for May 13, 2003
Last Stop, Vegas (or AC)
by Stiffy Biceptz
Iíve never understood why any self-respecting artist would ever perform in
Vegas. Certainly not any current artist, one who might actually have a chance to
make an impact on or shape todayís cultural landscape.
Vegas is a culture free zone, a cultural black hole. Unlike everywhere else in
America, no culture grows there; none can exist.
Vegas is the place where worn out, or shall we say obsolete, artists (also known
as entertainers) go to live out the rest of their lives, the way old race horses
are put to pasture. Here they can do their thing in peace until they die, as if
time did not exist. Itís a cultural junkyard, an archaeological dig for the ears
A quick glance at upcoming shows in Vegas and AC at pollstar.com will confirm my
theory. Entertainers you likely thought dead decades ago reign supreme, acts
your parents and often grandparents thought were cool forty years ago. Itís not
pretty. Disturbingly, some acts that have appeared since my evolution to
consciousness 20 years ago have retired to Vegas, such as Huey Lewis and the News
and Pat Benatar, and Journey to name a few. I wonder who opens for them... Don
Rickles or Soupy Sales?
Quite telling, is the fact that Celine Dion now has a regular gig in Vegas. Her
days as a living diva are numbered. Even more damning is the fact that Britney
Spears, all of twenty something, has already had major Vegas performances.
Remember, this was how Elvis finished up. How Michael Jackson has avoided the
Casino circuit, I'll never know.
Seeing a cool band in AC always felt yucky to me. It was as if the artist had
left their souls at the city limits, and it was just their bodies up on stage.
No energy, no life. No feeling. Yet seeing the same band a night later in NYC
or Philly would be great, as if the band had been brought back from the dead.
Free Parking might play parking decks and tanning salons, but weíll never play
Art cannot exist by itself. It must have a living audience in a place with a
soul. Art in San Francisco, New York or Philly is just elevator music in Vegas,
the land of the dead.
©2003 Stiffy Biceptz
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
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