Glitterati flocked to Las Vegas last weekendNew Joint, Miss USA and pool opening parties attracted the stars
By Melissa Arseniuk
Last weekend was such a big one for Las Vegas, the city is still trying to catch its breath.
Between the festivities at the new Joint at the Hard Rock, a trio of well-attended and celeb-studded pool parties and both Miss USA and the Peepshow premiere at Planet Hollywood, the town was absolutely abuzz.
Here’s a quick and dirty rundown:
The weekend started early with LL Cool J, who hit Tao on Thursday night. The following night, Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland performed at LAX.
The Hard Rock Hotel was definitely the place to see and be seen this weekend, starting with the grand opening of the new Joint on Friday night.
Hometown boys, The Killers, christened the venue with a 90-minute set, while actors Owen Wilson and Stephen Dorff, and tennis super couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff took it in.
Wilson and Dorff got a second helping of The Killers after the concert and met the band backstage.
Agassi and Graff, on the other hand, were spotted enjoying dinner before the show at the Hard Rock’s new steakhouse, Rare 120°.
Comedian David Spade and NASCAR driver Robbie Gordon were also seen dining at the eatery, two days later.
The famous Rare 120° foodies were all spotted taking in Paul McCartney’s Sunday night performance at the Joint.
Donald Trump and Donny Osmond were also at the sold-out show.
Also at the Hard Rock this weekend, entrepreneurial motocross driver and Wasted Space nightclub owner Carey Hart launched his latest venture, a HRH-based location of his already famous Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co, on Saturday.
His recently reconciled-with wife, Pink, was nowhere to be seen during the dinnertime launch party but Hart’s good friend, Good Charlotte guitarist (and Paris Hilton’s former flame) Benji Madden was there to show his support. Members of rock band Avenged Sevenfold also stopped by before heading to the Joint for their sold-out concert.
Hart hosted the Avenged Sevenfold after party at Wasted Space later that night. Vinnie Paul from Pantera reportedly made it to both the show and the post-party.
Sunday marked the sixth season for the city’s most notorious Sunday “daylife” destination, Rehab.
Among the 3,000 people partying by the pool was New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush and his teammate, defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis; Bush’s possible future brother-in-law, girlfriend Kim Kardashian’s step-brother Brody Jenner; and porn star Mary Carey.
Also chilling in one of Rehab’s cabanas on Sunday was Hart, Madden and Matthew Sanders and Jimmy Sullivan from Avenged Sevenfold.
(Sanders was seen at the Palms later that night, when he and seven others had dinner at N9NE Steakhouse.)
Things really heated up at Rehab when Snoop Dogg hit the stage just before 5 p.m. The legendary rapper performed half an hour of hits for the bikini and boardshort-clad crowd.
(He also appeared at Madame Tussauds the following afternoon, where he unveiled his wax figure.)
While Rehab was rocking on Sunday, it was hardly the beginning of the weekend’s poolside partying. Instead, the celeb-studded pool action started on Saturday, when both Lauren Conrad and Mandy Moore hosting separate soirées.
Conrad heated things up at Wet Republic at the MGM Grand, while Moore proved to be the host with the most famous friends over at Tao Beach.
Also ushering in pool season ’09 at Tao Beach on Saturday was Karina Smirnoff of “Dancing with the Stars;” Krysten Ritter of “Confessions of a Shopaholic” fame (along with her music video director boyfriend, Scott Culver); actress Angie Harmon (sans baby and husband, former New York Giant, Jason Sehorn); and Perez Hilton.
Lil Jon, Bush, and the seemingly omnipresent Jenner also popped by, along with Jenner’s girlfriend, Playboy Playmate Jayde Nicole.
Wilson reappeared at Tao Beach on Saturday, too, accompanied by his brother and a few friends. The group first grabbed lunch at Dos Caminos inside the Palazzo before heading outdoors to catch some rays on the sun-drenched rooftop pool deck.
Smirnoff and three friends were spotted having dinner downstairs at Tao Asian Bistro later that night. She had dinner at the bistro’s little sister restaurant, Lavo, the night before.
Also ordering from the recently redone, Italian-inspired menu on Friday was Miss USA pageant co-host and “My Name is Earl” star Nadine Velazquez. Though they dined separately, both ladies went upstairs after their meal for some post-dinner dancing at the nightclub.
Velazquez ate at Tao on Saturday, as did the Veronicas.
Ritter had dinner there the night before, along with “America’s Next Top Model” winner CariDee English and actress Taylor Quinn.
While Harmon and her hubby toasted his 38th birthday at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT at The Palazzo on Friday, they reunited for yet another birthday dinner, this time at Lavo, on Saturday.
Like Harmon, Jenner also made the trek from Tao Beach to its sister property next door at the Palazzo, and had dinner – and a few Patron-topped margaritas – at Lavo with rapper Too Short.
Jenner continued what proved to be an epic Vegas weekend at both the Palms and Caesars Palace. He hit Moon and Playboy Club first, then headed back to The Strip, where he partied on the VIP stage at Pure.
Planet Hollywood was also a hotspot this weekend, as Peepshow made its debut and the 2009 Miss USA pageant took over the property.
Lil Jon got things started on Friday when he DJ’d at Privé. The rapper partied like a rock star after his set, along with committed partier Reggie Bush.
The following night, Charlie Sheen and his wife, Brooke Mueller; gossip queen and scandal-starter Perez Hilton; Lindsay Lohan; Chris “Mr. Big” Noth; Donald Trump, former “Bachelor” star Bob Guiney and his soap opera siren wife, Rebecca Budig; actor Matthew Morrison; and designer Bob Mackie attended the opening gala of Kelly Monaco and Mel C’s new show at PH, “Peepshow.”
Fellow Vegas headliners Zowie Bowie, Frank Marino and Trent Carlini also took in the premiere.
Monaco stopped by Privé after the gala, where she sipped chardonnay to celebrate. Noth and Trump also popped by the nightclub.
Though Monaco left just after 1 a.m., her co-star, Mel B, was just getting her night going. She arrived with potential future co-star Lindsay Lohan shortly after Monaco left.
The last time Lohan was at Privé she joined now ex-girlfriend Samantha Ronson in the DJ booth. This time, however, she and the former Spice Girl stuck to one of the club’s VIP booths.
Not far away, beauty queens took over Hawaiian Tropic Zone on Saturday, as more than two dozen tiara-wearing beauties flocked to the “Fashion Rocks the Universe” party.
At HTZ on Saturday was Miss Universe 2008, Dayana Mendoza; Miss Teen USA 2008, Stevi Perry; former Miss Nevada (and Criss Angel girl-of-the-moment), Veronica Grabowski; Miss Teen Nevada 2008, Lauren Hudman; and former Miss Universe and Miss USA, Brook Lee.
Miss Louisiana, Maine, Hawaii, Connecticut, Washington, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Indiana, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Kentucky, New Mexico, and California 2008 were all there, too.
The following night, outgoing Miss USA 2008, Crystal Stewart, was seen at Privé after the newly-crowed Miss USA, Kristen Dalton, won the 2009 sash. Another former Miss USA, Shanna Moakler, joined her.
West of The Strip, The Cure kicked things off at the Palms last weekend with a Friday night show at the Pearl. The British punk rockers went to Ghostbar after the performance, got comfortable at one of the tables on the patio, and enjoyed a few “ghostini” cocktails with members of their stage crew.
Also at the Palms on Friday was San Diego Chargers linebacker Matt Wilhelm, who attended a bachelor party at Playboy Club, and NFL free gent Melvin Fowler, who stocked up for the season with lamb chops and mac and cheese at N9NE Steakhouse.
MLB free agent Frank Thomas was also spotted at the eatery several times this past week.
Lance Burton arranged for a special and very intimate dinner at N9NE with a female friend on Sunday night. He and his companion enjoyed an early dinner that was specially prepared for them by Chef Barry before the restaurant opened for business. The magician and his friend reportedly ate all four tasting menu courses while seated at the bar.
Also at the Palms last weekend was Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who played some blackjack at Playboy Club on Sunday night. Miss April, Playboy Playmate Crystal McCahill, hosted the evening.
McCahill’s fellow adult temptress, porn star Mary Carey, was also at the Palms on Sunday. She moved the party from Rehab to Moon and kept things going with Red Bull and Ketel One vodka.
Another famous face at Moon that night was San Diego Chargers wide receiver Kassim Osgood, who shared bottles of Le Tourment Vert absinthe and Perrier Jouet Champagne with seven friends.
While most of the celebrities spent their time lounging by the pool, enjoying fancy dinners and partying until the early morning hours, other notable personalities who were in town this weekend chose to lay relatively low.
Actor Gary Oldman took his family to see the Beatles-themed spectacle, “Love,” on Saturday night. The following evening, Colorado Avalanche player Adam Foote was in the Cirque du Soleil audience at the Mirage.
Meanwhile, “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander took his sons to see “Criss Angel Believe” at the Luxor on Saturday night. Afterward, he and his boys went backstage to meet the magician and take some photographs.
Perez Hilton also saw Angel’s show this weekend, but he was hardly smiling during Friday night’s performance. The gossip blogger tweeted disparaging remarks to his Twitter page throughout the performance, prompting Angel to call him out after the show.
Following a busy and at times scandalous weekend in Las Vegas, Estelle stopped by Privé on Monday night. She treated fans to a performance of her hit, "American Boy” before relaxing at a VIP table where she drank vodka drink with friends.
… so there you have it, the weekend-that-was in review. Now that you know what you missed, brace yourself for what’s about to come. It, too, promises to be a big one – but more on that tomorrow.