Sunday, April 28, 2013 | 8:01 p.m.
Weekend 2 of Hakkasan Las Vegas’ grand-opening celebrations kicked into superstar status, with Jennifer Lopez + Casper Smart, Vanessa Hudgens + Austin Bradley, Paris Hilton + River Viiperi, Mark Salling, Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Miguel, Deadmau5 and many more among the glitterati. Plus, Pharrell Williams celebrated his 40th birthday at Saturday night’s celebration co-hosted by GQ Magazine.
STEVE AOKI ON THURSDAY
On Thursday night, Hakkasan commenced its four-day weekend with Steve Aoki as he debuted the first of his exclusive “Neon Future” parties to thousands of partygoers. Just after 1 a.m., clubgoers began cheering “Aoki, Aoki, Aoki!,” and right before 1:30 a.m., the DJ and producer appeared in the DJ booth in a Native American headdress.
“What’s up, Las Vegas, make some noise for Hakkasan!” Aoki shouted as he began his set. A two-level LED screen projected visuals that transported guests into a future envisioned by Aoki. The California native’s set included “Livin’ My Love” and “I’m in the House,” spraying fans with champagne and selecting fans to crowd surf on an inflatable mattress.
“This is the grand opening of Hakkasan, and I have been waiting for this day to party with all you crazy people!” Aoki shouted before posing with revelers in the main room on the fourth floor. Angel Management Group CEO Neil Moffitt presented Aoki with a framed gold disc before his set. DJ Jessica Who led the party in the Ling Ling Club.
Earlier in the evening, Hakkasan co-hosted a blue carpet affair with Vegas Magazine and welcomed Nate Morris and Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men), Donny Osmond, Brad Garrett, Jabbawockeez, Jaymes Vaughn and James Davis of Chippendales and more. The VIP event welcomed guests to a preview of Hakkasan Restaurant during a private cocktail reception before continuing the party to the main floor.
DEADMAU5 ON FRIDAY
On Friday night, it was the return of Deadmau5 and his exclusive “Unhooked” parties; he took his place behind the turntables about 1 a.m. and led the party until 5 a.m. Girlfriend Kat Von D wasn’t spotted, but she was here the previous preview weekend.
In Ling Ling Club, the spotlight was Rev Run and Ruckus, and of course “It’s Tricky” and “Walk This Way” were among the crowd favorites. The duo kept their fans on their feet as they sang and danced along.
Around 2 a.m., Grammy Award winner Miguel arrived and performed a surprise set fresh from hosting at sister AMG hotspot Pure in Caesars Palace. For the second time that night, Miguel sang “Sure Thing” and “Adorn.” Afterward, he joined girlfriend Nazanin Mandi and friends at a VIP table.
Also at Hakkasan and Ling Ling Club: Apl.De.Ap of The Black Eyed Peas, Three 6 Mafia and Tom Welling (“Smallville”), who celebrated his birthday this weekend.
2013 Hakkasan Las Vegas grand opening/Richard Corey
2013 Hakkasan Las Vegas grand opening/Christopher Rauschnot
CALVIN HARRIS, PHARRELL, GQ ON SATURDAY
On Saturday night, Calvin Harris launched his exclusive residency to a crowd of thousands that included celebrities. To kick off the evening, Hakkasan Las Vegas and GQ Magazine hosted a private VIP event in the restaurant, and guests included J.Lo + Smart, Hudgens + Butler, Williams, Harris, Tiesto, Salling, Welling, “Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer champion Cheryl Burke and more.
Harris took his place behind the turntables around midnight. Bottled popped and confetti dropped as he amped the crowd with “Sweet Nothing,” “Feel So Close,” “We Found Love” and more. Hakkasan resident Tiesto joined Harris in the DJ booth for a few songs. Harris had double duty Saturday, spinning at nearby Wet Republic during the day.
In Ling Ling Club, singer-songwriter Williams celebrated his 40th birthday as DJ Irie spun. Williams was presented with a three-tiered, ombre blue-and-gold cake and a champagne toast at 1 a.m. And there was no shortage of other celebrities at Hakkasan and Ling Ling Club on Saturday night.
J.Lo + Smart held court at a front-and-center VIP table located on the stage in the main room beside Harris. Lopez, in a short black dress and red lipstick, danced and partied with Smart, in a red jacket, and friends. Fresh off two weekends at Coachella Valley Music Festival, Hudgens, in a blue All Saints mini-dress, and actor boyfriend Butler (“The Carrie Diaries”) cuddled and kissed in between dancing and partying.
Dancing the night away in the DJ booth: Hilton in a gold dress and blinged-out sunglasses, boyfriend Viiperi in a black hat that read P-A-R-I-S in large letters and pal Brandon Davis. Welling continued his birthday celebration with friends at a table on the dance floor blew out birthday candles around midnight. And Burke and “Glee” star Salling, with a full head of hair, partied and danced in separate groups into the wee hours.
Our thanks to Denise Truscello of WireImage, Al Powers of Powers Imagery, Retna and Rukes for their photo galleries and to Richard Corey and Christopher Rauschnot at 24kMedia on Twitter for their videos posted on YouTube.
Weekend 1’s preview opening of Hakkasan included Deadmau5, Hardwell, The Bingo Players, Danny Avila and Tommy Trash. Check back Monday for a wrap of today’s festivities with Laidback Luke.
Don Chareunsy is editor of Vegas DeLuxe and senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.