Monday, December 31, 2012

Black Keys & Divine Fits @ New Joint

The night before New Years.  Have to get out tonight so as to not put up with amateur night tomorrow.

Erik & I got to the Joint early to see the Divine Fits.  A Spoon / Red Kross / Jesus Lizard supergroup.  They had a real Nick Cave feel to them, sort of brooding rock.  I liked what I heard (ultimately a little more than hearing them later on their A Thing Called.. album).  They finished their set with a cover of, appropriately, The Birthday Party's Shivers - an old favorite of mine that I was stunned to recognize.

I had high expectations for The Black Keys.  The first of 2 nights, celebrating New Years Eve in Vegas.  Should be a big show, right?  Not really.  They just seemed to be going through their paces and barely played an hour and a half.  Having said that their were a few highlights.  Things started well with Howlin' For You.  The back to back Gold On The Ceiling and Thickfreakness energized me and the crowd, but generally the setlist relied heavily on Brothers and El Camino which, for me, is less rocking than say Thickfreakness & Rubber Factory.

This comes across as not a particularly good review, but I did enjoy myself and will more than likely try and see them again, but maybe not if New Years festivities are involved.

Black Keys Setlist
Howlin' For You / Next Girl / Run Right Back / Same Old Thing / Dead & Gone / Gold On The Ceiling / Thickfreakness / Girl Is On My Mind / Your Touch / Little Black Submarines / Money Maker / Strange Times / Sinister Kid / Nova Baby / Ten Cent Pistol / She's Long Gone / Tighten Up / Lonely Boy
Encore: Everlasting Light / I Got Mine

The Crap Facts:
This is my 349th concert.
This is my 15th concert at New Joint.
This is my 144th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 144th concert in Nevada.
This is my 156th concert in the USA.
Divine Fits are the 411th band I've seen.
This is my 3rd Black Keys concert.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Reverend Horton Heat @ Vinyl

I had to wait till the end of the year to see the show of the year.  What a great night this turned out to be.  I've seen the Reverend twice before, once in Charlotte and once doing a double shift after Motorhead cancelled a show at Vegas House Of Blues.  But tonight was something else.

Checking out a new venue - Vinyl @ The Hard Rock Hotel - a great intimate venue perfect for this show.  Looking forward to more shows here.

Reverend Horton Heat came out and explained the layout for the night.  They were gonna play a song from each of their 9 albums (in order), throw in a couple of covers and then have Jello Biafra come out and do some songs.  From the first chords of Psychobilly Freakout the band and crowd were in a frenzy.  I don't know many songs but each of the ones listed below was better than the last.  A holiday tune - Run, Run Rudolph - and the Stray Cat's Rock This Town saw the band make an introduction to their special guest for the evening.  I was somewhat relieved as I though Jello was opening the show and I'd gotten there too late and missed him.  But out came the punk legend to tear through a couple of Guantanamo School Of Medicine songs followed by an amazing version of House Of The Rising Sun.  Reverend Horton Heat then played 2 Dead Kennedys' songs which sent Jello into another atmosphere.  It was hair-standing-on-the-back-of-of-your-neck exciting.  Back to a few more from just Reverend Horton Heat to finish up the night.  But two more highlight in the encore.  An awesome cover of Folsom Prison Blues before Jello was back on stage for an appropriately wild Viva Las Vegas.

What a great show - and a great combo.  Hope something this great happens again soon

Partial Setlist
Psychobilly Freakout / The Jimbo Song / Martini Time / Party In Your Head / Galaxy 500 / 400 Bucks / Run Run Rudolph / Rock This Town (Stray Cats cover)
With Jello Biafra: Jezabel / John Dillinger / House Of The Rising Sun / Holiday In Cambodia / Too Drunk To Fuck
Drinkng & Smoking Cigarettes / Toothbrush
Encore:  Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash Cover) / Viva Las Vegas w/ Jello Biafra

The Crap Facts:
This is my 348th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Vinyl.
Vinyl is the 92nd venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 143rd concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 143rd concert in Nevada.
This is my 155th concert in the USA.
This is my 3rd Reverend Horton Heat concert.

Friday, December 7, 2012

ZZ Top @ House of Blues

So, for the most part, since living in Vegas, I've enjoyed seeing some older performers that I normally wouldn't .  ZZ Top has been in Vegas a dozen times since I've lived here, but the opportunity to see them in a small venue like the House Of Blues was too good to pass up.

Good size crowd - none of which was really the Rodeo crowd, which I expected.  The room was still set up the way they do it for Santana, with tables everywhere, so again I got a great spot standing on the main floor.  I hardly knew any of the songs until Give Me All Your Lovin' half way through the set  but each song was better than the last.  Here is a band who have played together for over 35 years so they are tight, and while choreography was not their forte, every move was on beat and the crowd loved it.

For me it was the hits I knew that were the highlights including Sharp Dressed Man & Legs, but also glad I got to know I Gotsta Get Paid and Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers.

Overall a fun night of old-school blues-rock.  And while they weren't on any bucket list, I'm glad I got to see this legendary band.

I Thank You / Waitin' For The Bus / Jesus Just Left Chicago / Pincushion / Heard It On The X / I Gotsta Get Paid / Gimme All Your Lovin' / Vincent Price Blues / My Head's In Mississippi / Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers / Chartreuse / Stages / Sharp Dressed Man / Legs
Encore: Tube Snake Boogie / La Grange / Sloppy Drunk / Bar-B-Q / Tush

The Crap Facts:
This is my 347th concert.
This is my 45th concert at House Of Blues.
This is my 142nd concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 142nd concert in Nevada.
This is my 154th concert in the USA.
ZZ Top are the 410th band I've seen.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shania Twain @ Caesars Colosseum

OK.  This is is the furthest away from the music I would normally listen to, but when work offers a freebie, it is hard to say no.  And this preview of Shania Twain's upcoming Las Vegas residency is just her 2nd live performance in close to 15 years.

Before the show we were invited to dinner at various Forum Shops restaurants.  Amy & I lucked out and got the wonderful Il Mulino.  I don't know why we don't eat here more often.  The food is excellent and the service is impeccable.  I send a ton of guests here all the time, and I'm so glad I do - it is a dining experience everyone should have at least once.  And to top it off, I won a men's Coach bag in a raffle - again, so not me, but who knows?

Our seats are fantastic!  13 rows from the stage and dead center.  Could not have wished for more.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the spectacle.  This is a preview show, so there are things that need fine tuning (like banter with the crowd) but her voice is spot on.  I was actually quite surprised about how many songs I knew.  From You're Still The One to Don't Impress Me Much to Don't Be Stupid to Man! I Feel Like A Woman all these songs had the crowd going.

Again this not an artist I'd normally go and see, but I think Shania Twain will be a success with her Las Vegas residency.  She has obviously worked hard on the show and after a bit more practice it will cater to that Celine, Elton, Rod Stewart crowd that Caesars has captured so well.

I'm Gonna Getcha Good! / You Win My Love / Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You) / Up! / I Ain't No Quitter / No One Needs To Know / Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? / Any Man Of Mine / That Don't Impress Me Much / Honey, I'm Home / (If You're Not in It for Love) I'm Outta Here! / Carrie Anne (The Hollies cover) / Come On Over / Rock This Country! / Today Is Your Day / You're Still The One / From This Moment On
Encore: Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

The Crap Facts:
This is my 346th concert.
This is my 7th concert at Caesars Colosseum.
This is my 141st concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 141st concert in Nevada.
This is my 153rd concert in the USA.
Shania Twain is the 409th band I've seen.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Deftones & Scars On Broadway @ House Of Blues

Even before this show started I knew it would be a good one, as there is no such thing as a bad Deftones show.

Erik & I arrived for the support band - as did everybody else.  A side project from System Of A Down's Daron Malakian bought the hordes out early.  I didn't get into it that much, but more so than Erik, who answered work emails on his Blackberry while the band played.

Scars On Broadway Setlist
Scars On Broadway / World Long Gone / Sickening Wars / Universe / Chemicals / Insane / Dictator / Cute Machines / Guns Are Loaded / They Say / Fuck n Kill / Exploding/Reloading / Stoner Hate

This is the smallest venue I'd seen the Deftones in, and the best show.  As always they were intense and a collective ball of energy.  Chino Moreno stalks the stage and I love his variations from whispers to blood curdling screams.  The double Be Quiet & Drive and My Own Summer were favorites for the night.  For such a relatively big band this is a small venue for them to play in, but I'm glad they did - it made a great show a fantastic one.  Already looking forward to the next one

Deftones Setlist
Diamond Eyes / Rocket Skates / Be Quiet & Drive (Far Away) / My Own Summer (Shove It) / Poltergeist / Rosemary / Swerve City / Feiticeira / Digital Bath / Knife Prty / Tempest / Fireal / Engine No. 9 / Rivière / Change (In the House of Flies) / Passenger / Bloody Cape
Encore: Bored / Root / 7 Words

The Crap Facts:
This is my 345th concert.
This is my 44th concert at House Of Blues.
This is my 140th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 140th concert in Nevada.
This is my 152nd concert in the USA.
Scar On Broadway are the 408th band I've seen.
This is my 4th Deftones concert.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Zarkana @ Aria

I'll keep this pretty brief.  I went to see my hotel's latest incarnation of Cirque du Soleil - Zarkana.  It was a freebie and after seeing the show, I am going to have to use some creative licence to sell this product.  There was nothing in this Cirque that I haven't seen in other Cirques in Las Vegas.  And there was no spectacular pinnacle anywhere.  

Don't get me wrong - these performers are great at what they do but maybe I'm a little biased towards the underrated Viva Elvis that got canned.  Maybe my opinion would be different if this was my 1st Cirque.

Quote of the night came from Amy.  "Everyone should see a Cirque du Soleil once in their life.  Nobody should see 7!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Melvins & Hepa Titus @ Las Vegas Country Saloon

Thank God for the Melvins.

I am a fan in the sense that any time they come to a town I'm in I will see them.  I own only 2 albums.  I know very few song names, and can barely sing along to what they do, but the 5 times I've seen them previous, they have killed it.  Tonight would be no different.

My first foray to the Las Vegas Country Saloon in Downtown.  A great, small venue (a bit larger than the Casbah in San Diego where I last saw the Melvins).  I got there in time for Hepa/Titus to hit the stage.  Containing Melvins bassist for this tour, Kevin Rutmanis, the band played some good rock, enough to get the crowd ready for greatness.

The Melvins are in at the end of an incredible 51 shows in 51 days in all the US' states and territories, and we are show 49 - on Dale's birthday.  They are doing this tour as a 3 piece (Melvins Lite), so the 2 guys from Big Business aren't with them, meaning no duel drum attack.  Bummer!  Still from the get go, the Melvins played their distinct style of rock and assaulted the crowd with their greatness.  As usual it wasn't until Hooch (a Houdini song), halfway through the set, that I knew a song.  This set played heavily on the new Freak Puke album.  A couple of covers, as usual, but a great version of the Wing's Let Me Roll It topped the night.  Overall another solid show from this unique band.  I will back to see them again for 2 reasons.  1) They never fail to put on a good show and 2) I just want to hear Honeybucket once, live.  It is an all time favorite song of mine and they've no played it in the 6 times I've seen them.  Oh well!....any excuse.

Melvins Setlist
Eye Flys / Captain Pungent / Berthas / National Hamster / Worm Farm Walt / Leon Vs The Revolution / Mr. Rip Off / A Growing Disgust / A History Of Drunks / Hooch / Baby, Won't You Weird Me Out / Holy Barbarians / Let Me Roll It (Wings cover) / Set Me Straight / Deserted Cities Of The Heart (Cream cover) / Sky Pup / Electric Flower / Inner Ear Rupture / Shevil

The Crap Facts:
This is my 344th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Las Vegas Country Saloon.
Las Vegas Country Saloon is the 91st venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 139th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 139th concert in Nevada.
This is my 151st concert in the USA.
Hepa Titus are the 407th band I've seen.
This is my 6th Melvins concert.
Melvins are the 800th time I've seen a band.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Peter Gabriel & Jennie Abrahamson @ Planet Hollywood Theater

Wasn't really sure what I was going to be in for with this show.  Peter Gabriel's tour coincides with the 25th anniversary of his So album.  I've never been a fan, obviously songs here and there were liked, but Amy was keen to see this.

The Planet Hollywood Theatre was a lot bigger than I expected but we had a great isle seat about halfway back in the room.  Sitting down for music is a little weird for me, but could be appropriate for this show.  We'll see.

The show started with Swedish pianist, and Gabriel's back up singer, Jennie Abrahamson, playing a few (maybe 4) of her own original pieces.  Very mellow beginning.

Unannounced Peter Gabriel and band walked on stage and he announced the format for the show.  He wanted to do a couple of acoustic numbers before rocking out, then was to play So from start to finish.  Shock The Monkey & Digging In The Dirt were familiar to me, and awesome live.  But the rest of the opening set was great and Amy - on a rare night out for the 2 of us these days - was having a blast.  Once he started playing So, I knew a lot more songs than I realized.  Sledgehammer, Big Time & Don't Give Up were fantastic, with Jennie Abrahamson doing a super version of Kate Bush's vocals in the latter song.  The set finished with the "Say Anything" anthem In Your Eyes.  The crowd went nuts.  I could only imagine what it would have been like the following night when John Cusack actually walked on stage in Los Angeles with a boom-box to do the classic stance from the movie.  But we weren't done yet.  While only a 2 song encore (mind you this was a 2 1/2 hour show, so I'm not complaining), the night finished with Biko - in my opinion, Gabriel's greatest song.  So glad I got to experience that live

So with his original recording band from So, a great light and staging show, Peter Gabriel has still got it.  A fantastic night was no only had by us, but pretty much everyone in a near capacity Planet Hollywood Theatre.  Glad I took the opportunity to see this great artist.

Peter Gabriel Setlist
OBUT / Come Talk To Me / Shock The Monkey / Family Snapshot / Digging In The Dirt / Secret World / The Family & The Fishing Net / No Self Control / Solsbury Hill / Humdrum
Red Rain / Sledgehammer / Don't Give Up / That Voice Again / Mercy Street / Big Time / We Do What We're Told / This Is The Picture / In Your Eyes
Encore: The Tower That Ate People / Biko

The Crap Facts:
This is my 343rd concert.
This is my 1st concert at Planet Hollywood Theater.
Planet Hollywood Theater is the 90th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 138th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 138th concert in Nevada.
This is my 150th concert in the USA.
Jennie Abrahamson is the 405th band I've seen.
Peter Gabriel is the 406th band I've seen.
Peter Gabriel is the 800th time I've seen a band.
This is my 50th concert with Amy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rise Against & Gaslight Anthem @ New Joint

I keep going back to see Rise Against - even though I am not a fan - because they keep bringing good support bands with them.  This time a current favorite, The Gaslight Anthem.

Not a huge crowd for The Gaslight Anthem, and those that were there were looking to get up front for the main event.  It was an OK set by them, though too big a venue to really enjoy it.  Plenty of songs off The 59 Sound (one of my favorite albums of the last 10 years).  Not sure why these guys don't come to Vegas on their own.  In the House Of Blues or the Hard Rock Cafe they'd be terrific.

Rise Against got another chance because I saw singer Tim McIlrath in the documentary "The Other F Word".  He seems like a good bloke, so why not.  However, I was quickly reminded what I didn't like - that voice is nails on a chalk board to me and the choreographed skipping gets a bit much.  But again, I was in the minority.  The kids in The Joint had a blast and knew every word to every song.  As always my thoughts just revert back to "Maybe I'm just too old for this".  Needless to say we had one foot out the door - gotta beat the crowd, get to your car and out of that nightmare Hard Rock parking lot - when the encore started.

Though this is far from the best show I've seen, I wonder when I will see Rise Against again - and more importantly who will the bring with them.

Rise Against Setlist
Survivor Guilt / Ready To Fall / Collapse (Post-Amerika) / The Good Left Undone / Broken English / Help Is On The Way / Drones / Disparity By Design / Re-Education (Through Labor)/ Blood To Bleed / Satellite / Wait For Me / Prayer Of The Refugee / Swing Life Away / For Fiona (No Use For A Name Cover) / Make It Stop (September's Children) / Give It All
Encore:  Broken Mirrors / The Strength To Go On / Savior

The Crap Facts:
This is my 342nd concert.
This is my 14th concert at New Joint.
This is my 137th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 137th concert in Nevada.
This is my 149th concert in the USA.
This is my 3rd Gaslight Anthem concert.
This is my 3rd Rise Against concert.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Hives & Fidlar @ Cosmopolitan Pool


The Hives deserve all the plaudits they get for their high energy shows. This is only my 2nd Hives show but just amazing. 

Coming out on stage one by one in tuxedos and top hats, a smallish crowd at the still-filled Cosmo Pool gave the heir of respect was demanded from Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist. The feisty opener, Come On! set the tone for the evening. Things were going to be fast and energetic. Between song banter from the beginning was hilarious (This is the best pool party with a view of the Eiffel Tower we’ve ever played!), with Almqvist making sure what the audience needed to do to fire up the band (When I say something the only 2 responses you should have is YEAH! or THE HIVES!). Walk Idiot Walk was great and Main Offender put the crowd into overdrive. It was from then on that the crowd seemed like they were having a blast. Die Alright and Wait A Minute were fun and it seemed like everyone exploded for Hate To Say I Told you So. Go Right Ahead & Try It Again finished the set and left the crowd dying for more. It wasn’t long before we were graced with the Hives presence again. They launched into a 3 song encore which saw people going nuts in the pool – if you were anywhere near the stage (like me) you did not walk out of that show less than soaking wet. After a grand finale Tick Tick Boom the whole band joined the crowd in the pool – tuxedos and all. And much to the joy, hung around to let people take pictures with them. 

All in all, a highly energetic and wild show. The likes of which has only be equaled by The Stooges at Vegoose in 2007,Cage The Elephant at Wasted Space in 2010 and The Hives last visit to Vegas in 2005. I wish I could see the Hives every week. 

In contrast, openers Fidlar, were a good rockin’ band but just didn’t have the same connection with the audience. If you keep talking about drugs - wanting, but not getting, a big response – try something else. It gets dull after 3 attempts.

Hives Setlist
Come On! / Two-Timing Touch And Broken Bones / Take Back the Toys / 1000 Answers / Walk Idiot Walk / Main Offender / My Time Is Coming / Die, All Right! / Wait A Minute / These Spectacles Reveal The Nostalgics / I Want More / Won't Be Long / Hate To Say I Told You So / Patrolling Days
Encore: Go Right Ahead / Try It Again / Tick Tick Boom

The Crap Facts:
This is my 341st concert.
This is my 6th concert at Cosmopolitan Pool.
This is my 136th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 136th concert in Nevada.
This is my 148th concert in the USA.
Fidlar are the 404th band I've seen.
This is my 2nd Hives concert.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Jane's Addiction @ Cosmopolitan Pool

Another nice night out by the pool – this time for Jane’s Addiction. 

Erik & I arrived at 10pm and the place was packed (more than I’d ever seen at Cosmo’s pool). We got a spot on the right a small ways back from the stage – but we can see fine. Just as we settle in the band saunter on stage. This is a band that I picture being wild in their heyday, but 20 plus years has wearied them and it is a different type of performance now – one where you have to love the music. 

Jane’s played a good mix of songs from all albums but it is the stuff from Jane’s and ritual that I want to hear. Mountain Song was great and Been Caught Stealing early on got the crowd in a good mood. Surprisingly we got Jane Says in the middle of the set, followed by a percussion fueled Chip Away. This kinda slowed the show’s momentum and a bit of a buzzkill. Three Days kicked it up a little but it was my favorite, Stop!, that was the highlight of the night. Summertime Rolls ended the set, disappointingly after only about 80 minutes. What’s that all about? How can Jane’s only have 80 minutes of music to play – and no encore. Another good show, but far too short.

Underground / Mountain Song / Just Because / Been Caught Stealing / Ain't No Right / Irresistible Force / Jane Says / Chip Away / Up The Beach / Price I Pay / Three Days / Splash A Little Water On It / Ocean Size / Stop! / Summertime Rolls

The Crap Facts:
This is my 340th concert.
This is my 5th concert at Cosmopolitan Pool.
This is my 135th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 135th concert in Nevada.
This is my 147th concert in the USA.
This is my 3rd Jane's Addiction concert.
Jane's Addiction are the 250th time I've seen a band in the USA.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bloc Party & Santigold @ Cosmopolitan Pool

Unfortunately the weather put a literal and figurative dampener on the evening.  A rare storm passing through Vegas meant that I was getting to the venue as Santigold was supposed to start.  Instead I was greeted with a mile long line through the Cosmo’s convention center, as lightning had prevented doors being opened for guest safety.  Finally got into the venue only for continued rain to keep the roadies busy getting Santigold’s gear ready, then protecting it with plastic covers.  After near an hour, an announcement is made that Santigold would be cancelled, to many jeers from the crowd. 

On the plus side this did thin out the crowd a little, while it took another hour to set up for Bloc Party.  And just when they were about to come on stage some water got into a keyboard and made a God-awful noise (another 20 minutes to sort this out).  Finally at 11.20pm Bloc Party take the stage and kicked off with Octopus from the forthcoming Four album.  It wasn’t until Positive Tension that the crowd reacted with a bit more fervor. The set was a great one, with snippets taken from all 4 albums, but mostly from my favorite Silent Alarm.  After a mere 50 minutes they finished off with Helicopter and took bows for the crowd.  I at least expected an encore but by the time they’d left the stage it was announced that Santigold would perform.

It didn’t take nearly as long for her set up, and with even less people in the crowd, Santigold was on stage by 12.30am.  Generally speaking this is not type of music I’d listen to, but, like when I saw Thievery Corporation at Coachella a few years ago, Santigold has a great presence and puts on a fun show.  About 4 songs in she invited anyone who could get on stage to come on up and it seemed like it was 50/50 to those still in the crowd to those on stage.  After about half an hour of heavy thumping bass, I was done – it was still an hour before I’d get home and this is waaaay past my bedtime. 

While the Bloc Party was shortened due to the weather, it still turned out to be a pretty good night, in spite of the start.

Bloc Party Setlist
Octopus / Hunting for Witches / Positive Tension / Real Talk / Song for Clay (Disappear Here) / Banquet / Team A / So Here We Are / One More Chance / This Modern Love / Ares / Flux / Helicopter

The Crap Facts:
This is my 339th concert.
This is my 4th concert at Cosmopolitan Pool.
This is my 134th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 134th concert in Nevada.
This is my 146th concert in the USA.
Santigold are the 403rd  band I've seen.
This is my 4th Bloc Party concert.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Beck @ Pearl

I am worried that I have such high expectations going into this show I may be disappointed. Beck is renowned for putting on a great show and nowadays these shows are few and far between. Surprisingly the Pearl is not two-thirds full, and there is plenty of room on the floor – though I am with the Hills so the freak magnet was still on in the form of a Michael Jackson dancing guy right in front of us. He definitely started with a one-two band with Devil’s Haircut & Loser to start the night. I am not too familiar with a lot of his songs, so I was wondering where he’d go from there. The entire set stayed solid, with a great Bob Dylan Leopard Skill Pill Box Hat cover (better than when I saw Dylan do it a couple of years ago). While Beck himself kept pretty low key, the band was tight and having a great time. New Pollution and the finishing Where It’s At were a couple of other highlights, before an awe inspiring 3 song encore including Mutherfuker & Girl.

While it was not the spectacle I was thinking of, this Odelay heavy Beck set was a great performance and I’m so glad I can tick him off a rock n roll bucket list.

Devil's Haircut / Loser / Novacane / Black Tambourine / Soul Of A Man / Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Bob Dylan Cover) / Hotwax / Modern Guilt / Think I'm In Love / Lost Cause / Guess I'm Doing Fine / Sunday Sun / Soldier Jane / Bad Blood (First time played live) / Sissyneck / The New Pollution / Gamma Ray / Minus / Paper Tiger / Where It's At
Encore: Girl / Mutherfuker / E-Pro

The Crap Facts:
This is my 338th concert.
This is my 10th concert at Pearl.
This is my 133rd concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 133rd concert in Nevada.
This is my 145th concert in the USA.
Beck is the 402nd  band I've seen.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Barenaked Ladies & Blues Traveler @ New Joint

Why have I never seen Blues Traveler?  These guys are phenomenal!  Such a great energy, amazing musicianship and a happy repoire with the crowd.  While this is a relatively short set, John Popper and the boys certainly set the crowd alight.  There were a couple of songs I recognized including Run Around and the opening Sublime cover of What I’ve Got.

Blues Traveler Setlist
What I Got (Sublime Cover) / Devil In The Details / Love & Greed / Recognize My Friend / Runaround / Things Are Looking Up / But Anyway / You Don't Have To Love Me / Hook

It’s been 13 years since I last saw the Barenaked Ladies (a great birthday night at the Metro in Sydney in 99).  While the energy level is not as pumped as I remembered, this is still a great, fun show.  I’m there to hear the classics – One Week (they seemed tired of that song) and Brian Wilson, but stayed for the rest – including a great improv / cover medley.  Also loved the fact that Blues Traveler’s John Popper played on the If I Had A Million Dollars.  The venue seemed a little too big for the night, but it was nice not to be the old guy in the room for a change and get close-ish to the stage.  I may not pursue another Barenaked Ladies show but will definitely be on the lookout for another Blues Traveler show.

Barenaked Ladies Setlist
How Long / The Old Apartment / Adlib (Highway To Hell) / It's All Been Done / Boomerang / Too Little Too Late / For You / Wishing / Blame It On Me / Brian Wilson / Four Seconds / Pinch Me / Big Bang Theory Theme / One Week / If I Had $1,000,000 / Barenaked Rap 
Encore: Alcohol

The Crap Facts:
This is my 337th concert.
This is my 12th concert at New Joint.
This is my 132nd concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 132nd concert in Nevada.
This is my 144th concert in the USA.
Blues Traveler are the 401st band I've seen.
This is my 2nd Barenaked Ladies concert.
Barenaked Ladies are the 150th band I've seen at least twice.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Airborne Toxic Event & Henry Clay People @ Hard Rock Pool

According to Erik’s rule if you see at least 3 songs, you’ve seen a band.  Therefore we just saw Henry Clay People.  And disappointingly we weren’t there earlier.  They were a great, rocking band who warm up the crowd well.  They finished with a good cover of (their words) The Greatest Rock Song Ever Written – Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run.

I don’t listen to the radio at all, so it is through others and dumb luck that I may now discover new bands.  Today it’s dumb luck!  I got given a pair of free tickets to this show via a Concierge function.  I know nothing about this band – but free tickets to a venue I’d not seen a gig in – I thought I’d give it a shot.  And drag Erik with me – he knew just as much.  So glad I did!  A loyal following for Airborne Toxic Event sees a good size crowd enjoying the warm weather by the Hard Rock’s Pool.  And from the get go these guys are rocking.  A good rock sound with the unique sounds of violin and occasional keyboard, combined with a great band energy sees this turn out to be a great show.  None of the songs sound familiar to me, but definitely good enough to look for a CD in the near future. 

An encore saw an a few extended songs, including The Clash’s I Fought The Law, as the singer opted to make the most of the pool mid song.  Needless to say, many were happy to join him.  Will definitely keep an eye out to see them again.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 336th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Hard Rock Pool.
Hard Rock Pool is the 89th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 131st concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 131st concert in Nevada.
This is my 143rd concert in the USA.
Henry Clay People are the 399th band I've seen.
Henry Clay People are the 150th different band I've seen in Las Vegas.
Airborne Toxic Event are the 400th band I've seen.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Jesus & Mary Chain @ House Of Blues

I don’t know why I wanted to go to this concert, as I don’t know any songs, but I was somewhat compelled to see The Jesus and Mary Chain. And when the good people at Punks In Vegas offered me 2 free tickets, how could I say no?

It was a late start for the House of Blues, normally their shows are over by 10pm, but tonight they are not on stage until 10pm. Too late for this old guy (still tired from Weezer last night). The band do not have much of a stage presence, nor a repoire with the audience, but the music was good. Sidewalking, Reverence and Taste Of Cindy were highlights, but again they were on stage barely an hour. I’m glad I got to see them, but probably would not head back for another dose of The Jesus And Mary Chain.

Snakedriver / Head On / Far Gone And Out/ Between Planets / Blues From A Gun / Teenage Lust / Sidewalking / Cracking Up / All Things Must Pass / Some Candy Talking / Happy When It Rains / Halfway To Crazy / Just Like Honey / Reverence
Encore: The Hardest Walk / Taste Of Cindy / Never Understand

The Crap Facts:
This is my 335th concert.
This is my 43rd concert at House Of Blues..
This is my 130th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 130th concert in Nevada.
This is my 142nd concert in the USA.
Jesus & The Mary Chain are the 398th band I've seen.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weezer @ Mandalay Bay Beach

After a year and a half, it’s Weezer again. Back at the Joint when they were doing the Memories Tour, playing the Blue Album and Pinkerton, it seemed like they were going through the motions. But tonight it was back to fun.

I love the Mandalay Bay Beach as a venue, standing ankle deep in the water relatively close to the stage, in the warm weather. How can you go wrong? The Hills and I had a great spot right in front – on a slight raise with no obstructions.

My Name Is Jonas, Hash Pipe and Undone – The Sweater Song early on the piece was a great start. The band were having a blast, and the crowd was as well. Also loved Island In The Sun, (the rarely played) Susanne and Surf Wax America. The piece de resistance though was a cover of Poison’s Talk Dirty To Me. After a quick break, Weezer finished the show with a great ending of Buddy Holly and Beverly Hills. Overall 19 songs and a fun show, but Weezer were on stage under 75 minutes. You’d think after being together for so long and Joe Public forking over $50 plus, you’d be able to play a little longer. Nice work if you can get it. Just saying!

Tired Of Sex / My Name Is Jonas / Hash Pipe / Can't Stop Partying / Undone - The Sweater Song / Troublemaker / Dope Nose / Put Me Back Together / Island In The Sun / Suzanne / Perfect Situation / Surf Wax America / (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To / Pork & Beans / Say It Ain't So / Talk Dirty To Me (Poison Cover) / The Greatest Man That Ever Lived
Encore: Buddy Holly / Beverly Hills

The Crap Facts:
This is my 334th concert.
This is my 2nd concert at Mandalay Bay Beach.
This is my 129th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 129th concert in Nevada.
This is my 141st concert in the USA.
This is my 3rd Weezer concert..

Monday, May 28, 2012

Punk Rock Bowling @ 6th Street

Unfortunately I was only here for 2 bands on the 3rd day.  GBH played some old school hardcore punk, but I wasn't that into it.  I was there for Pennywise.  This was my 7th time seeing them, but the first with their new singer Zoli.  I'm a huge fan of this band live but sightly skeptical of seeing them without Jim Lindberg.  Plenty of familiar songs, with Society, Perfect People and Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown highlights.  But finally I got to hear my favorite Pennywise song, Same Old Story, live.  I think Pennywise will continue strong.  After years of probably watching Lindberg, Zoli has developed a similar style that is not his own yet.  Once he settles in, and fans get over the fact that the new singer is here to stay, Pennywise will be their awesome selves again.

I hope not to be in Vegas by this time next year (9 years has been enough so far), but if I am, I'll be back for PRB.

GBH Setlist
Unique / Race Against Time / Lycanthropy / Diplomatic Immunity / Freak / Time Bomb / Gunned Down / Maniac / Drugs Party In 526 / Kids Get Down / I Am The Hunted / Give Me Fire / Sick Boy / City Baby Attacked By Rats / City Baby's Revenge / No Survivors / Alcohol / Generals

The Crap Facts:
This is my 333rd concert.
This is my 3rd concert at 6th Street.
This is my 128th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 128th concert in Nevada.
This is my 140th concert in the USA.
GBH are the 397th band I've seen.
GBH is the 50th time I've seen an English band.
This is my 7th Pennywise concert.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Punk Rock Bowling @ 6th Street

For some reason security were unable to get people in at a timely rate on the 2nd night, so we missed Street Dogs and the first few songs of Hepcat.  With their swing-ska style Hepcat made for a casual start in the cooler weather this evening.  Up next were the Cockney Rejects – the Godfather’s Of Oi!.  These East Londoners gave all in their hardcore set.  While it wasn’t quite my cup of tea, it was a blistering set.  I loved their football songs (which none of the crowd seemed to get), Trouble On The Terraces and West Ham’s unofficial theme I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.  Last band for the night was Rancid.  I can’t get enough of these guys live.  They are a great band, who put on a fantastic show, and fans aren’t afraid to show their appreciation for what they do on the stage.  Rancid's punk gives you no choice but to dance.  Their love of their music is infectious.  All the way through the set the band played great song after great song.  Roots Radicals and Olympia, WA were standouts.  And the encore with Time Bomb and Ruby Soho left me wanting for more.  That will have to wait for tomorrow night.

Rancid Setlist
Radio / Roots Radicals / The Way I Feel / Journey To The End Of The East Bay / Dead Bodies / Last One To Die / East Bay Night / Maxwell Murder / The 11th Hour / Adina / I Wanna Riot / Red Hot Moon / Old Friend / Nihilism / Rejected / St Mary / Salvation / Bloodclot / Listed MIA / Olympia , WA / It’s Quite Alright / The Wars End / Something In The World Today / Fall Back Down
Encore: Time Bomb / Tenderloin / Ruby Soho

The Crap Facts:
This is my 332nd concert.
This is my 2nd concert at 6th Street.
This is my 127th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 127th concert in Nevada.
This is my 139th concert in the USA.
Hepcat are the 395th band I've seen.
Cockney Rejects are the 396th band I've seen.
This is my 4th Rancid concert.
Rancid is the 200th time I've seen a band in Las Vegas.
Rancid is the 200th time I've seen a band in Nevada.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Punk Rock Bowling @ 6th Street

9 years in Vegas and this is my first Punk Rock Bowling.  How did that happen?

While the main festival goes all day, work (and the fact that I’m old restricts me to just a few bands a night).

The first night we got situated to see The Briefs.  A band I’d not heard of before, The Briefs started my festival blazing through a set looking like 80’s pop stars.  

Briefs Setlist
Silver Bullet / Poor & Weird / Antisocial / I'm A Raccoon / Knife / Destroy The USA / New Shoes / We Got The Neutron Bomb (Weirdos cover)

I thought I knew English Beat songs but I found I was limited to just a couple.  Their ska-tinged rock was a nice interlude between the pace of the rest of the night.  It was also great to see lead singer, Dave Wakeling, rip into some idiot who threw something at him during the first song.  Wakeling berated the guy all the way out of the venue, with everyone (myself included) laughing at the tool as he unsuccessfully tried to save face.  Mirror In The Bathroom and Tears Of A Clown were crowd, and my favorites, but a rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone will always make this Liverpool fan happy.

The Addicts were up next.  This English band pulled out all the theatrics for the night.  Great show and the lead singer in his garish costumes (while the rest of the band look like A Clockwork Orange) have a great presence.  Add the few hilarious costume changes and even though I didn’t know a song, I thought it was a great set.

It had been over 13 years since I’d last seen NoFX, and then I wasn’t that into it.  Tonight it is completely different.  From the get go, the show was fun, funny and rocking.  I’m not familiar with a lot of their songs, but they played Leave It Alone, which is my fave, as well as the Punk In Drublic album.  Between song banter within the band and to the crowd was funny, and the tiny banner on the stage was a big f–you  to other bands and their large displays.  A great first night.

NoFX Setlist
60% / Dinosaurs Will Die / The Quitter / Soul Doubt / Bob / Linoleum / Leave It Alone / Dig / My Heart Is Yearning / The Quass / Dying Degree / Fleas / Lori Meyers / Scavenger Type / Perfect Government / Jeff Wears Birkenstocks / Punk Guy / The Cause / Reeko / Don't Call Me White / The Brews / Who's Gonna Be The First To OD At PRB / Seeing Double At The Triple Rock / Murder The Government / We Called It America / Stickin' in My Eye

The Crap Facts:
This is my 331st concert.
This is my 1st concert at 6th Street.
6th Street is the 88th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 126th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 126th concert in Nevada.
This is my 138th concert in the USA.
The Briefs are the 392nd band I've seen.
The English Beat are the 393rd band I've seen.
The Addicts are the 394th band I've seen.
This is my 2nd NoFX concert.
NoFX are the 50th time I've seen a band in at least 2 states.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Larry S. Lau

b 19 October 1935
d 18 May 2012

Survived by his children
Michael Lau
Barbara Lau
Lisa Warren
Jenny McCartney
Jon Lau

his stepchildren
Drew Baird
Amy Hutch

and his grandchildren
Megan Lau
Braden Lau
Mitchell Warren
Julie Warren
Beth Warren
Ian McCartney
Tyler McCartney
Amethyst Lau
Patience Lau
Holden Lau
Harley Lau
DJ Lau
Mason Baird
Barrett Hutch
Leland Hutch

Our regret is Goo never met Barrett & Leland.  Hope you have landed at heaven's largest model railroad, surrounded by Morgan, Jesse, Sherman & a million labs.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Viva Elvis & Julian Serrano @ Aria

Ahhh! The trusted comp. A great perk of my job, which I have taken advantage of while my mum is here to see Viva Elvis for the 4th time. Because I sell the show we have been given some great seats and mum is excited. Unlike the free Elton tickets, which came out of the blue, I knew mum would want to see this and had this planned for a while.

I’d heard there were some changes since I’d seen it 17 months ago so I was interested to see what was changes to a show that is leaving Las Vegas in August. Mum loved it, she had a blast. I on the other hand was kind of bored. I didn’t think the changes did much to enhance the show, but I was still dazzled by the trampoline act once again. That was amazing! It’s kind of sad that this show could not find

After the show we went and sat up at the bar at Julian Serrano. This is my favorite restaurant in ARIA. The food is fantastic and the atmosphere is not as stuffy as the other more formal dining rooms. Steak & Brie, patatas bravos, shrimp tempura and some sangrias were the end of a good night out.

Friday, May 11, 2012

RM Seafood & Santana @ House of Blues

Before I had gotten the freebies to Elton, I had bought tickets for Santana to take Mum for Mother’s Day.  Santana is a childhood holiday memory for me.  Mum and dad always had Santana (and The Who) in the car as we headed north on a car-breaking-down holiday.  I had seen Santana before at the New Joint, but am looking forward to seeing him in the smaller House Of Blues.

We started off the night sitting up at the bar at RM Seafood.  Great restaurant right across way from the House Of Blues.  I think mum now understands how lucky we are here with all the dining options.

The show seemed packed in the seating, but there was plenty of room on the floor, closest to the stage, where we were.  This is to advantage of my 5ft mother.

While his guitar playing is amazing, Santana does not have an exuding stage presence – standing back from the stage and rarely interacting with the crowd.  We got some early classics - Black Magic Woman and Oye Como Va - set the crowd alight.  Tonight he played a lot of songs I was not familiar with, but mum was having a great time, which was the whole plan.  Near the end, I loved Jingo & Evil Ways and the crowd went nuts for Smooth.  A great night seeing another great performer / legend.

Love Is You, Love Is Me / Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen / Oye Como Va / Maria Maria / Foo Foo / Blues For Ladies Of The Night / Batuka / No One To Depend On / Corazon Espinado / Jingo / Europa / Evil Ways / A Love Supreme / Smooth / Dame Tu Amor
Encore: Woodstock Chant / Soul Sacrifice / Bridegroom / Into The Night / Love, Peace & Happiness / Freedom

The Crap Facts:
This is my 330th concert.
This is my 42nd concert at House Of Blues.
This is my 125th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 125th concert in Nevada.
This is my 137th concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Santana concert.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Elton John @ Caesars Colosseum

Out of the blue came the invite I’d been waiting years for, and at the time when mum was here. Elton John at Caesars Palace. It is the first time I’d seen him and mum’s 2nd show – the 1st one was 42 years ago. How great is that!

We had some great seats in the rear orchestra. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would he do new stuff I didn’t know? Does he have the same flamboyance he used to? It turns out I need not worry as this is a great show.

The Bitch Is Back was the appropriate opener as Elton had many digs at other performers (Madonna, Britney) during his show. From there it was near on 2 hours of a mixture of classics and a few unknowns (to me). Bennie & The Jets, Tiny Dancer (cause that’s Amy’s fave) and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road were highlights for me. And the set ended on a rocking note with I’m Still Standing, Crocodile Rock and the first 5 rows getting on stage for Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting. His one song encore was from the Lion King Soundtrack, which I didn’t know but everyone loved.

He is no longer as flamboyant as his younger days, but the electronic backdrop and the Million Dollar Piano more than makes up for this. This was a great show, and made even better that I could take mum – who had a blast! Hope I get the chance to take Amy in the future.

The Bitch Is Back / Bennie & The Jets / Rocket Man / Levon / Tiny Dancer / Your Song / Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters / Better Off Dead / Indian Sunset / Blue Eyes / Goodbye Yellow Brick Road / I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues / Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me / Philadelphia Freedom / I'm Still Standing / Crocodile Rock / Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
Encore: Circle Of Life

The Crap Facts:
This is my 329th concert.
This is my 6th concert at Caesars Palace.
This is my 124th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 124th concert in Nevada.
This is my 136th concert in the USA.
Elton John is the 391st band I've seen.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cage The Elephant & Bad Cop @ Cosmopolitan Pool

It had already been a long day by the time I got to the Cosmopolitan Pool.  What with Reggae & Phil arriving at 7am, the boys first birthday party at a park in Summerlin, and a house full of people, I could've easily just called it a night.  Thankfully I didn't!

It had been unusually cold all day, with rain while we were outside with the boys.  But with my trusty cardigan and beanie, Reggae, Phil & I met the Hills and braved the elements.

We were there early to see Bad Cop, a Tennessee band who were pretty good.  While it seemed as though no one in Las Vegas knew who they were, they played some great rock and go the crowd warmed up for the main event.

From the get go Cage were on fire!  They were out of the gates with 2024 and lead singer Matthew Shultz was dancing around stage like these songs were all his favorite of all time.  He has a crazy energy and does not stop for the whole show.  Even with the wind and the cold, the sound was great and there was not one lowlight to be spoken of (except maybe the small amount of attendees at the show).  In One Ear was wild, as was Back Against The Wall, and to hear everyone sing Ain't No Rest For The Wicked at full belt was awesome.  I had been listening to the Live At Chicago's Vic CD and was hoping they'd do the Psycho Killer cover, but was just as stoked to hear Pavement's False Skorpions finish a blazing show.

The night finished with me dropping Phil & Reggae off at the airport as they continue their journey home via Hawaii (I wish that was me).  I think they liked the show, I know the Hills did, and I as sure loved it.  Hope they come back through town soon

Cage The Elephant Setlist
2024 / In One Ear / Aberdeen / Tiny Little Robots / Lotus / Around My Head / Japanese Buffalo / Back Against The Wall / Flow / Rubber Ball / Back Stabbin' Betty / Sell Yourself / Lazy Eye (Silversun Pickups cover) / Shake Me Down / Sabertooth Tiger
Encore: Ain't No Rest For The Wicked / False Skorpion (Pavement cover)

The Crap Facts:
This is my 328th concert.
This is my 3rd concert at Cosmopolitan Pool.
This is my 123rd concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 123rd concert in Nevada.
This is my 135th concert in the USA.
Bad Cop are the 390th band I've seen.
This is my 3rd Cage The Elephant concert.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mastodon & Opeth @ House Of Blues

Because I'm old now it is very rare that I don't call a venue to find out what time a band starts and I arrive a couple of minutes before they take the stage.  This was going to be the case with Mastodon, until I read an article about Opeth.  Described as a European black metal band, who unbeknowst to me, have been around for years, I decided to get in a little early and check these guys out.  They have a big following as the House of Blues is already near full.  I don't know any songs but instead of metal, it was more of like an atmospheric rock, which after time was agitating the crowd.  This is apparently Opeth's new direction and not so popular with their old-school fans.  It is not until the last 2 songs that they, and the crowd, cut loose with some great riffs and some music befitting of a Mastodon opener.  Glad I made the effort to get there to see them, but probably wouldn't see them again - unless it was guaranteed they'd play old stuff - I'm not much into the atmospherics.

Opeth Setlist
The Devil's Orchard / I Feel The Dark / Slither / Windowpane / Burden / The Lines In My Hand / Folklore / Demon Of The Fall / The Grand Conjuration

Soon after, Mastodon arrived to thunderous applause, though the crowd seemed to have thinned out slightly after Opeth (fine by this old guy).  Now that I'm a dad, I notice a lot of dad-like things, and early on in the set it was great to see the lead singer spot his young son watching from above.  Father & son got a great buzz out of the exchange and it seemed to spur Troy Sanders on.  This is the Heritage Hunter Tour, so Mastodon played a lot from their latest album.  Highlights for me were Crack The Skye, Curl Of The Burl & Blood & Thunder.  This is my 4th time seeing Mastodon, but 1st time at one of their shows (had seen them at festivals and opening for Alice In Chains before).  Great show, but a little short for my liking.  With 5 albums worth of material, I thought we may have gotten more, though the 10pm House Of Blues curfew for all ages shows probably had some thing to do with it.

Mastodon Setlist
Black Tongue / Hand Of Stone / Crystal Skull / Dry Bone Valley / Thickening / Octopus Has No Friends / Blasteroid / Stargasm / The Hunter / Crack The Skye / All The Heavy Lifting / Spectrelight / Curl Of The Burl / Bedazzled Fingernails / Aqua Dementia / Blood & Thunder / The Sparrow

The Crap Facts:
This is my 327th concert.
This is my 41st concert at House Of Blues.
This is my 122nd concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 122nd concert in Nevada.
This is my 134th concert in the USA.
Opeth are the 389th band I've seen.
This is my 4th Mastodon concert.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Madness @ House Of Blues

Another older band to check out! These are usually hit (Leonard Cohen) or miss (Bad Brains) but a risk that need to be taken.

Needless to say a right decision was made.

After dinner at Hussong’s in Mandalay Place , I walked into a relatively packed House of Blues with Erik & Spooner and got our regular spot, down the front on the left hand side. We only had to wait a few minutes before we were graced with the presence of the 10 piece English legends. And from the get go it was all good. The crowd, a lot of which were English – and a lot older than I (it’s nice not to be the old guy at the show for a change) – reacted with wild abandon when the band started with One Step Beyond. Madness then preceded to give Las Vegas a lesson in great ska shows over the next hour plus. Songs were somewhat familiar to me but the energy of band and the crowd made this a night to remember. It wasn’t until the last four songs that I got to hear all I wanted. House Of Fun, Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love & Our House finished off the set, and the crowd was going nuts. After a brief break, we got a 3 song encore which left me wanting more. Unfortunately we did get Chas Smith coming back out to thank the crowd, wearing nothing but a towel – which was taken from him by the saxophone player. Leaving him to walk off stage nude as the crowd roared approval again.

I love going to concerts, and there is nothing better than a good one. But tonight I’ve never been so glad to see a show. The thought of reading about how good this show was would’ve been devastating. I wonder what the chances of ever seeing Madness again are.

One Step Beyond / Embarrassment / The Prince / NW5 / My Girl / The Sun & The Rain / Take It Or Leave It / Taller Than You / Iron Shirt / Clerkenwell Polka / Shut Up / Grey Day / Bed & Breakfast / Forever Young / House Of Fun / Baggy Trousers / Our House / It Must Be Love
 Encore: Tartans Or Swan Lake / Madness / Night Boat To Cairo

The Crap Facts:
This is my 326th concert.
This is my 40th concert at House Of Blues.
This is my 121st concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 121st concert in Nevada.
This is my 133rd concert in the USA.
Madness are the 388th band I've seen.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kooks @ House of Blues

On the strength of 1 album (their first – 2006’s Inside In/Inside Out) I went to see the pop rock of the Kooks at the trusty of House of Blues. Also got Spooner to come along.

Not sure if there was an opener as we wandered in as The Kooks hit the stage, as is my planning with the twins and work these days, I only get to a show in time to see who I want. There is a decent sized crowd, probably mostly English, but it’s a great venue with this size a crowd.

From the start the band and crowd had some fun but it wasn’t until after the 5th or 6th song, when the lead singer did an acoustic solo, that the show got out of 3rd gear. I had a blast, all the songs were good, but obviously I enjoyed the one’s I new best. Ooh La, If Only, She Moves In Her Own Way were the highlights. But they played only for an hour - what?! All the way from England and you can only put in an hour. That's a bit rawkus. I’m not sure Spooner was quite sold - but none the less a good night.

PS. Dear House of Blues Las Vegas, $17 for a Bud Light and a bottle of Dasani water!! Really? Really????

The Crap Facts:
This is my 325th concert.
This is my 39th concert at House Of Blues.
This is my 120th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 120th concert in Nevada.
This is my 132nd concert in the USA.
The Kooks are the 387th band I've seen.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Santa Barbara, CA to Las Vegas, NV

Today Amy is having her meeting. It’s our last day, so the boys and I are going to spend the day exploring. Around midday we head down to the Harbor to have a wander. I do the fatherly thing and show them the ocean, seals, seagulls, sand etc, but they are not interested – actually they are a pain in the butt with all their fussing. After an hour I can’t take it any more so we get back in the car to see if they will calm down. They do – by falling asleep. I decide to drive around, just for the peace and quiet. I try and stay along the coast as long as possible, just to enjoying being near the water. We ended up back at the hotel in time for them to eat, and after lunch the fussing continued, so we stayed inside. I tried to get them to nap later in the afternoon, as I wanted one as well before the long haul home.

When Amy came back I went out and got her a sandwich for dinner. We fed the boys, packed the car, and at 7.30pm we were on the road back to Vegas. The drive home was uneventful (thanks mostly to nobody being in the HOV lane for a majority of the drive), though we stopped just outside of Baker, where Amy took over driving as I was starting to nod off a little.

A good weekend – as usual not long enough. But a great town. We’ll hopefully be back someday, though I say that with many other places on list to visit.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Santa Barbara, CA

This is our whole day to ourselves and we decide to drive up to Solvang. We’d heard about this town, but neither Amy nor I had been there. Solvang is a small town an hour northwest of Santa Barbara that was settled by Danes in 1911. The northern European influence is evident in this small touristy town. We got there just as things were opening, and I think Mondays are their hangover day from the weekend, as there were very few people around. It was nice to wander around the small shops (and not see any large chains that you see in every other US city), and just spend time somewhere different with the family.

We headed back to Santa Barbara after a couple of hours. We stopped at Solvang Mission, but did not take the tour. We drove up via the coast road, which was picturesque. Just to be different we went back via the inland road. This was just as scenic, but of the surrounding country side, rolling hills and Lake Cachuma, but not the Pacific Ocean. We stopped at Whole Foods back in Santa Barbara to pick up some lunch for all of us.

After feeding the boys their 2pm feed, we went out and wandered around the town – checking out State Street in Santa Barbara . Such a beautiful town – and again just being outside in the perfect weather made for a relaxing afternoon.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oxnard, CA to Santa Barbara, CA

Once we got the boys started for the day we headed down to Oxnard Beach for an afternoon of sun and sand. The weather was just perfect for us to put up an umbrella by the channel and watch the boats drift in and out. The boys, as always, loved being outside, though they wouldn’t venture off the blanket and on to the sand. We picked up some take away from Manda’s Galley and enjoyed the sights and sounds that I miss from living so far from the coast.

In the afternoon we made the 45 minute drive up to Santa Barbara , where we are staying at the Inn of Spanish Garden. The drive was non eventful, actually we went beyond as the boys were asleep and we were happy with the quiet.

After working in a 4000 room hotel, staying in a 23 room hotel was bliss and this one was beautiful. We are 3 blocks away from State Street (Santa Barbara's main drag) and about a mile from the beach. By the time we got settled in and fed the boys, we decided we’d head towards the beach to find dinner for us. We walked out on to the pier and picked up some fish and chips from Char West and sat on the pier. While it was a little cool, it was great to be outside (again) enjoying the ocean air.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thousand Oaks, CA to Oxnard, CA

Up and out pretty early for our quick trip to Carolyn's. We reached Oxnard in no time and after a drive past the beach, we arrived early at Carolyn’s. It was a beautiful day and we took full advantage of being able to sit outside on the lawn. The boys loved it! While a little hesitant at the feel of the grass they were content to play on their blankets and enjoy the outdoors.

After their lunch we all drove into Ventura and we wandered around the small town and headed towards the beach. Again the boys were in their element. Feet up in the stroller, girls fussing over them and the warm sun on their faces. For me it was just great to see the ocean. All the smells and the people enjoying themselves – the ocean just seems to relax me. After wandering we settled on Corrales for lunch. This little, local hole in the wall Mexican place was fantastic. The best burrito I have ever had. And not just because we were both starving.

We drove back to Carolyn’s on the local roads. It is amazing that this area is mostly farmland, just a couple hours north of LA.

That night Tina, Grace & Sophia came around to see the boys and split a pizza. The boys had fun until they hit a wall, then it was all over for the night.