Monday, March 12, 2007

Pearls of Musical Wisdom

Tonight, Monday March 12th. 8 p.m. in the fabulous new Palms Pearl Theatre, Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns in concert. Be there! Remember, you gotta go to the box office and pick up your free tickets to get in.

UPDATE: scroll down for the showtime report.

UPDATE2 (Wed): Jerry & Tommy's Tuesday E-String gig report, scroll down.


It's as advertised, a state-of-the-art facility (and they're still working frantically to be ready for tonight). I was asked by the Entertainment Director to not publish photos of the theatre (except for the stage area during setup).

Gonna be a great evening. Below, in the dressing room. I got to listen to Jerry, Lenny, Jamie, and Tyriq rehearsing vocals to Will Champlin's killer tune "All My Might" and Nathan's stunning "Come To Me." I also caught some Fat City Horns rehearsal in another dressing room. A blessing to be able to witness this stuff. These guys work hard, man! True professionals, these cats.


Well, we started tonight with the utterly fabulous MOSAIC. They graciously came out and opened the show with about five or six completely kick-ass tunes. The crowd loved them. Totally.

Hard to shoot these cats well, they're so kinetic. My good bro' the incredible artist Bobby Black was there tonight with his Big Swingin' Telephoto artillery. I know that what I don't catch, he will, the cat is so good with the lens and shutter (he is a real photographer, I just stay at Holiday Inn Express). He definitely got the Eye. Stay tuned, I will update with some of his shots when I get 'em, which I know will be great.

MOSAIC is off to the UK tomorrow on behalf of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Musical ambassadors, if you will. And, they represent the best of us, just like our Santa Fe.

OK, they dropped the lights, and Dave stepped up and went into a soft keyboard drone prelude,
with Jamie and Gabriel joining in, while techs cleared the MOSAIC setup and prepped for the band...

I swear, I don't know where to start tonight. I just dumped 204 pics into iPhoto off my camera. A lot did not turn out, as usual, but I got a ton of keepers. Let's have a look at a sample.

Rochon slapped his way to a wild standing-O. This cat is both anchor and nuclear reactor for this band.

One last shot for now below. I call it "Old School" (I tweaked it for semi-sepia & hazed edge effect). Look at that collective driving force, that intensity. Man!

OK. bear with me, I'm gonna make a point (it's 1:30 a.m., and layoff statistic that I now am, I can now stay up late and run my mouth with impunity). Recall (if you took the trouble to read it), the internal memo from The Palms to employees I posted earlier (a bunch of whom showed up tonight in Category 5 party mode):
"Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns, old school and raw, but polished with pride and discipline, is a collaboration of the very best musicians Las Vegas has to offer."

OK, I reflect on what I posted about Jerry's crack about when "the bullshit stops" (March 5th post). Well, I was just down in Florida all week again tending to my Ma and Pa, and I ran across these cool little books at Barnes & Noble. The first one that caught my eye was a little treatise entitled "On Bullshit."

Hah! Only a Princeton Philosophy professor of substantive renown could get away with publishing 67 hardcover pages devoted to the nuanced examination of the salient characteristics and impact of "bullshit" LOL!

Well, the author notes, in focusing on 'what the central characteristics of bullshit are' -

"Wittgenstein once said that the following bit of verse by Longfellow could serve him as a motto:
'In the elder days of art
Builders wrought with the greatest care
Each minute and unseen part,
For the Gods are everywhere.'
"The point of these lines is clear. In the old days, craftsmen did not cut corners. They worked carefully, and they took care with every aspect of their work. Every part of the product was considered, and each was designed and made exactly as it should be. These craftsmen did not relax their thoughtful self-discipline even with respect to features of their work that would ordinarily not be visible. Although no one would notice if those features were not quite right , the craftsmen would be bothered by their consciences. So nothing was swept under the rug. Or, one might perhaps also say, there was no bullshit."

You dig? There is no bullshit anywhere near this band. "Old School" and polished with pride and discipline. I had the great fortune to watch these cats rehearse today. They simply bust ass relentlessly to get it right. For very little in the way of financial reward to date.

I gotta find a way to change that last part. These good people enrich our lives so much. The noble effort ought provide them adequate sustenance. I know we gotta fight for it. And, fight we will.


I have to say "hats off" to everyone at The Palms (including the Maloofs for their vision here). It was a fine, successful launch of the room, and we are totally proud that it was Mosaic and Santa Fe doing the honors. The Pearl is a great venue and is gonna be a wild ongoing success. I wanna see Kenny Loggins in there ASAP! I see him every time he comes here, I've been to his recent shows at The Paris, Mandalay Bay, Green Valley Ranch, and The Orleans. He would sound great at The Pearl. Same thing with respect to Toto. I've seen them here at the old Desert Inn and the Las Vegas Hilton (Man! their new CD is fine!). They would tear up The Pearl.

I'm still going through pictures from last night. Some additional keepers:

Above: just off stage left is a hoss of a DigiDesign board, which is routed to the main board out on the floor. During setup in the afternoon, the audio dude was showin' us his stylus/touch screen notebook Wifi portable, with which he could roam around the entire theatre and tweak the sound on the fly. Very, very cool.

What a fun evening (my Grandson loved it! As did his Mom.)-- though, honestly, sometimes I'd like to just sit back, sip a bit of cognac, and enjoy this crushingly fine band. LOL! I worked hard to capture the essence. Hope you dig it.

BTW- Jerry, Tommy Alvarado, Joel Richman, Bill Zappia, and Chris Gordon will be throwin' down the funk, blues, and jazz tonight at the E String on Sunset in Henderson. Starts at 9 p.m. Come to the gig. I'll be there for sure.

- BobbyG


The dudes were in fine form. Eddie DiMarino subbing on bass. Yet another Bad Boy! Cat plays for Kelly Clinton at The Stirling club, along with my bro' Ron Crews on tubs.

The stage lighting in the E-String is way inadequate. There are 4 front-mounted par cans, one of which remains broken (so Bill Zappia gets to play in the dark). One of the cans is partially blocked by a slideshow projector, so you can't fully aim it on the player. One swell gel color, which I can only describe as Drug Test Specimen Amber. I monkeyed around with the chroma saturation and tint on these shots, trying to make lemonade, with limited success.

Tommy Alvarado is one amazing performer. His alto rides brought huge applause. And his vocal on Al Jarreau's "Mornin'" is one of my favorites. They did some of Jerry's tunes -- "San Diego" and "Negrita" (with Perdomo sittin' in on congas and Francisco on bongos) while I was there. Sounded great. I'm sittin' there thinkin' "all we need is the Fat City Horns and it'd sound real close to Santa Fe..." Joel Richman is right up there with the very best cats in town on drums.

BTW- The awesome Michael Grimm and his band (featuring Dr. Lenny) are back at NY/NY this week in the Big Apple Bar. 9 - 2 thru tonight and 4 - 9 pm tomorrow thru Sat. You gotta hear this dude sing!

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