By HALLEH KIANFAR
The marriage of yoga and music came to fruition this past weekend at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, as they hosted the two-day Wanderlust Festival featuring Thievery Corporation. Traversing through the hotel lobby, there was a pronounced culture clash of yoga mats and slot machines.
The idiosyncratic music and yoga festival (which also stages annual festivals in Lake Tahoe, Vermont and elsewhere) kicked off with hundreds participating in poolside yoga workshops with founders John Friend and Schuyler Grant. At the other end of the spectrum, the sounds of mayhem and non-stop partygoers at the Marquee dayclub played to the backdrop of the Sangha of Yogis at the Boulevard Pool.
It was a far different scene that evening, as Wanderlust attendees revisted the transformed poolside space for a cocktail reception filled with burlesque and fire dancers as AM and Shawn Lee warmed up the open-air stage.
Later that night, Thievery Corporation rocked the stage with a full 15 member live band, providing a musical therapy of their own. The band showcased five songs from their newly released album, "Culture of Fear," with hip-hop MC Mr. Lif, Sleepy Wonder, and reggae master Ras Puma in attendance. Staring across the strip at the Paris Hotel’s Eiffel Tower, Lou Lou transfixed the audience with La Femme Parallel. The night continued with fan favorite Lebanese Blonde and the entrancing sounds of the sitar and Natalia Clavier.
This past weekend was one of a number of unconventional music events featured at the hotel. Averaging about three main acts a month, the Cosmopolitan has placed a different view on music than neighboring luxury resorts that typically focus on resident headliners. Their first summer concert series brought everything from Deadmau5 to Adele and upcoming Bright Eyes shows on the calendar.
"Wanderlust’s mash up of organic experiences, centered around personal development and nourishment, appealed to us on a personal level and was a great fit for our resort," said Rehan Choudhry, the Cosmopolitan’s director of entertainment and special events. "We were proud to bring it to Las Vegas for the first time."
Photos: Erik Kabik