By: Ginah Lasta
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHANE ONEAL
Not everyone has let dub step into their lives, but for those that have there is a place of worship. Bass lovers can spend their Sundays at Dub Church rejoicing to the sound system that was custom built for Prince. Put on your bass face kids, because this feel good party is designed to make you dance and decompress.
The nightclub scene is changing before our eyes. Las Vegas hosted the Electric Daisy Carnival in Summer 2011. The success of the event, and the number of attendees proved that Electric Dance Music and old skool club kids knew how to throw a party for the masses. Men dressing up in suits and women wearing their little black cocktail dresses to go out and pop bottles is stale and no longer keeping club goers satisfied.
The style and influence from the EDM community infected Las Vegas as a whole. Wearing the brightest colors, blinging yourself out with glow stick jewelry and over the top couture like tu-tus and furry boots was much cooler to wear to go dance your ass off. The more original, the better! ‘Come as you are’ is the new dress code.
George Hernandez was feeding the drums and bass lovers with a weekly underground party called Dub Church started back in Summer 2010 at a small pool hall venue . Dub Church’s name was influenced by Dub Step, a type of electronic music with aggressive bass lines, and reverberant drum patterns. The party slowly began to grow but poor sound and lack of atmosphere caused George and his crew to seek out a new venue. They tried The Black Door next to The Double Down Saloon but the rock club did not really understand that type of music. Seeking out the right venue proved to be quite a task.
By the time the Dub Church party was a year old, it didn’t have a home. That’s when George reconnected with friend DJ Michael Toast. Toast told George that The Foundation Room inside of Mandalay Bay might be willing to give Dub Step a try. Wanting to work together again, George & Toast partnered up to bring their crews together and present Dub Church at The Foundation Room. Also joining forces was Loose Cannon’s Gray Fuss. The three of them worked together to make it happen. The location advanced the growth level of Dub Church but the venue was still not quite the right fit. The Foundation Room caters to their members who you wouldn’t necessarily describe as bass heads. It wasn’t going to be easy to find a nightlife management team to take a chance on this newer, aggressive music. But that didn’t stop the Dub Church crew. They continued to seek out a venue that could understand the bigger picture, supplying the demand for new music. Whoever could understand that risk, would reep the benefits and credibility for breaking new ground.
Now the party is at King’s Room inside the Rio Hotel & Casino, an off shoot of Crown Nightclub. When Prince used to play at 3121 at Crown, a lounge was built with a sound system designed especially for him to play piano while guests would sing to all his classic hits he could not perform because of his Warner Bros. contract. The sound at this venue is perfect for drums & bass. The space is intimate and feels underground because it’s tucked in the back and you have to know that it’s there, similar to the secrecy of the rave scene back in the day.
Michael Toast who has caught a lot of shit for mixing in dub step at more mainstream clubs is truly in his element at Dub Church. “Nobody ever wants to take a chance on trying new music at nightclubs, they want to be safe and play music for people like Paris Hilton. Fuck Paris Hilton. There is a reason that it was harder to find raves back in the day, It was because you wanted to keep that phoniness out.”
Dub Church is giving Rio/King’s Room that legitimate credibility from the people in the underground EDM scene. Every week the party is growing. Dub Church continues to book the most respected people in the scene names like DJ Frankie Bones, known as “The Godfather of US Rave ” & “The Godfather of House Music” played a 2 hour set at Dub Church, two weeks ago. TC Islam, freestyled in the crowd at the intimate venue alongside the most high energy go-go dancers in Sin City like Bambu Jessica and Izzy Styles. Gray has also gotten big acts like A. Skillz, Krafty Kuts. Scratch D and more to hit the stage.
George says “The crowd (at Dub Church) IS Las Vegas’ local Bass Music community and I know I speak for the Dub Church crew when I say we all are grateful and take very seriously that we’re allowed to play such an important role in the scene. The vibe we have is because of the crowd we have and it all feeds back into itself quite naturally and we’re sooo stoked about that”
So as the same nightclub suits that were not willing to take a risk with dub step scratch their heads and wonder why they have passed out glowsticks, played skrillex’ grammy winning album and cannot reach the 200,000 people who attended EDC, the answer is simple: Culture is based on credibility, and credibility is achieved in the underground scene. Without the passionate individuals, who REALLY understand, live and breathe the music, you have a bunch of uninspiring bullshit.
Maybe they need a spiritual awakening,
Dub Church is free. 10PM every Sunday. King’s room. Dance your fucking face off!!!