Sunday, November 06, 2005


Vegas was fucking awesome. Jeff Miller and I set off early Friday and slid right in to our ghetto palace without a hitch. We killed a few hours that afternoon by walking the entire length of The Strip and then walked farther to find a lousy overpriced guitar store. On the walk, Jeff dropped his phone at an intersection and a local chased us down to return it(lose #1). He got lucky. His luck would get better.
Our first show of the weekend was billed as "Trey Anastasio" and was set to start at 11:59pm at the Aladdin Theatre. Capacity approximately 4000. The show didn't actually start until 12:45 as the crowd was delayed entrance by a Dave Matthews performance in that same venue earlier that evening. Our seats were near the back and under the brim of the balcony. The sound was lousy under there. I would discover at a moe. performance, later the next night in the same venue, that the sound was much better upstairs.
My thoughts on the Trey Band performance were mixed. I thought the crowd was pretty talkative and not nearly as respectful as I had seen at a Phish show. This was most disruptive during the solo acoustic segment performed in the middle of the set. I felt like Trey was trying to please everyone and in the process may have stretched himself a little too thin. The second half of the show along with the acoustic set that proceeded it were the most inspired portions. I felt the first half was a little slow taking off. I kept wanting to be more impressed and it kept falling a little short during the first few songs. But once Anastasio started to engage his fellow band members, he became more hit and a lot less miss. He gave shout outs to Les Claypool in the audience along with a good friend from high school and finally, Matthews. We had a long walk back to the hotel and Jeff's feet were falling apart. To his credit, he didn't complain about the all weekend and either rode it out quietly or just became numb to the pain. Suit up!
We set out by shuttle bus Saturday mid day heading for the Sam Boyd Stadium that lies on the outskirts of town. We choked down a half a turkey and Swiss sammich each and floated through security on our way to the Jokers Wild Stage to see the Warren Hays led Gov't Mule. We had no problem getting in very close and there was plenty of space for everyone. This familiar feeling would follow us all weekend regardless of the stage we were at or band we were seeing. The Mule wooped our asses with a killer She Said She Said>Tomorrow Never Knows jam late in the set and was one of the highlights of the weekend. We saw about an hour and a half before we took off for the stadium stage where Phil Lesh and Friends were playing. This is where things started to get a little crazy.
I had finally gotten in touch with my friend Leigh who had flown up from Phoenix and he told me he was on the floor dead center on the rail and they had space for us. Jeff stayed back because of his feet as I bolted for the front. Leigh wasn't kidding when he said they were front and center. We were bouncing off of each other with excitement. Joan Osborne was sitting in with the on vocals and that made all the difference in the performance. There were strong vocals and wonderfully tight musicianship in abundance on the stage. Leigh talked the ear off the huge Mafioso type security guard at the foot of the stage. On the floor, I met several of Leigh's friends from Portland(Annie & Stephen, Scott). Scott and I had a brief misunderstanding later that night that was the kind of thing that only happens in Las Vegas. He handled himself like a gentleman and I came off looking like a clown. We laughed about it for the rest of the weekend.
So the Phil show was a complete delight. Being front row made a great show all that much better. They played at least 45 minutes longer than they were supposed to play which chewed up a great portion of the time I had scheduled to see Beck. Jeff and I sang "Nobody's Fault But My Own" along with Beck as we headed for the exit. Leigh's hunger pains were the main catalyst for our departure. The call of the wild was in the air.

part II soon...


Blogger Mike said...

so, am I going to have to wait forever for part II?

7:30 AM  

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