Las Vegas Sun

September 26, 2017

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Tiësto to play in Las Vegas over holiday weekend

Dutch DJ to spin Sunday at Jet and Monday at the Bank



Dutch DJ, Tiesto.

Tiesto spins at Jet

DJ Tiesto spins his electronic anthems at Jet Friday night, Dec. 26, 2008. Launch slideshow »

Beyond the Sun

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Las Vegas calls itself the entertainment capital of the world and Tiësto is the top-ranked DJ on the planet: It’s only natural that the two converge.

With this in mind, get ready to kick back and embrace DJ royalty: Tiësto is coming to town on Memorial Day weekend.

The Dutch DJ will do double-duty this long weekend: He’s scheduled to play Jet on Sunday night and the Bank on Monday night.

Memorial Day in Vegas is becoming somewhat of a tradition for Tiësto: He performed at Rehab’s Memorial Day party in 2008 and is back again this year to do two big shows with the Light Group.

The Grammy-nominated DJ-producer is looking forward to spending some time in Sin City.

“I love Las Vegas,” he said. “It’s not just a gig, it’s everything around it.”

Though he’s an avid partier by any measure, the European sensation says his Vegas to-do list has more “shows” on it than “sins.”

He hopes to take in at least one Cirque du Soleil performance and wants to see “Le Rêve,” too.

“I heard it’s amazing so I want to check that out,” he said of the Wynn’s whimsical and watery spectacle.

“There’s so much to do in Vegas,” he said. “Last time I went (go) kart racing with my friends. That was really funny.”

He also said Vegas is the ideal place for an aspiring foodie such as himself.

“I like to go out or dinner (and) as you know, some of the best restaurants in the world are in Las Vegas,” he said, naming Stack, Little Buddha, and Nove Italiano as three of his favorite eateries in town.

Tiësto, whose real name is Tijs Verwest, is scheduled to arrive on Saturday – that much we know for sure. As for when he’ll leave, well, that’s still TBD; he admits he’s not sure when he’ll return to Europe.

“I always leave later than I planned,” he said with an honest laugh.

While he likes the restaurants and the shows, he makes no bones about his love for the city’s legendary nightlife.

Given the fact that he’s one of, if not the biggest figure on the international party circuit, this comes as no surprise.

Still, he put it on the record, with what was easily the understatement of the day: “I kind of like to party.”

Kind of? This from the guy who plays for record-sized crowds and has to spun for 45,000 people at a time; few would dispute that he “kind of” likes to party.

Still, he explained his routine, which apparently involves going out five nights a week, regardless of his work schedule.

“On the other nights (when I’m not performing) I go out, as well, to other clubs,” the seemingly tireless 40-year-old said.

He doesn’t expect to slow down any time soon, either -- especially not amidst the “amazing atmosphere” of Las Vegas.

“People come to Vegas to party from all over the world,” he said. “It’s like a little Ibiza.”

While he has recently been busy balancing his European tour schedule with the need to spend time in the studio and record his forthcoming album, Tiësto has been known to come to Las Vegas on his off days just to check out the scene and have some fun.

While things in Las Vegas are very different compared to what he’s come to expect from the cities and crowds across the pond, the well-traveled DJ appreciates the differences.

“The clubs I play in Vegas are, for me, really small compared to what I normally do,” he said. “The clubs … are pretty set, there’s not much you can do inside so it’s mainly the music that makes a difference, and the vibe.”

Still, the differences go beyond the venues. He said the people, are also very different – and not just in regards to the languages they speak.

“The bottle service crowd, it’s a different crowd to play for,” he said, noting, “The Vegas crowd is always a very beautiful crowd. There’s lots of hot girls everywhere and guys are all pimps with lots of money.”

“For me, I like that a lot because it’s something different,” he said.

To accommodate various dissimilarities, the DJ tailors his set to suit his audience.

“When I do the big shows (in Europe) I just play, like, outdoor, epic trance music. … I try to keep it more housey (In Vegas), more vocally.”

While Tiësto may have made a name for himself as a trance DJ, his sound has evolved over time. Even now, as he puts the finishing touches on his soon-to-be-released album, he says his sound is changing and hard to nail down.

“I don’t know how to describe it yet,” he said. “It’s a blend-mix of … all the influences I’ve had in the last couple of years. It’s indie, it’s rock, it’s dance, it’s electro, it’s house. All the influences are there.”

He said the big difference on his forthcoming record is the end result of a change in production.

“I (am currently trying) to produce songs instead of dance tracks,” he explained, adding, “They’re still dance tracks but they’re song-written dance tracks.”

He’s hoping this change in approach will help bring his music to the more mainstream masses.

“There’s a lot of big bands that are very credible and still very mainstream,” he said. “What I (am trying) to do with this album is to break into the mainstream but in a credible, respectful kind of way. I don’t want to be a cheesy, blah blah blah, gimmick act, but in a respectful, artistic way, I want to break through to the mainstream and sell 10 million albums.”

The award-winning producer is hoping this record, which drops in September, will be his “Joshua Tree” or “Russian Blood.”

“I want to make an album that people all over the world know that album, like my ‘Thriller’,” he said.

While he aspires to album heights of U2, Coldplay and Michael Jackson, Tiësto has also collaborated with Sarah McLachlan, Britney Spears, Moby and Justin Timberlake.

Most recently, however, he remixed “Spaceman” by the Killers.

He said working with Flowers and company was an easy choice.

“(The Killers) have always been one of my favorite bands, since the first album,” he said. “I think they have an amazing charisma around them, and the music and the lyrics are always very strong. (They are) a great band to be affiliated with.”

While he’s liked the Killers for years, he said it takes more than just being a fan of a band for him to want to work with them.

“I can only work with a song when I really like it,” he said.

With that in mind, he doesn’t have a list of groups he plans to work with. Instead, he has a wide-ranging playlist and ongoing sense of musical adventure.

So what’s on his personal playlist?

“I’ve been listening to all kinds of stuff,” he said. “I like Sneaky Sound System, Calvin Harris, MGMT, Cut Copy, Santigold.”

He also said that when it comes to dance music, Diplo, Laidback Luke and Swedish House Mafia are among his current most played.

Tiësto will play Jet at the Mirage on Sunday May 24 and the Bank at the Bellagio on Monday May 25. Tickets for both shows start at $75 and both parties will start at 10:30 p.m.

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