The Waste Management Phoenix Open isn't so much a golf tournament as it is a seven-day excuse to party. So much so that all the birdies and bogies being unleashed by links legends like Vijay Singh and Mark Calcavecchia on the green during "the greatest show on grass" seem to take a back seat to all the revelry and rowdiness taking place.
And that's just at the Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale itself, including such annual party monster destinations as the infamous 16th hole and the Coors Light Birds Nest.
Meanwhile, club owners and nightlife promoters throughout the city hope to draw golf fans into the stylish shindigs they're planning over the next few nights and are bringing in some marquee-level DJs and producers.
R3hab - Maya Day & Nightclub - Thursday, January 30
Fadil El Ghoul -- better known to dance floor princes and princesses as R3hab -- is relatively new to the EDM game, having had his big breakout in 2008, right as the genre began to experience a seismic shift in popularity. A proponent of Dutch house, there's a distinct menace to R3hab's work, specifically his remix of Bruno Mars' Sting and The Police-indebted "Locked Out of Heaven," which shakes and quivers under the weight of R3hab's massive drop and tight, tinny hip-hop drums. It hardly makes Mars' "the sex takes me to paradise" and "make a sinner change his ways" lines sound any less cheesy, but it does add some bark and bite to the song's pop fluff.
It seems to be R3hab's most effective trick. In R3hab's Moroccan hands, even sexy/smarmy singer Enrique Iglesias sounds pretty tough, his vocals pitch-shifted down into a sinister growl before billowing synths and piano surge triumphantly, only to be smashed like an import beer under no-doubt trendy boots when R3hab flips the switches and brings the nasty back. Who's next? The polished Ms. Swift? The chilly Mr. Bolton? Neither, in fact.
Instead, R3hab collaborated with Dim Mak czar Steve Aoki on a high-energy, electro-heavy, and festival-worthy banger entitled "Flight," which dropped last month and has found its way into either artist's sets as of late. Fittingly, the two EDM kings are scheduled to pull back-to-back sets at Maya in Scottsdale this weekend, with R3hab hitting up the club on Thursday. -- Jason P. Woodbury
Borgeous - INTL - Friday, January 31
The first thing you should know about Miami-based DJ/producer John Borger is that his particular nom de guerre rhymes with "gorgeous," which is also an apt description of his plush and provoking electro-house sound. Then, it's important to know that "Tsunami," one of the attention-grabbing hits of the EDM festival last year, was indeed created by both Borger and Canadian house music duo DVBBS, and not Sander van Doorn as many believed around the time it dropped. Legendary BBC selector Pete Tong helped clear up that particular mystery while blasting the epic electro hit over the airwaves of Radio One last summer, which not only gave its authors proper credit, but helped add to Borger's burgeoning worldwide fame. Not bad for someone who's only been in the dance music game since 2012. The track's seen a lot of mileage on nightclub sound systems since it's debut and is an especially effective party instigator. And believe us, Borgeous knows a thing or three about stoking up a major rager. After all, he hails from America's capital for EDM-fueled rowdiness.
Lil Jon - Maya Day & Nightclub - Friday, January 31 When a musician decides to take a turn as a DJ, it's usually a desperate grab at street cred (or just some attention). But Lil Jon, the man with the most famous "Yeahh!" utterance of this millennium, has always been a DJ -- his charttopping singles and collaborations are simply side dishes on his massive platter of musical talents. On Friday, Maya Day and Nightclub hosts a special DJ set by the "Shots! Shots! Shots!" man himself, recently returned from a club tour in France. Come see Lil Jon spin everything from Lorde mashups to hiphop classics to EDM -- and slam down a few shots in his honor. Which ones? It's obvious: Jaegerbombs, Lemondrops, Buttery Nipples, Jello Shots, Kamikaze, Three Wise Men!
Paul Oakenfold - El Santo - Saturday, February 1
Your headphones are drenched in sweat, lower back locked in the shape of an old office chair, and the crushed aluminum of too much guzzled taurine litters the space around your feet. Your heart pounds like a bass drum. It's 3 a.m., and the pulsating blood vessels in your eyeballs are red. You have an unblinking liquid crystal stare, and adrenal jitters betray the 19-hour studio session your body has endured. Plus, you stink.
But the anthem to mayhem you've composed is beyond amazing; it's Earth-shattering. So you've burned several CD copies of it for Paul Oakenfold, upended a bottle of Cool Water cologne over your greasy head, changed shirts, and clamped a pair of limo tint shades over your eyes before racing to the club to hand it to the man who broke house music in the UK and took the uncompromising sound of trance around the world.
Oakenfold's career began in the late '70s playing funk records in a London barroom. In 1987, he took a birthday vacation to Ibiza, stayed out dancing like a maniac all night, and brought the Balearic island sound back to England like a souvenir. He invited over Spanish DJs and threw illegal after-hours parties of orgiastic excess. In time, Oakenfold locked down official club residencies that took him mainstream and led to worldwide tours with the likes of Madonna and U2 at venues like the Great Wall of China. In 1988, he formed Perfecto Records and has continually used the label not only as a vehicle to propel his own career but to launch new ones as well.
"I'm an underground guy who made it overground," he tells New Times. "With Perfecto Records, the key to what we're doing is to stay true to our roots in the underground. We're always looking for new talent. Anyone who has tracks they want me to hear, bring them to the club and hand them to me. Seriously. I once signed a Russian record like that called PPK, and it went on to sell 300,000 copies." -- Jacob Katel
Steve Aoki - Maya Day & Nightclub - Saturday, February 1
Whether rocking record decks stateside or doing "Aoki jumps" across the globe (he's jumped into more than 500 audiences), EDM monarch Steve Aoki always throws one hell of a fiesta. Famous for his relentless touring, the Grammy-nominated DJ also keeps himself busy with his record label, Dim Mak, and musical collaborations with artists including Tiesto, Bloc Party, MSTRKRFT and, as most recently rumored, Big Sean.
This year, Aoki's tour has developed a new aesthetic, which the DJ describes as "neon future technology" in preparation for his forthcoming album, Neon Future. Stage props include CO cannons, confetti blasts, Champagne sprays and Aoki's one-of-a-kind glowing headdress and matching, light-up shoes. Sounds like his gig at Maya in Scottsdale on Saturday night is ensured to be a wild and sonically well-rounded dance party. -- Britt Witt