Sunday, February 15, 2009

Puscifer @ The Pearl

ummmmm......errrrrr. I'm not sure what I just witnessed. It as like being at a surreal art/comedy show with mood music played in the background - and being very much out of the loop.

Hence the performance of Puscifer.

Arrived at the Palms to catch the last songs of Uncle Scratches Gospel Revival. I wish I'd gotten in earlier as this 2 piece faux-Christian blues rock band had the crowd eating out of the palm of their bible-laden hands. Heard 2 great tunes "Give Me Back My Bible" and "Amen"

Once they cleared the stage and the silver caravan was revealed, we waited a short time for Puscifer. What I knew was this was another project from Maynard (Tool, A Perfect Circle) so it was going to be interesting. A great live feed started the show with Maynard in the caravan, with a wasted cross-dressing nurse (who turned out to be Primus' Tim Alexander), trying to get the troops together to perform a 3rd show for the weekend. Once the band took the stage, Maynard took his usual unusual front man role, where he sung behind a TV screen which magnified his movements and face. Comedic video interjected the music - which I can best describe as dark and brooding, while a rotation of musicians and vocalists filled the stage (and the caravan). Except for "The Mission" not many of the songs were a big standout, but I did enjoy the visuals, and various musicians coming in and out.

I know you shouldn't hope this band would be another Tool or A Perfect Circle, but my disappointment lied in Maynard's voice. His vocals are so powerful and unique, but in Puscifier, he did not have the opportunity to unleash this.

Not the greatest concert I've ever seen, but far from the worst. It was definitely more of an arty experince than I can comprehend, however it is one of the more unique concerts I've ever seen. That's my opinon - there were plenty of Puscifer fans in the crowd that really enjoyed the whole concept.

Setlist thanks to Fourth Eye
Momma Said / Rev 22:20 / DWP / Indigo Children / DoZo / Undertaker / Vagina Mine / Polar Bear / Mission / Trekker / Sour Grapes / Queen B

The Crap Facts:
This is my 276th concert.
This is my 6th concert at The Pearl.
This is my 78th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 78th concert in Nevada.
This is my 83rd concert in the USA.
Puscifer are the 332nd band I've seen.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stratta & Danny Gans @ Wynn

Ahh Valentine's Day. Take the Mrs out for dinner and a show - well who can say no when it's free.

We haven't eaten at Stratta since it had changed from Corsa Cucina and we were looking forward to see what, if any, changes were to be seen. We were seated near the open kitchen, which I like, as I like to watch the buzz around the hub of the restaurant. Having said that, this would not be an ideal place for a quiet, romantic dinner as the restaurant is quite noisy. We started off by splitting the signature Corsa Salad (a favorite from the last time we were here). Not quite how I remembered it, but a nice start. For our entrees I was talked into the nightly special - Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto, while AH had the Butternut Squash Ravioli. The Osso Bucco was incredible. I stuck my fork in and the meat peeled off the bone - no need for a knife at all. Succulent and tender. I am not a fan of risotto and, while I tried, this one was not changing my opinion. Didn't get the chance to try the raviolli (only an appetizer size), but it was enjoyed with a couple of glasses of (well liked) Valpolicella. Went with the Bombolini desert - a fancy name for warm hazelnut donuts covered in sugar - way too decadent. Will make the eventual return to Stratta.

Danny Gans we've seen before, but we went again to see him in his new home at the Wynn (in the old Spamalot Theater - the greatest show to not make inroads in Las Vegas). What I remember from seeing him last time was his impersonations were too old and American for me (and me only - I'm 35 and only lived in the US for 7 years). He is a great performer, and again he did some stuff I didn't know (eg Johnny Carson - I know who that is, but am not familiar with his Tonight Show schtick), but he also did a lot of modern stuff. And some of his references in his jokes were extremely current (like the Michael Phelps pot incident, and reference to Bernie Maddoff' problems). His voices are great, and his singing better. Both AH and I enjoyed the show. My favorite part was his Al Pacino in Scent Of A Woman. Also when you know how much he does for local charities, you can't not like Danny Gans.

Coming to Vegas? Stratta and Danny Gans is not a bad combination for a night out.