09/01/2007 AT 02:00 PM EDT
Now you see her, now you don't.
Proving that Britney Spears
has learned a little something from frequent companion Criss Angel, she made brief appearances at a Las Vegas club early Saturday – only to disappear.
With her new song
"Gimme More" blasting, the pop singer showed up just after midnight as the celebrity host of the grand opening of Luxor's LAX Nightclub, dashing Internet speculation earlier in the evening that she'd cancel.
"How you guys feeling? Let's have a good night," she told the crowd from a platform above the DJ booth. Her song got an enthusiastic response from the clubgoers who included Nicky Hilton, Wilmer Valderrama, Brody Jenner, Shawn Wayans, John O'Hurley and Dave Navarro.
Wearing a short off-white dress, a white fedora hat and oversized red sunglasses, Spears spent about 20 minutes in the VIP area at a table next to illusionist Angel, who's helping shape her Video Music Awards performance.
"She's a very talented young lady and she's going to do an amazing job with the new album," Angel told PEOPLE.
Spears swayed to Timbaland's "The Way I Are" and "Shake What Your Mamma Gave Ya" as Angel joined her. At one point, she took Angel's red lollipop out of his mouth and put it in her mouth. She then headed to the ultra-private Noir Bar next to the club.
"She didn't really do anything in there," an inside source said. "It looked like she was ... hanging with her girlfriends."
After an hour in Noir Bar, Spears returned to LAX and was rejoined by Angel, who danced with her for several seconds before taking off one of his necklaces and putting it around her neck. Twenty minutes later they left for Noir Bar together. In all, she spent about 40 minutes in two shifts at LAX for her much-advertised hosting gig, all of it in the VIP area.
While in Vegas, Spears wasn't far from her ex Justin Timberlake
, who attended a Kid Rock concert at the Pearl Concert Hall at the Palms, a mile from LAX.
Her ex-husband Kevin Federline
, who's battling her for custody
, was also planning on being in Las Vegas to go to the Tao Nightclub this weekend but canceled, PEOPLE has learned.