Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Vegas 2019: Pt. 5/Blue October & The Blues

"First time I've seen this band and I have to say ... VERY IMPRESSED !!!  I've been going to the Brooklyn Bowl since it opened and I've seen a lot of great bands there but I don't think I've ever seen it as crowded or as enthusiastic as it was tonight.  Crisp, tight, powerful set ... good show. Check out "Hate Me" and "Your Love is Like A Car Crash" for a taste on YT..."  -Dennis Macklin-

Good morning everyone.  It's slowly but surely sinking in that I can't spend eleven nights in Las Vegas, and then wrap my whole trip up in two blog entries...  : )  I'm still determined to summarize this trip by Christmas..., ummmm, the beginning of football season.  In today's edition of 'What I Did On My Summer Vacation,' we're going to combine two completely different events because we're playing on the word 'blue...'

So Blue October has been my favorite band for quite some time.  I first saw them perform live about twenty years ago, and WOW...  Back when I started seeing them in San Marcos, tickets were $8.00 presale and $10.00 at the door, and I have friends who have an even earlier history with the band.  Actually, I've seen them perform live probably 30-40 times, and that could be a whole other blog entry in itself, but I have to FOCUS...  :D  Knowing that Blue October was going to be in Las Vegas on June 14th is one of the major reasons that I booked my trip when I did.  I also knew that the World Series of Poker would be going on, and my friends were going to be there regardless of when I went (although I'm not going anywhere during football season or that big college basketball tournament in March, so that easily eliminates more than half of the year that I can travel and visit people...).

I was content to attend the concert myself, but I was fortunate to meet my friend Dennis at the show.  Dennis was a ticket writer with me in the sportsbooks of Caesar's Entertainment, and he now works for our 'hub' (the group which puts out our betting lines, among their many jobs).  Usually when I attend sporting events and concerts, I prefer getting to venues really early and watching everything unfold.  It's almost empty when you arrive, you get to watch the crowd file in, take in warm-ups, watch the roadies set up for the band, etc...  With Blue October, you get to watch an opening act, etc...  On this particular night, I wasn't feeling any of that.  The last time that I saw them perform at Brooklyn Bowl, I stood outside in a really long line for over an hour, which didn't really make much sense, because I had no desire to fight for a position right by the stage (been there, done that), or to see the opening act.  No offense to the opening act, but on this day, my gameplan included a pre-concert nap, a meal at Outback Steakhouse (one of seven during this trip), and then I'd casually stroll in about the time that the opening act finished.  Plan worked LIKE A CHARM.  : )  I told Dennis that I'd be sporting a Texas State t-shirt, and right after I cleared the last ticket checkpoint, there was Dennis.  Easy peasy...  Dennis had never seen Blue October in person, and it was cool to take in the show with someone who was about to be really impressed.  The review at the top of this entry was written by Dennis, and he gets to see A LOT of concerts in Las Vegas, so I was really glad that he enjoyed it.  We were lucky to get a really good spot where we had a wall to lean against, unobstructed view, and like I said, the band didn't disappoint.  Lucky for y'all, Dennis got some great photos from the show.  When I go see Blue October, my phone normally stays in my pocket, as I'm just trying to take everything in, but as I said, Dennis was a team player, so here you go...

Transitioning from Blue October to the Blues...  First off, I was already going to write about this event, but since my friend Jordan was so excited about making it into a blog a few days back, I thought to myself, "Why not twice in one week?"  : )  That day that I wrote about recently, when I first went to visit my friends, and the news of the Anthony Davis trade broke, etc...  Well, I also learned of this event taking place a few days later.  Surprisingly enough, this story hadn't hit my radar until I was in Las Vegas, talking to my friends.  At some point during the hockey season, the St. Louis Blues weren't very good evidently.  Now I don't usually start paying too much attention to hockey until the NCAA basketball season has come to an end, but the Blues were actually 250 to 1 to win the Stanley Cup with Caesar's at some point during the season.  I don't know if they were ever a longer shot to win it all, but I know that the gentleman in the photos below bet $400 on the Blues when they were 250 to 1.  400 x 250 = ???  Anyone wanna guess?  Yep, he won $100,000, plus he got his $400 back.  $100,400.  I seemed to have an opening in my vacation schedule, so I decided that I was going to go check it out.  I was with my friend Geoff again, and after we went to see my friend Joey (who we'll talk about in a later episode), we thought that we'd catch the big payout before we went to the buffet at Paris (because heaven knows that I wasn't eating enough on this trip...).  At my property here in Biloxi, we had a customer bet $7,000 on Tiger Woods to win the Master's Tournament at 14 to 1, so he won $98,000, plus got his $7,000 back, for a total of $105,000.  However, I wasn't at work on either end of that fun (the bet being placed, or the cashout), so this was kinda cool to see.  And hey, if it meant Jordan could make it into the blog again...  : )  Here are a couple of photos with Jordan and the happy winner...

I actually have to work today myself, so I'm going back to sleep now. :D  Have a great day everyone!

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