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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 and eyes.
A quick glance at upcoming shows in Vegas and AC at 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 Caesarís Palace...
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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Janet Jackson at Prudential Center (POSTPONED)
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A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
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Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
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Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
Miike Snow - Black & Blue

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