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.