Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vegness

That would be the String Cheese Incident's heady pet nickname for the craziest town in the US, but that is actually from the Halloween festivities of 2005, and we'll revisit how they weren't nearly as cool this year in a lil bit.

Firstly, I'm sure that all of the non-ghetto hotel/resorts of Vegas can all claim to be the shit, but being that the MGM Grand is the only place I've stayed at, that place is totally the shit. Good young crowd mixed in with the MidWesterners prone to Time Square, but I feel that anything fancier than that place will yield too many prim and propers for my liking. The Times Square crowd also keeps the cut off T's and wifebeaters for the crappier places, so they are a fairly reputable bunch of standard whities if you ask me.

How they got the place to be so bright green is beyond me, but it's pretty sweet. OK so first night (Friday) don't get settled til midnight, decide to party hard enough that leaving the MGM would be both futile and way too confusing. Being that L-dawg works for CAA and gets rooms with nice views at casino rates, that makes things a lil easier when your elevator shaft doesn't take 20 minutes to get to from the main lobby and that an all night bar with a good crowd is right by said elevator shaft.

Vegoose Day 1 -
Raconteurs - I had high expectations and they didn't let me down. I'm particularly Rtarded when it comes to song names, but they played a mean and heavy blues guitar on their last track, which I believe is some well known cover they do.

Damion "Jr. Gong" Marley - Fairly unoriginal for taking his fathers beats and choruses, but still puts down some nasty raps and rhymes to complement the slow reggae we all know and love. There would have been a riot sans Jamrock, but he saved it for an encore and made my day.

Mars Volta - I can see why they are cool and crazy, but even under the influence of THC, I couldn't bob my head back and forth to make any sense out of what they were playing. A bit of a disappointment considering the hype, but I still dig them.

The Killers - Have got me into the poppier side of rock these days, and they definitely kicked some ass on stage. Kudos to them, I would certainly revisit at another venue.

Tom Petty - Nice to hear classics, but the cold as balls conditions and long day perpetuated an early exit to the shuttle bus back to the strip.

A good first day it was, with brief audio enchantments from Yonder Mountain, J5 (never liked them), and Keller Williams. Must've also heard Yard Dogs Road Show cause they played like 7 sets in 2 days.

Get back to MGM, load up on party materials, and head to the Orleans Arena for Phil & Trey. Sound was good but the Vegas cops were arresting sketchy hippies left and right, total buzz kill. In order to avoid having to walk home after the concert like last year (through a sketchy ravine nonetheless), left early and caught a cab with no line. Even with the extra hour it was still almost 4am. Back to the safe house with no cops that is the MGM, and sleep for the next day.

Vegoose Day 2-
Fiona Apple - Was totally trying to be Janis Joplin but totally in a good way. Also totally on drugs, she couldn't have been faking the fact that she was sad about it being her last show with her current band but in reality found it funny. No sense = totally high on something fun.

Phil & Trey - skipped out on them cause twice in 12 hours is overkill, but supposedly they sucked (unlike the night before)

G Love - Better than I thought, even jammed out a bit

Ben Folds - Made fun of jam bands and jammed out, supposedly known for his spontaneous lyrics, and boy they were awesome. Very pleased with the result of seeing that one.

Roots - Went back to back with Ben Folds for ripping on jam bands, also followed by extremely cool jamming out to rock classics, none of which I can remember but all 15+ were awesome.

Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) - Biggest unexpected treat of the festival. I like his band but didn't know he'd be so cool solo, not to mention the fact that it was not budgeted in my schedule. MMJ in its entirety is playing Roseland on Nov 30th, going to buy tickets at Irving Plaza box office to avoid Ticketmaster fees as soon as I can get myself to get there before 630pm closing time. Totally wicked awesome, and it was the one show I saw in the small tent (nice and intimate)

Pre Jim James - Can you say wedding chapel at cracked out hippy music festival? Only in Vegas! LRod and I witnessed people who presumably had no idea what was going on walking down the aisle to a nasty [good] cover of Ozzy's "Mama I'm Comin Home." Where else can something so ridiculous happen? NOWHERE. A wonderful treat that was as well, and it seemed that the hippies were lining up in droves.

Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Heard a bit of them and I liked the country twang.

Widespread - Sounded awesome but again it was freezing and I was seeing them Monday night. Shuttle bus home #2

String Cheese Late Night - Good pre-gaming at the MGM, L-Dawg and I fly solo to another sketchy night at the Orleans Arena - between girlfriends had enough and despondent other hippy friends being very despondent about having to pay $40 more for late night ticket - all is looking good for crazy night as a random pair...But they were so much better last year (covered Thriller) and without the acrobatics of me being incredibly wasted, the attractive trapeze/rope/roof dancers, the hired ghosts bobbing through the floor crowd, the show would have been nothing. String Cheese officially sucks and I actually never liked them anyway except for the fact that they were really good last year (the first time I ever saw them live). Cops were way less annoying but I did see 5 of them pummel the crap out of a wiggin out ate too much acid hippy - a very not pleasant sight.

Day festival now over (Monday), sleep in, Laurence won't wake up. The artist formerly known as Samson stops by and talks about how weird it is playing black jack with hippies who have openly declared that they ate a ton of acid and E and decided that gambling is the best thing to do. But only in Vegas is that okay with the hotel staff...until they ran out of money and got booted (but not busted). MGM increases its awesomeness stature with me as the Widespread show is in the friggin building. When's the last time you left during set break and ordered room service? That's what I thought.

Other random but wonderful cracked out moments include - Miami Vice is an awful movie at not worth the $12 pay per view. Good late night movies included Home Alone, I Know What You Did Last Summer, something else, and the 4th quarter of the Michigan Northwestern game on a 3am ESPN replay.

So another wonderful Halloween and a bunch of crazy costumes (I failed to dress up), and it's back home Tuesday afternoon. I wisely took Wednesday off because last year was a nightmare at work and I wanted to avoid a repeat. MGM and Vegoose rock, but unfortunately the promoters sold only half as many tickets as last year and lost a lot of money. As much as I love Vegas, I have now spent a total of almost 8 days of my life there and have placed zero bets. Without hippy rock fest I'm not too sure if I'll be able to make annual trips out of this. I beg the promoters and all the fans who never knew this spectacle existed to come out next year for one last attempt to make it a profitable weekend, although the chances of this happening are slim if I had to guess. Hippies descending upon Vegas and causing mass confusion in the hotel lobbies and elevators is well worth the confused as hell looks on all the other tourists' faces, so I do hope this wasn't my last Vegoose experience.

There I finally did it, hope I didn't miss any awesome details that I mighta remembered last week, but I think I got it all.

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