Sundown premiered with Gerber on a rather windy afternoon in late April, which probably kept some prospective clubbers away (the slightest chill is enough to send Vegas partiers running for the nearest hotel lobby or casino). Daylight wasn't full when I walked in around 6 PM, though it felt laid-back. Where I expected to see garish neon costumes and bathing suits, instead I saw techno label T-shirts.
Opener Brett Rubin was playing hippy-dippy beats backed up by live drummers and a horn player. It was a pleasant accompaniment to the balmy evening, but it was also a little too cheesy for my tastes. True to the concept, Gerber came on the minute the sun started setting. There was a countdown on a giant LED screen to mark the occasion, while staff T-shirts were emblazoned with that night's exact sunset time, just in case you missed the point. Sunset is a pretty prime slot for any DJ, and as far as big-name artists go, Gerber was a solid choice to soundtrack twilight. He played an especially ethereal and melodic set to go with the sky's shifting hues.
Whatever you might make of Sundown, there's no denying that Daylight does not qualify as an underground venue. The tickets might be cheaper than other events there, in the $20-$30 range, but the pool is still lined with bottle service tables and for-rent cabanas that come complete with a TV, distracting from the all-about-the-music idea. That means you'll have to pony up some cash if you want to relax during your time at Sundown, and the atmosphere of conspicuous consumption reigned supreme while I was there (people drunkenly scribbling their signatures on receipts without stopping dancing is a sight I am admittedly not used to).
Taking all this into consideration, Sundown is more of an incremental step in a positive direction rather than some radical new approach. If Vegas isn't for you in the first place, this isn't going to change your mind. If you do find yourself on the strip, though, there are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon, and Sundown does offer an oasis away from the Tiëstos, David Guettas and Zedds that otherwise populate the city's nightclubs (including Hakkasan's other venues). For a place often labelled an international clubbing mecca by the general public, Las Vegas still has a long way to go before it gains any street cred with dance music aficionados.