueur ½ oz. Art in the Age Sage ½ oz. fresh lemon juice ½ oz. simple syrup 1 dash of Bittermens Mole Bitters 1 oz. club soda lemon wedge (garnish) On the heels of September's dedication to bourbon comes another boozy holiday. October 4 is National Vodka Day. Celebrate with the quintessential fall flavor: cranberry. "Vodka and cranberry—ahh yes, the inseparable ingredients," mixologist Rustyn Vaughn Lee says. He's describing his Rose Marie ($8) on the new cocktail menu at Velveteen Rabbit, the hip Downtown drinking spot. The libation, named after Countess Rose Kennedy (the powerful mama of Jack, Bobby, Joe and Ted), is approachable, yet dynamic. Vaughn Lee's ingredient choices result in a highbrow vodka-cran. Leopold's Cranberry captures the flavors of berries straight from the bogs of Massachusetts. A touch of handcrafted bitters incorporate cocoa, cinnamon and spice beautifully, and the essence of sage is nothing short k Combine first six ingredients and ice in mixing glass. k Shake and strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass. k Top with club soda. k Garnish with lemon wedge. COCKTAIL PHOTO BY SPENCER BURTON YOUR TURN, VODKA 26 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM OCTOBER 3–9, 2013 26_Nights_2_20131003.indd 26 10/1/13 5:14 PM

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