This is a big week for music in my life. No, it’s nothing nostalgic or sentimental, I just happen to be seeing two kickass bands this week and in some great venues.
For starters, Wednesday night I saw Phoenix play at the Greek Theatre. The show was fantastic. It more than made up for the miserable hour-plus traffic-heavy drive to the hipster haven known as Griffith Park. I’ve been listening to Phoenix for years now, maybe since when they first arrived on the scene, and while some of their oldest hits are my favorites, I’ve been totally nutso for their most recently released album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. They are impressive live; at sometimes orchestral, other times a less abstract version of Daft Punk, and a few times I really got the sense I was at one hell of a rock show. So yes, it kicked ass. The Greek Theatre is a sick spot to catch a gig, as well. A little more intimate than the Hollywood Bowl, but still with the incredible sensation of being at an outdoor amphitheater.
Tomorrow night I’ll be seeing the Killers play in Vegas. I saw the Killers play at Coachella earlier this year, which as you may recall, I raved about. Like Phoenix, I’ve had their most recently released album on steady rotation since January, and they strike me as a band that is consistent in delivering a great show. In fact, the Killers hail from Vegas, so what better excuse to head to Sin City?
Speaking of, the last time I went to Las Vegas was when I was driving across the country and it was an unintentional stop along the way. And I stayed at the Travel Lodge. Yes, the Travel Lodge. Why the Travel Lodge? Well, isn’t that obvious? Circus Circus, (aka shittiest casino in all the land,) was sold out.
You see, when driving cross country I was living the life of a traveling minstrel, and frugal was my middle name (okay, so I wasn’t ACTUALLY playing folk songs in royal courts, but I was living like a pauper, with all my earthly belongings jammed into my car). Circus Circus was the highest price we’d go for a hotel, but when that was sold out, the Travel Lodge was the logical next choice. And please keep in mind this is after days of camping and sweating and hiking and no showers. Oh and running out of gas in Utah and hitchhiking. Good times.
But anyway, my first and only other time in Vegas was a much different experience from what I expect to have tomorrow night. It was unique and amazing and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, but I am looking forward to experiencing Vegas in the more traditional sense. A night’s stay at the Venetian, a show, maybe a slot machine go-round, and hopefully I won’t end up with Mike Tyson’s tiger in my hotel suite Sunday morning a la The Hangover. But it is Vegas after all, so I guess all bets are off…