ONE CITY / ONE SUMMER is the documented summer tour of Las Vegas by our resident music expert, Taj Simpson, that will feature some of the hottest concerts / DJ's / events in one of the most happening cities in the world. Over the course of the summer, Taj will be submitting regular updates on his experiences, so check back often. For a real time update on Taj and the ONE CITY / ONE SUMMER Tour, follow him at @adamtaj.
For part 3 of our One City / One Summer Tour update, we decided to switch things up a little bit. Recently, our CEO and Chief Editor Bradley Rhyne sat down with the man behind the One City / One Summer Tour, our all things music correspondent Taj Simpson, for an update that certainly made us jealous!
Q: Before we go into the One City / One Summer Tour…you obviously love music, tell us a bit about how far this passion goes back for you, and maybe when/where it all began?
TS: Geez, maybe when I was four or five years old I started to fall in love with this thing called an electric guitar. My dad used to play me and my brother his old records and jam out to his guitar as they were playing. It was complete chaos. I loved it. But when I was in high school I was really into hip hop and used to make my friends mixtapes. Those were the days.
Q: When you first came to us with the idea for One City / One Summer, we thought it was brilliant. Tell us about what originally inspired the idea, and what was your thought process for this multi-part series that I know all of our readers have thoroughly enjoyed?
TS: One City / One Summer was mainly focused on the summer tours of bands I enjoy listening to. Every summer they go on tour and we’re lucky enough to have them stop here in Vegas. One Summer I had a really crazy night where I attended a concert, met the band backstage, got word of a secret show, went with the band to this secret show, then hung out on their tour bus until their 5:00 am bus call. A night like that might not ever happen again, but it inspired the first person account of One City / One Summer. It’s amazing how random this city can be. Especially at night.
(MICS at Hakkasan inside MGM Grand Hotel and Casino)
Q: I have to admit, as a music lover myself I was a little jealous you got to go on this great adventure this summer! That being said, as a consolation I have enjoyed living vicariously through your updates. What was your favorite moment and your favorite show of the One City / One Summer Tour?
TS: Hey, Charlotte gets good shows too! But my favorite show this summer surprised even me because it was a DJ. I was invited to attend a launch party put on by these DJs that call themselves MICS at Hakkasan inside the MGM. After their set was finished we went down the main room to watch Laidback Luke perform his set. The energy he delivered was as if the people in the room where the carbonated little bubbles inside a Coke can and he just keep shaking us up. If that makes any sense? It was an unreal performance. There’s not too many current rockstars nowadays that could bring that type of energy to a room at 3:00 am.
(Laidback Luke at Hakkasan inside MGM Grand Hotel and Casino)
TS: My favorite moment was definitely a personal one that somehow got tied up in the One City / One Summer tour. I was having doubts about continuing this series as I wasn’t going out as much and was barely writing anything and was one e-mail away from cancelling the One City / One Summer tour. A little backstory; I re-discovered Alie Layus through Instagram and realized I had seen her perform once before and knew she would be a good fit for One City / One Summer. I sent her over a quick e-mail saying I’ve taken some solace from her latest mixtape and she replied back with the most inspiring note I think I’ve ever received. That weekend we went to meet up with her to see her play and thus tour continued.
Q: Las Vegas being the host for some of the most world renowned DJ’s, you get to experience shows that most of us that live elsewhere do not. Which are your favorites right now?
TS: Well I mentioned Laidback Luke for sure, but right now I’m really into Diplo and trap music in general. Diplo seems pretty wild and I’ve yet to see him live. I imagine if Buzz would have been left “Home Alone” instead of Kevin, a party equivalent to a Diplo show would have taken place.
Q: I imagine it takes an incredible amount of planning and organization to coordinate a summers worth of shows / events in a place like Las Vegas where there is constantly many things going on at once. Reading about all the events you went to, I kept wondering...how did you coordinate everything?
TS: Jorge Lozoya. He was my appointed tour manager and my go to for pretty much everything One City / One Summer related. I randomly met him on Tweeter because I tweeted about a radio station. Then randomly, we were introduced ‘in real life’ at concert. So I knew his love for music was there. And his connections to the nightlife scene is like hanging out with a modern day Rat Pack.
(Mightyfools at the Hardrock Hotel and Casino)
(Jorge Lozoya booking our next gig at the Hardrock Hotel and Casino)
Q: We both share a passion for menswear and fashion, the heart and soul of OLE MASON JAR. Did you notice any clothing trends / styles while at the various shows/events this summer?
TS: Every single artist we saw this summer, aside from Ellie and Alie, wore a t-shirt. But I did notice that the local DJs would always try and rep local clothing stores like Learned Vices and KNYEW. On a larger scale I noticed more and more artists wearing clothing from We Are Massiv. Since Vegas heat is unbearable, crowd goers at concerts were mostly in sundresses, tank tops or tees. Rivers Cuomo of Weezer not only had on a button down, but a track jacket over the button down when performing. How he wasn’t sweating is beyond me.
(Atmosphere at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Photo Credit: Erik Kabik)
(Weezer at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Photo Credit: Al Powers)
(Ellie Goulding at Surrender inside Encore Hotel and Casino)
Q: While unfortunately everything has to come to an end, I must say I am so pleased at the success of this year’s One City / One Summer Tour. It has been a pleasure reading your updates, listening to your playlists and hearing abut all the fun you have been having. With that said, are there any plans / future ideas for future summers or similar type tours?
TS: Yeah it actually turned out pretty good. Hopefully we got some people aware of some good music and certainly made them aware of OLE MASON JAR putting a twist on things. It’s been a pleasure. As for the future, I was thinking we could increase the amount of cities that we cover. I don’t know, maybe One Summer / Two Cities?
(Friends of the night at Hakkasan inside MGM Grand Hotel and Casino)
(Friends of the night attending Twin Shadow on the 4th of July at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas)
(Friends of the night downtown Las Vegas after Weezer)
• • •
What I’m 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.