The OLE MASON JAR Spring Music Series is the documented music tour by our resident music expert, Taj Simpson, that features some of the hottest concerts, DJ's and events in one of the most happening cities in the world. Over the past month Taj has been on a grueling tour schedule, but lucky for us has had an all access backstage pass that he has graciously recapped for our readers and fellow music fans. For a real time update on what Taj is up to, follow him at @adamtaj.
(Ellie Goulding at the Blvd Pool of The Cosmopolitan)
Friday, March 14 – The Roots & Calvin Harris
Matt Farmer of the Cosmopolitan’s Entertainment Team has invited OLE MASON JAR to attend the grand opening of Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. Brooklyn Bowl is Las Vegas’s newest venue. A combination of a concert venue, bowling alley, and restaurant; There’s quite a bit going on all at once. The Roots played a solid set of hits and even some covers. After the show we decide to join some friends that are playing with Calvin Harris at Hakkasan inside the MGM. Let’s just say I left around 4:00 am, and Calvin was still going.
Saturday, March 22 – Fame & Almost Normal
It’s always a treat to catch up-and-coming bands when they are hustling; Giving it all they’ve got because the next show isn’t always promised. Fame, a local hip-hop artist and Almost Normal, a local indie-rock group played to a crowded downtown crowd Saturday night and left everyone wanting more.
Wednesday, March 26 – Diplo, Flosstradamus, Paper Diamond, & Alie Layus
It’s Wednesday, I haven’t left my house all day, and I’m going crazy! I decide to venture out on my own and catch a Diplo show at Encore inside Surrender. This might have been the best decision I’ve made all year. Before Diplo’s set, I watched Paper Diamond’s debut set, then Flosstradamus’s out of control DJ set turned rock show. However, Diplo stole the entire night. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd so excited. Among that crowd was our good friend and fellow DJ, Alie Layus.
Friday, April 11 – Young the Giant & Calvin Harris
Well, I didn’t actually see Young the Giant perform, we just happened to be eating dinner right next to them at Blue Ribbon. I decided to skip their show to have more time to catch up with an old friend that was in town. We made it back to MGM around 1:00 am and decided to pop in and see Calvin Harris for a second time.
Saturday, April 12 – Ellie Goulding, The Black Keys, & Dada Life
I’ve been waiting to see Ellie Goulding perform for a very long time. The last time she was in town she hosted her first ever DJ set at Surrender. But this time I got to hear her sing. And honestly, I’m still blown away from what I heard. Her dream-like waspy howl of a voice almost seemed super natural. I don’t know, maybe it was. All I know, is that she took a sold-out crowd and put them in another world for an hour and a half.
After the show with Ellie, we make plans to meet up at the MGM to watch Dada Life perform inside Hakkasan. On my way over, I just happened to run into Danger Mouse and The Black Keys walking on the Strip. After totally freaking out and texting everybody I know, we joined Dada Life for a late night which consisted of a nice blend of electronica mixed with top 40 hits, plus a massive pillow fight.
Wednesday, April 16 – Lorde
Lorde’s performance was interesting. You could tell that she would be the kind of kid that shows up to the school dance, but hangs out in the bleachers the whole time. Watching her perform live is sort of like watching someone dance in their bedroom when nobody is looking. It’s kind of embarrassing and care-free at the same time, which I respected. She played a catalog of hits off her debut album and even some tracks I didn’t recognize. In between songs she spoke with the crowd, and also gave a shout out to the huge Britney Spears banner hanging from Planet Hollywood that could be seen from across the stage.
Thursday, April 17 – Haim
Two words; rock and roll. I’ve listened to Haim before, but I had no clue of how much they could shred. They didn’t let up the entire night. I watched the show from backstage along with friends including Foster the People and photographer Erik Kabik. Afterwards, we grabbed a late dinner at Blue Ribbon as Erik shared some of his stories from his early days shooting concerts. It’s crazy to think that I was probably once in my dorm room looking at his pictures in the Rolling Stone. And now we’re sitting here talking about House of Cards.
Friday, April 18 – Foster the People & Cosmic Gate
After a crazy run of concerts we finished off the Spring Music Series with Foster the People. Per usual, they put on an energetic set and lit up the night with hits from their debut album “Torches” and sprinkled in some hits off their new album “Supermodel”. After the show, we stopped by Marquee and enjoyed a warm night by the pool as Cosmic Gate played a late DJ set. It’s been an unforgettable Spring of music and we want to give a special thank you to Matt Farmer of the Cosmopolitan’s Entertainment Team for inviting OLE MASON JAR to be guests during their “Valley to Vegas” concert series.
(Haim at the Blvd Pool of the Cosmopolitan, photo by Erik Kabik)
(Foster the People at the Blvd Pool of The Cosmopolitan)
(Lorde at the Blvd Pool of The Cosmopolitan, photo by Erik Kabik)
(Friends of the night Alie Layus and Jef Salazar at Surrender)
(Matt Farmer of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas)
(FAME performing inside the Artifice)
Until next time,
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What we’re listening to:
For a real time look at what we are listening to at OLE MASON JAR, check out our Last.fm profile
Taj Simpson is OLE MASON JAR's music correspondent who lives in Las Vegas, NV. Always dressed for the right occasion, Taj also has a keen ear for the right sound...keeping us at the forefront of the music scene, and in tune with the freshest tracks and artists you may / or may not have heard of.