Saturday, December 11, 2010

Leonard Cohen @ Caesars Colosseum

Wow!!! What a night!

Carolyn, Amy and I started the night off with a nice dinner at The Palm in the Forum Shops. Surprisingly this was the first time I'd dined there (and have lived in Vegas for 7 years). I had attended meetings and social functions, but not actually dined there. Great meal, and a good way to start the evening

I had heard that Leonard Cohen puts on a fabulous show, but there was no way of knowing how good it could possibly be.

This was the last show of a 3 year-246 show world tour. Cohen joked that he had started this tour as a pipe dream as a young 73 year old kid. But the road certainly did not seem to weary this unbelievable performer. From the start there was so much passion in both his singing and on stage presence, you knew you were seeing something special.

I knew sporadic songs throughout. Opening with Dance Me To The End Of Love set the tone for me and I watched, just mesmerized, as song after song this man poured everything out for a very appreciative and loyal audience. I felt amazed when he left the stage after 13 songs and was excited to hear Hallelujah for the encore. Little was I to know, that Cohen was just getting started.

After about a half hour break, where a lot of fans moved down to the stage to serenade him back on, Cohen (and a wonderfully talented band) took the stage for Part 2 of the evening. Another 11 songs - of which Hallelujah almost bought me to tears, followed immediately by I'm Your Man. This guy just did not know how to stop.

Finally (I thought) he said his goodbyes to a very appreciative audience. But no - he still had 3 encores and 6 songs left in him. Finally at midnight - THREE AND A HALF HOURS LATER - Leonard Cohen said his final goodbyes and a packed Caesars Colosseum left knowing they had just witnessed one of the best shows ever!

It doesn't matter how young or old you are, or the type of music you generally like, if you have a music bucket list - make sure Leonard Cohen is on it. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I certainly hope I get to see him again. I also hope other bands with extensive catalogs take note as to how long he played for. Living in Vegas, I feel a lot of performers take the easy money and phone it in here, especially when, on average, we seem to pay more per ticket than other cities surrounding us.

Dance Me To The End Of Love / The Future / Ain't No Cure For Love / Bird On The Wire / Everybody Knows / In My Secret Life / Who By Fire / The Darkness / Born In Chains / Democracy / Chelsea Hotel No. 2 / Waiting For The Miracle / Anthem
Second Set: Tower Of Song / Suzanne / A Singer Must Die / Sisters Of Mercy / The Gypsy's Wife / The Partisan / Boogie Street / Hallelujah / I'm Your Man / A Thousand Kisses Deep / Take This Waltz 
Encore: So Long, Marianne / First We Take Manhattan
Encore 2: Famous Blue Raincoat / If It Be Your Will / Closing Time
Encore 3: I Tried To Leave You

The Crap Facts:
This is my 310th concert.
This is my 5th concert at Caesars Colosseum.
This is my 105th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 105th concert in Nevada.
This is my 117th concert in the USA.

Leonard Cohen is the 379th band I've seen.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dandy Warhols @ Hard Rock Cafe

First time seeing a band in a brand new venue. Good start!

I'm not sure why I have never seen the Dandy Warhols before? Maybe we just have not crossed paths, but I like their laid back rockin' style so time to check out the relatively new Strip location of the Hard Rock Cafe.

Good size venue, though I was disappointed with the turnout. The Dandies were great. Plenty of crowd interaction and heaps of great songs. And the sound, as Courtney kept saying, was flawless.

I lived in England when Bohemian Like You was everywhere (thanks mostly to Vodaphone) and live it was something special. Junkie & Get Off were also highlights, as well as a great set ending Little Drummer Boy. Will definitely go and see The Dandies again (if they ever come through Vegas anytime soon). Also looking forward to seeing more shows at the Hard Rock Cafe - a great smaller venue with great sound.

Mohammed / We Used To Be Friends / Holding Me Up / Shakin' / Solid / Nietzsche / The Dope (Wonderful You) / Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth / (Tony, This Song Is Called) Lou Weed / Horse Pills / The Legend Of The Last Of The Outlaw Truckers AKA The Ballad Of Sheriff Shorty / Good Morning / Godless / Last High / Bohemian Like You / Get Off / Boys Better / The Little Drummer Boy

The Crap Facts:
This is my 309th concert.
Hard Rock Cafe is the 83rd venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 104th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 104th concert in Nevada.
This is my 116th concert in the USA.

The Dandy Warhols are the 378th band I've seen.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ditch Diggers @ Double Down

For way too long I have been promising my mate, Roman, I would go and see his band - The Ditch Diggers - play. After many false starts tonight was finally the night.

The Double Down is a great, seedy Las Vegas dive-bar where bacon martinis and ass juice are the house specialities. It is also a nightly live rock venue that always has free music - and the best jukebox anywhere. I would like to come here more often to see shows but with my early starts at work, midweek days off and their late starts (usually 11pm) it is not the ultimate combination.

However after an afternoon nap (yes I'm that old) I got down to see the Ditch Diggers open the night to a decent sized crowd and see Roman tear it up. In the tradition of pyschobilly, rock and country this 3 piece can catch a crowd's attention. Roman's guitar playing and general humble-like presence (I hope having work friends there didn't make him hold back) is a unique blend which will enamour you to the band. I hope to see them more often and learn some of the songs as they put on a good show. I would also like to see them in a venue that could give their sound a boost as tonight's sound, through their own amps, was a little weak. A proper PA would do them wonders.

I did not stay for any of the other bands due to the previously mentioned early start at work the following day. After a year of hearing about the Ditch Diggers, I hope not to wait that long to see them again.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 308th concert.
The Double Down is the 82nd venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 103rd concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 103rd concert in Nevada.
This is my 115th concert in the USA.

Ditch Diggers are the 377th band I've seen.