It was announced on Wednesday that Cardi B has inked a deal with the Palms Casino Resort for her first residency — not at one of the city’s high-profile concert venues — but at the soon-to-open KAOS nightclub/dayclub in Palms Casino Resort.
Palms general manager Jon Gray says the rapper, who is nominated for five Grammy-Awards, will perform at the 100,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor venue with a capacity of 8,000 people on a completely customizable stage. And while she won’t be doing a full-length concert, this will not be the standard three-song nightclub set. Cardi will have the ability to create her own show from top-to-bottom and every night could be different if she chooses.
“She’s a superstar. She has an incredible following. She is incredibly talented and a great example of what we want to showcase.” Gray says. “We want great performances in that room every night. Her show lends itself to a high-energy concert environment that we can provide inside KAOS nightclub.”
And while Cardi has not yet seen the property in person, she was reportedly thrilled when presented with the options that would be available to her and will be coming to Las Vegas soon to walk the space and plan her show. She will also presumably have her pick of one of Palms’ legendary Theme Suites or Sky Villas, which are some of the most luxurious in a city of opulent accommodations.
“[Cardi] was very excited about the project. We showed her that $690 million went into the renovation of the whole resort and changing the whole brand. A big component of that is KAOS,” he says. “She exemplifies what we want the club to mean to people.”
While he declined to comment on her performance fee, Gray did say that the figure for the talent budget is not included in the renovation number.
Other artists announced Wednesday for KAOS include Above & Beyond, Skrillex, Kaskade and G-Eazy. Gray says they will have more than 25 headliners in order to complete their roster, with a major name for the dayclub and nightclub, daily and nightly, Thursday to Sunday.
Expect to see talent from all genres including Latin, hip-hop, pop, country and electronic — a departure from Las Vegas’ EDM-DJ-centric culture of the last decade. Gray says artists are selected based on release schedules, personality and whether they will support the property and build on the overall guest experience. Other metrics, including an artist’s social reach, are considered as well.
“Diversity in the lineup is the next evolution in Las Vegas nightlife,” Gray says. “I have watched the market and what people are responding well to and people want to see live performances from all categories and an incredible lineup of DJs — you need to show that range now.”
Looking at 2019, Las Vegas’ live entertainment market is a competitive beast with residencies from Lady Gaga, a rumored Drake deal at XS inside Wynn Las Vegas and major hitmakers funneling through town on a daily basis with more to be announced soon. Nightclubs are competing with concert venues for talent and upstaging them with new bells and whistles. With only 1,200 rooms, a fraction of the size of Strip hotels, one of the Palms’ strategies is to pack the property with great entertainment and dining.
“We need a premiere lineup out of the gate to attract people to come over. We’ve created a venue for performances — and [we need] people who can perform,” Gray says. “When we send out our tech pack to the talent, the teams are blown away with how many toys they have to play with from the LED walls to just all the technology that goes into the space.”
The name KAOS was chosen to be evocative of the Greek-inspired design of the space, which will have two stages and the capabilities for artists to do full concerts if they choose. The exterior of Palms’ Ivory Tower is being outfitted with a 270-foot-tall by 80-foot-wide LED screen that will overlook the pool club. The display will integrate with the music that is being played downstairs including an “O” within the KAOS logo that changes and responds to the music.
“Each artist will have the opportunity to create their own logo via the KAOS logo generator developed by digital agency AKQA,” Grays says. “As we put music files into it, it responds to the tone, pitch and beats per minute, creating a signature ‘O’ based on those factors. It evolves and changes and allows our artists to have their own digital fingerprint. Their creative is embedded inside the logo on the nights they are performing. Visitors to our website will be able to do the same and create their own version of the logo, too.”
Palms is also home to the Pearl Concert Theater, which has a capacity of 2,600 and is currently hosting Billy Idol; Lady Antebellum starts Feb. 8; Blink-182 recently completed a yearlong series of gigs. The resort also features a recording studio where talent often comes to work on new material while in residency — a boon for touring musicians.
“It’s like every weekend we throw a festival with such a wide diversity of talent,” Gray says.
The booking will be Cardi’s first major headlining gig in the entertainment hub. The rapper will perform at least five dates in 2019, with the schedule to be announced soon.