I thought it best to start a new post, because I'm home now, after finishing the night at the Pink Elephant, and I feel like I still have a lot to say about the INXS show at Harrah's.
The show was excellent. I don't know that I would run out and buy any CDs from the band, and I certainly didn't drop the minimum $30 on a shirt, but for a free show, it was excellent. History first: I was like, the BIGGEST dork ever as a kid. I'm not saying much has changed, but I remember matching an outfit to match the green ice skates as the ice rink at UTC; just having to buy the purple sweater with a waist of green checkers because it would match the rental skates. I mean, BIG TIME dork. I started playing tennis at 9, and it was more the social aspect that had an influence on me, though that little skill (tennis) ended up paying for most of my college. When Luis, an older guy taking lessons, got a 12" vinyl of New Order's "1984", I didn't get what the big deal was.
A couple years passed and my coach took over the "ball kid" duties at the tournament that became the Acura Classic. Back then it was Virginia Slims, because you know, what better message to send to strong athletic women than "hey, smoke these sexy cigs!" Anyway, Geoff Harris, the son of my coach, and now manager of Cabo Cantina (voted best happy hour in San Diego!), was given the task of driving us grommets to La Costa, to be ball kids during the tournament. (Yeah, I saw Steffi Graf topless). At the time I was still in a pop phase, listening to Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam and Expose, and suddenly he was playing INXS, "Shabooh Shoobah" and "Kick" among others, and all of the sudden I was into "alternative music" or whatever we called it at the time. I think "modern rock" was the term then. I was now a 91X convert from KS 103. So yeah, INXS was my crossover music. And then they got too big and suddenly I was too cool or whatever. But I was still only like 12, and that music hit me.
When Michael Hutchence died, I was sad about all of it, and I even bought the post-mortem CD that came out. Damn, that shit was sad.
So my dad said he had a pair of free tix and I was all over it. As I said before, for many reasons, mostly because I wanted to hate it. But a bunch of side reasons, too, like I grew up with all my family vacations being at casinos, and my dad has progressed from the guy who drove his family to camp in the camper behind Silver Slipper to the guy who gets free rooms at casinos for being a "high roller" even though I would just say he's smart and works his angles.
We left Chula Vista at 5 pm, and between conversation and me absorbing the new EP by Two Gallants (amazing, though I'm not sure I'm supposed to have it yet), we arrived at Harrah's just before 7, got out tickets, then had some apps in the Cabana Cantina at the casino. The drink special was $3 Jack Daniel's, so I helped myself to a couple, then Daddy went to gamble and Mom and I headed to the venue.
Can I just say, for the record, I have a hot mom. Yeah, she'll be 58 next month and has a hotter bod than me. So sad.
I smuggled my camera in and wanted to capture the venue, since I'd never been before.
It's outdoor, comparable to the Embarcadero or Humphrey's, though beautiful in a different way since it's surrounded by mountains and thousands of stars. Though look at the posh seating. OK, not posh, but for outdoor seating, the seats are wide, have arm rests and drink holders, and tons of leg room. Unlike Humphrey's where even a thin person feels like a fat ass.
I left my mom to grab us a couple beers, and that's my biggest complaint about the place. There were 4 or 5 alcohol lines, but each bartender had a full bar and people filling the venue had already been way overserved in the casino. The bartenders aren't trying to move the line so much as get a big tip, so my line stopped moving for about 20 minutes while some dumb bitches stood at the bar getting shots and mixed drinks and beers, and thinking it was ok to consume them at the front of the line. Ugh. Finally I got my two beers ($7 for a Miller Lite, fyi) and met my mom, who was distraught about some asshole who was kinda harassing her, being too drunk and stupid. And the dude was like 60. Whatever, 8:00 rolled around, and I was sure the big rock band wouldn't start on time, but surprisingly they did. The lights dimmed, "Papa was a rolling stone" played over the speakers, everyone found their seats, and the band was onstage by 8:05. Nice.
The band was great, J.D. Fortune is an amazing frontman, and while it's hard not to think of Michael, after so many years, the songs sounded great. So they're kinda formulaic in retrosprect...verse, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus...they are comfortable, and JD owns them like they were always his to be sung.
I had the time and interest to take notes. So here's the setlist:
What You Need
By My Side
The Loved One
Need You Tonight
Folsom Prison Blues (yes, a Cash cover, and a good one at that)
Never Tear Us Apart
Most of the hits, the couple JD songs, and some stuff outta the back pocket. They played for an hour and 45 minutes, I'm sure just what their casino contract demanded.
I thought it was funny as we walked in to see this sign:
but I guess as I left there were some missing caveats... like "we overserve our customers, so beware obnoxious middle aged assholes who will scream throughout the show, talk on cell phones, and after the show, they'll probably bug the shit out of you."
When the show ended, we made our way to the casino, via the pool, as everyone else did. I went to get another $3 Jack and coke, and the very same prick who had bugged my mom earlier came and grabbed me and pushed me aside. A guy sitting at the bar was looking at me and I asked if he knew the guy, he said no, and I made a comment about the guy being a dick and earlier harassing my mom and he spoke up to the guy, telling him I was his sister and he better step off. I moved to his left, to get away from gross old guy, and some other guy talked shit about me taking his spot, so I kinda tried to tell him I was just trying to escape drunk old guy and he proceeded to be falsely and sarcastically polite to me, ordering my drink for me begrudgingly and suddenly it was clear what happens to the "bro" assholes as they age. They turn into middle-aged casino assholes. I wanted to kill someone, was ready to punch the first guy in the face and practically threw my money at the second guy because no way was I letting him buy my bevvie. Aargh. Then I remembered why I couldn't wait to get back home and get out to somewhere familiar.
But I let it go. Because it was a great show, in a cool venue, and I got to spend time with the 'rents, and the drive home took less than 45 minutes, so I had the time to make it out to the Pink Elephant to hang with people I better relate to. And it was a good night. A sweet night. And now, time for bed because I'm kinda working at Warped Tour in 6 hours. If you see me and know me, say hi, and if I hand you a flyer for mTraks, please accept it. It's a good company. I wouldn't steer ya wrong.