We were in Las Vegas – and wanted to see a show, a Vegas show. We had a seven-month-old baby so our Vegas trip wasn’t at all similar to any of the movies you see set there. We had friends living in Las Vegas, they took us to meet artists and see galleries, to check out some of the history of the area – and, yeah, a wee stroll through the strip. Within half an hour of being in Vegas I had camera-phone footage of a guy dressed as Duffman from The Simpsons dancing around between posing for photos, hammered and wonderful. It was about 2pm.
We saw some cool stuff and I fell in love with that mad place – you couldn’t dream that shit up, but that’s exactly what appears to have happened, someone – and then a few others adding to it – dreamed all that shit up. Stuck it in the desert. Let it (somehow) sustain itself even though it’s almost all just façade.
You see people playing the slot machines at the airport, you wonder if they and their annual savings make it any further into the town than that. Or if they’re there trying to win enough to get a flight back out.
Our friends organised to babysit for us – and got us a last minute deal on some tickets to see Blue Man Group – the perfect kind of mad/made-for-Vegas experience. I couldn’t tell you I’d go see a Blue Man Group show if they visited my city – but being in Vegas and checking it out, absolutely. In one of the casinos – you walk past the replica canal, the actors and artists of the town singing in fake-Italian in fake gondolas in a pizza-delivery shirt. Fabulous.
The Blue Man show was ludicrous. And brilliant. There were some weird skit-bits that dragged but the best bits were the ones that made no sense at all – like when they dragged a guy up from the audience and put him in a padded suit and hurled him at a giant canvas after covering his suit in blue paint. He got a take-home A3 sheet of his own blue self. And some of the music was cool – the PVC pipes most obviously. Cool lights, and a genuinely thrilled audience. All good things. A night out away from the baby was the real thrill I think – after we went to the old part of Vegas, not the glitzy strip. Beers were $2 and you could just walk in and out of any bar or casino with your drink – strolling about. No booze problems there. No drunken dickheads like here.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.