The haunted house rave in Las Vegas was no laughing matter.

The event was held in a remote industrial area that required one to drive down dirt roads on the edge of Sin City’s limits to find the thumping bass in the distance. After arriving I exited my vehicle and pulled a few slugs of an undisclosed substance from my flask, and made my way towards the lights.

This evening was going to be a humdinger!   Over a dozen artists were on the billing, with a fine mix between national and local talent. It was evident that word had spread far and wide across the surrounding area, as there were several hundred individuals, dressed in a variety of garbs from costumes to scantily clad skin tight ensembles.  To be sure the weirdos were out in full flight.

The entire event was decorated with intricate detail; there was even golden filigree. A hat tip and bow is in order to Nuphonic Rhythm and all who participated in the construction. As advertised, an Interactive Psychedelic Horror House was available for those looking to involuntarily relieve themselves in their pants. I will admit to being mildly anxious when walking through, but then I remembered that I carry a gun. Upon exiting the haunted house I was led to a second stage, The Boneyard of Bass. Do you recall that scene in the Wesley Snipes classic BLADE, with a club full of vampires, drenched in blood?  That, my dear readers, is an apt illustration of the debauchery that was taking place.

The Boneyard of Bass Anna Franke Photography www.facebook.com/annafrankephotography

The Boneyard of Bass
Anna Franke Photography

Body painting was offered to all interested by the fine company Lavender Llama, headed by Brian Mitchell and Katarina Auer.

Body Painting by Kat and Brian of Lavender Llama

Body Painting by Kat and Brian of Lavender Llama

Other vendors providing various goods and services included: RaveLoveRepeat, Lusiid Beadworks, Mystic Herbs Shop, Tipois Energy, Epyk Entertainment, and Tadpole’s Glass.

The evening’s musical lineup featured prolific headliners AK1200 featuring MC Messinian. AK1200 has been been a force in the drum and bass community for over 20 years, and is the founder of Big Riddim Recordings. MC Messinian has quite literally toured the globe from Japan to South Africa bringing his unique musical brand to the masses. Their combined performance was electrifying, and every single person in attendance was on their feet cheering in approval and applause. Backstage both gentlemen were nothing but humble and thankful for the support of the crowd.

Beyond the marquee names this show went on for over 9 hours, with stand out performances from EvenFlo & Mr. McGRN, Dana Dau, Jeremy Espinosa & Kimmy Bee, Time Protocol, Call Me E, Wicked Filth, Bangerz, Meticulous, Platzformer, Vade, Paruhdroyd, Jack Spaidz, Tribal Grooves & Nico Salazar, ILLuminati, Dabzz, EJ tha DJ, Cubix, ParUhDroyd, 6h057 and Jane Doe vs. 3L1ssa, vs. Hyjack!

mash

A mild wrinkle did appear at around 2:45 a.m. in the form of the perennially authoritarian Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, who did their best to harass an independent event.  It was strange, on a Friday night, for the LVPD to spend their resources to send multiple cruisers (five by my count) to harass attendees. One would assume that on a Friday night, in the entertainment capital of the world, that the LVPD would have more important things to do.

After sitting at the entrance for over an hour with their lights and sirens blaring, a troupe of armed police officers slowly made their way around the venue, hoping and looking for anything they could find. Alas as the event was legal, with full permission from the city, the LVPD walked away with their tail between their legs and entirely empty handed. Zero arrests were made, and zero citations were handed out.  LVPD did this for two reasons. They were looking for easy arrests, which helps them generate revenue through tickets and court costs to further their enterprise of extortion. It also detracts from other independent promoters and hosts from attempting to draw attention away from the corporate strip. Money talks in Vegas. The simple fact is attendees were perfectly safe. There was already an ambulance on the grounds if an emergency were to rise; which it did not.

The presence of the LVPD interrupted the scheduled performance of the event’s host, Kung Pow, along with T.M. (Gray Fuss). Despite the LVPD’s dereliction Kung Pow and T.M. decreed that the show must go on, and indeed it did! The scene was set for glorious retribution, with the LVPD in full retreat, Kung Pow and T.M. took the stage at 5 a.m. with the sun rising in the distance. A fiery final performance by the two, which included T.M.’s hit “Can you see me” had the crowd on their feet to end the marathon evening. The sun was rising, the show was over, and all was well in the kingdom of Las Vegas.

T.M. & Kung Pow Photo by Gabe Garcia

T.M. & Kung Pow
Photo by Gabe Garcia

It’s very easy if one owns a nightclub, and has millions of dollars at their disposal, to put on an entertainment event. It requires much more skill, dedication, and precision to host an independent event with limited resources; especially when the LVPD are looking for any excuse to put a kibosh on the fun. I would suggest to those who have the opportunity to spend their money in their local communities to do so, and to support independent artists who are climbing the entertainment ladder whenever possible.  You just don’t know, sooner or later their stars may explode and then you’ll be wishing you saw them when you had the chance. Life is fleeting, after all. Be safe out there.