Ah yes, went to the Wild Horse Pass casino last night to see Loverboy. This was my first time in a casino in quite a while and I was immediately reminded of why I don’t go to them: the smoking. I have nothing against smoking as a vice/habit; we all have our crutches to get through the day. However, I really can’t stand the smell and when you go to a casino the air is this combination of thick smoke, the same sort of deodorizer they use in porno stores, food, and desperation sweat. Not attractive. Of course, I got there early so I had to hang around for a bit. I found the non-smoking area, a small glass cage that was tolerable to stay in, and wasted $20 on a poker slot. Then I went and got some grub, and it was quite tasty. Even with the smoke aroma.
After dinner the doors were open (about 7:30 and the show was listed as 8:00) so I wandered over. There was what had to be the most pathetic merchandise booth I’ve ever seen at a concert there – no, Marie, I didn’t get Kirk a shirt! – manned by a woman who couldn’t possibly look any more bored. A ha, a challenge! The merch on display was two crappy-looking t-shirts and a bandana (geddit?). There was a price list that also mentioned CDs for $20 (WTF?) but there were no CDs displayed, and panties for $15 and no panties displayed.
Those of you who know me fairly well know it’s impossible for me to sit on a joke or punchline once it’s in my head. I knew the panties were my gambit and I had to be the first guy that night to try my wit on the bored saleslady! The conversation went like this…
ME: Wow, Loverboy panties! So, do you think I’d look good in them?
HER: I don’t have any panties.
ME: (almost exploding with the new possibilities) I usually don’t get that info until after a few drinks.
Crickets chirp, tumbleweed rolls by.
HER: I meant the Loverboy panties.
ME: Tough merch booth! OK.
The casino was a good venue. None of the seats were too far back, lines of sight were good, sound was really good. Folding-chair seats, fairly comfortable. The show started around 8:15 and they kicked off with “Notorious.” The first thing you notice when seeing Loverboy these days is that Mike Reno is fat. If I was to make a comparison, I’d put me at one end, Marlon Brando at the other, and Mike right in the middle. Here’s a recent youtube posting so you get the idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EBSNGk2aYo&feature=PlayList&p=FABFCF6E5FE15803&index=0&playnext=1 I have nothing against Mike, but it is kinda weird at first to see the skinny headband guy from the 80s look like that. Patti, he had black leather on, not red! The cool thing was that Mike didn’t give a fuck. He still put on a good show, had fun with the crowd, and hit almost all of the notes (except for certain very high ones!).
The band sounded good, no complaints there. The guitar player spent most of his time looking cool and disaffected. The keyboard player also did a saxaphone solo during “Take Me to the Top” which made me flash back to seeing the keyboard player do a sax solo with Foreigner during “Urgent.” He looked like he was enjoying himself as well. The bass player was a bass player and not shooting for much attention. He got a short bass solo after the drum solo, and then they turned it into a rhythm solo. Bass solos are great times to use the bathroom!
OK, the drummer. Still the original dude, Matt Frenette. In fact, I think Loverboy is scab-free. Their original bass player was lost at sea in 2000 so you can’t really call his replacement a scab. Anyway…I always like watching the drummer to see how much effort he or she puts into in. At one end of the spectrum is Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones. Dude is all business behind the kit, no extra moves or effort. At the other end is Robert Sweet from Stryper. He looks like he’s gonna die on his kit before the show is over. Matt was close to Robert area but he looked like he was having fun. That’s what I enjoy the most – the guys looking like they’re having fun.
It was a good show – the crowd was into it, the songs were good and the band threw a few surprises and changes into the song – particularly in “Take Me to the Top” where they mixed some “Riders in the Storm” in. Crowd sing-alongs, the typical “I love ______ and we need to get here more often!” banter. One thing I should have realized, but didn’t until the show: chicks dig Loverboy! Wow, do they. Singing and dancing along with every song, drinking and cutting loose – as I guy, all I can say is thanks, Loverboy! My spank bank was refilled last night and then some.
In fact…for part of the show there was a woman next to me – there was an empty seat between us – that was pretty intoxicated before the show started. For some reason she was walking on the chairs trying to get to her seat, with a drink in her hand. I took her drink so it wouldn’t spill – not out of any particular chivalry but because I didn’t want it to spill on me – and helped her down, which made her eternally grateful to me, or at least a few hours grateful. She was there with a guy but she kept throwing hot glances my way and touching me when she could. It was awkward, especially when her guy saw it and decided to mark his territory by jamming his tongue down her throat and making sure I saw it. Shortly after that I left my seat and stood in the back for the rest of the show; no sense in keeping that weird action going.
Interesting choice of encore songs for the band: “Loving Every Minute of it” and another song I did not know at all. Usually you want to finish big but this sorta petered out with the unknown song. However, that didn’t ruin the show. I really enjoyed it, and I hope that someday I can take a woman to see them so she can set free that 80s monster lurking inside. I promise not to jam my tongue down her throat!