Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tool Time

I've been hard pressed to be creative lately, as I've been spending far too much time working recently. What with it being summer here in the desert of the American Southwest, we've got many people on vacation each week who are just looking for a break from working in the heat. As a consequence, that leads to a lot of overtime for those of us remaining. The money is very nice, but between the amount of time spent working, and the physical toll it takes, I find myself not having much left over for things like this blog. So with a nice relaxing Sunday here, I thought I'd take a few minutes to just sit and write, and see what flows out.

I recently went to see a favorite band of mine, Tool, perform out here in Las Vegas. Due to a variety of circumstances, even though I've been a fan since Undertow (their first full album) came out in 1993, I'd never seen them before. Despite the hassles invloved with getting into the venue and out of the parking garage, the show itself was quite the amazing experience. Many senses experienced near-overload during the nearly 2 hours Tool performed, as a kaleidoscopic video wall behind the band provided dazzling visual imagery to complement the thundering audio performance from the band. Images from the corresponding video clips accompanied some of the songs played that night, while psychedelic colors, images, and lights went in tandem with other songs. It was an incredible show, one that was capable of inducing a trance-like state of altered awareness in a few places if one allowed it.

The amount of time required to get in and out of the venue, however, will make me seriously think twice about seeing another show there. We were in a seemingly never-ending line just to enter the venue, and we must have seen the entire shopping area of the casino as we slowly snaked forward for nearly an hour. We weren't even aware of who the opening act was, which may be a good thing, as the interminably slow process of getting in prevented us from seeing them at all. Arriving at just about 8PM (show time listed on ticket), we didn't actually get to our seats until nearly 9PM, and the venue was maybe half-full at that point. This was a delay I wasn't expecting. The one I WAS expecting though, wasn't any better...

Normally when I go see a concert at a venue at a big casino, I park in an outdoor lot adjacent to that casino's property instead of an on-site garage, as it's just SO much easier to walk a block and instantly drive off at the end of the show than deal with the log-jam that is a parking garage. With the location of this casino, there really isn't any adjacent parking area. Due to the size of the crowd for the Tool performance, we were forced to park on level 10 of their garage. As we got into the car to leave, I noted it was 11:35PM, and mentioned it to my friend, as I wanted to time how long it would take until we were actually out of the structure and on the street.

Having gone to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant beforehand, we had a box with most of a VERY large (and good) pizza sitting in the back of the car. While we did enjoy our dinner & conversation earlier in the evening, since neither of us was overly hungry at the time, we had plenty leftover. Since it was now many hours since we'd eaten, combined with our progress of moving four feet every five minutes while smelling the pizza, that made this a good thing. J reached behind the seat, got the box up front, opened it sideways so we both had a table to eat off of, and we munched on a really good pizza from Pizzeria Enzo . Since we'd both worked that day, (me at 7:30AM and J at 4:30AM!), nearing midnite was kinda late, and now having eaten, J passed out in the passenger seat. We also both had to be at our respective jobs at 7:30AM, so trying to get home and get some sleep was kind of important. Due to her passing out, J missed the triumphant moment of us hitting the street and actually exiting the parking garage at...I kid you not...12:40AM! Over an hour just to exit the garage. And I still had to get J back to her house, some 25 odd minutes away, then get back to my house, almost another half-hour away from her's.

As I said, the in & out experience at this casino will make me REALLY think twice about going to see another show there, but for this particular instance involving Tool, for both of us, it was well worth it.

Blog Post Soundtrack; Bjork (live), Beck, Prong, Yawning Man, Parliment, Monster Magnet, Clutch, Son House, X, Queens Of The Stone Age (live), The Donnas, Santana (live), The Police (live), Booker T. & The MG's