Flogging Franklstein

History doesn't repeat itself. You repeat History.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Vegoose Day One - The Complicated Day

Vegas gave me a cold. It came on Thursday noon and was full-blown on Friday. I guess that is what I get when I abuse my body for four days.

Todd picks me up at about 6:30 in the morning Saturday. On the way to the airport he reveals to me that he has already been up 24 hours. "What?" He said he spent all night working and packing. I try not to take it as a bad omen.

We are running late, so we don't get a chance to stop at the smoking lounge for a dirty screw and a smoke. It's right to the gate. We make up for it by having a couple of "illegal" cocktails on the flight (I had brought with me a 10-pack of Jack Daniels shooters).

Upon our arrival in Vegas, I was amused to see slot machines along the concourse (did I mention that it was my first time in Vegas?) After we pick up our bags, Todd's friend Lisa picks us up and takes us out to breakfast, where we meet up with her husband and daughter. She then drops us off at the Rio.

This is where the day started to go wrong. It was about noon when we arrived at the hotel. Our plan was to get our room, get changed, and head out to the festival. Well, the hotel messed up Todd's reservation and gave us a non-smoking room instead of a smoking room. We could fix the reservation, but had to wait until a smoking room became available (was cleaned). So, we had to wait. Todd showed me around the casino, and got me set up with a total rewards card.

After a couple of beers at the iBAR, we checked to see if our room was ready. Again, we had to wait, so we went and sat at video poker machines so we could get some "free" drinks. We slowly played (and lost) while we drank our beers and watched the hot waitresses dance during their occasional podium dances. Finally, after checking two more times, our rooms were ready. It was now about 3:00.

We quickly got settled in our room (a nice suite - which is all the Rio has) and glanced at the Vegoose shuttle schedule. We decided to take the free shuttle over to Harrah's and then walk to one of the Vegoose shuttle pick-up spots. Unfortunately, we forgot our paper with the pick-up locations. There were three guys that we knew were going to Vegoose, so we followed them. Apparently they decided to eat first, so we were left on our own. We decided to ask someone in the Flamingo if they knew about the shuttles. No luck. Same with the Barbary Coast. Finally, as we are approaching the Paris, we see a nondescript shuttle pull in along side the casino. It was the shuttle we were looking for.

We got on the shuttle for $10 (and were told it would be $15 to return). Unfortunately, we made the mistake of sitting in the front row of the bus. We had the talking-ist bus driver I had ever seen. He said he wasn't supposed to be on that route. This was his last trip out there. He told us about how Las Vegas was built on natural spring land, and as a result was not very stable. We heard about how the Luxor had sunk a uniform 13 inches after completion, and how the Mandalay Bay had also sunk (so you could roll a bowling ball down the hall.) We learned that the latest thing in Vegas is building condos. Michael Jordon and George Cloony are building condos. Then we were asked if we had Dunkin Donuts in Denver - because they have good coffee and as a bus driver he wants good coffee. Plus we heard about the bad water in Vegas due to the drought. Lake Mead is low, so the bad water on the top of the lake is now being drawn out. His doctor, his wife's doctor and his kid's pediatrician said not to drink the water.

Finally, after seemingly hitting every red light on Tropicana Avenue, we arrive at the Sam Boyd Stadium (around 5:20). We had already missed Govt. Mule (which we really wanted to see) and Phil Lesh and Friends had already started (and we REALLY wanted to see Phil). As we got into the stadium, Todd had gotten a hold of our buddy Jerry and found out where he was sitting. We made our way across the field over to the far corner where Jerry and his friends were sitting. Playin' in the Band was just getting done.

Phil Lesh and Friends:
Playin' In The Band (JO)>Truckin' (RB)>The Eleven (RB, PL)>Reuben & Cherise (JO)>^Magnolia Mountain (JO),Unbroken Chain (PL),*Shakedown Street (WH),*You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (WH),*Sugaree (JO, WH),*Help On The Way (RB)>*Slipknot>*Casey Jones (RB) E: Donor Rap, Franklin's Tower (PL)>Playin' Reprise (all)
*with Warren Haynes, Barry Sless on pedal steel
^Ryan Adams song

The set was sweet. I like Joan Osbourne with Phil much better than with The Dead. And the Sugaree duet with Warren was amazing.

After Phil, we decided to head back to the hotel. We still had a moe. show to see at the Alladin. We went out into the lot not knowing whether we were going to take a shuttle or a cab back to the Rio. I talked Todd into taking a cab, and we proceeded to try. The staff in the lot was incredibly unorganized. We had thought we had hailed a cab, but one of the staff dudes started yelling at the cab driver about how he had to go to the cab line. "What cab line?" We only saw a group of six people at the end of a rope talking amongst themselves. We started to wandered over there when a "foreign born" man asked if we wanted a ride in his mini-bus to the strip for $10 each. It looked sort of promising, so we and a couple of other people followed him to his bus. Fortunately, we were the last ones to fill the bus. We were on our way.

The driver wasn't very communicative. We had no idea where on the strip we were going to end up. Most of the other passengers were drunk, and they began shouting to the driver various destinations they needed to get to. It didn't work. About two miles up Tropicana, the driver pulls over into a Chevron station. Why? To collect our money, of course. This caused some confusion with the drunker passengers, and prompted another round of shouting destinations. After all that, we still weren't sure where we were going to be dropped off. Finally, it looked like one of the drop off spots was going to be Ceasar's, so we took our chance and got off the bus. It was a simple cab ride from there over to the Rio.

After having some dinner, we freshened up and caught a cab over to the Alladin. It was an interesting site in the casino, as there were hippies wandering around amongst the regular players. I wonder what the grey-hairs were thinking. Todd was wearing his Patrick Roy jersey, and was seemingly getting a comment about it every five minutes. There was even one dude who what doing butterfly kicks and chanting "Roy, Roy, Roy" every time he would kick out. We couldn't tell if he was a fan, or mocking Roy (turns out he was a fan, but it was a weird way to show it).

Moe. finally started around 12:45. All the band was in costume. The coolest costume was Al Schnier. He was dressed up as Angel-Elvis. The show was divided up into a "Good" set and an "Evil" set:

Set 1: Let The Good Times Roll, Good Trip > She, St. Augustine, Good Times Bad Times > Moth

Set 2: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, The Pit > Meat > Shoot First > Kids, Evil Woman > Karma Police > Meat E: The Ghost Of Ralph's Mom, The Devil Went Down To Georgia

"Let the Good Times Roll" - the Cars song - was really cool. That song would end up following us around Vegas. On "Good Times, Bad Times" Al sang the third verse "Elvis Style".

By the time "Moth" came about, Todd was falling asleep in his chair. Not sleeping for 40 hours will do that to you. We decided at set break to head back to the hotel. Now that I see the second set list, I wish we had stayed. Back at the Rio, we decided to get a cocktail before heading up to get some sleep. We sat at one of the bars playing video poker and chatting it up with a couple of girls from Philly and looking at all the costumes. There were some hot costumes going on. Both the hookers and the non-hookers looked SWEET!!! We got to sleep around 4:00.

The complicated day was now over.


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