Friday, October 1, 2010

This Monkey's Gone to Vegas

Road trip!

Some months back, well, really a long ways back- Matt wanted to go to Magic Mountain in October. He was told that the lines are non existent then. So- we planned this year to go. Sue became on board, and we threw Disneyland in there (she has connections where she can get access to 3 free tickets on any given day) so we were going to take advantage of that (who wouldn't?) Not long after cementing these plans, Matt got the miraculous news that the Pixies were reuniting for a tour and they happen to be playing in Vegas on Sept 25th. Even though that wasn't QUITE October, it was close enough to seem like Kismet. So the ultimate trip was born.
Or so we thought.

Did you know that Magic Mountain decided to close during the week after labor day this year? Yep. They are now only open for Sat and Sun until spring (probably something to do with those non existent lines). We couldn't figure out for the life of us how to make that work with a concert Sat night in Vegas, so we didn't. We scrapped the entire California leg of the trip since MM was the reason to go in the first place. Rob and Scout stayed home and Sue came along anyway, she had work off and has good friends living in Vegas she likes to visit when possible. It was handy having her there, besides the fact that Sue is a lot of fun, it enabled me to take Tiny E and relive a little burden from Rob since I was also making a wedding cake for his Aunt's wedding that day (I had to miss) so Rob had to see to the cake arriving and getting built at the reception. I would like to thank my cousin Jeanine for pointing out the MM fact for us, I can see us not finding that out, going there only to find ourselves in a Wally World-ish nightmare. So props there! We weren't too disappointed once we accepted the facts. The Pixies concert had easily become the big event of the trip anyway. Let me explain a little bit about Matt and the Pixies in a way my readers might understand. The Pixies are Matt's Radiohead. Besides that, they have been broken up since 92 (I think- around there anyways), they are not friends, and they have reunited only once and that happen to be while Matt was on his mission (his biggest mission sacrifice, here told). He thought he would NEVER be able to see them, this was a BIG deal.

So, we set off as early as we could after Scout's soccer game (thank you trip nazi* for letting me attend my daughter's game) *this was Matt's nickname given to him because he had carte blanche on the trip seeing as it was his mecca of sorts).

On the road

The day of the concert and countless days proceeding it, Matt was very scared that something would go wrong. He feared every fear there is that something would come between him and the Pixies. Car trouble, sickness, death, forgotten tickets, forgotten IDs, squirrels in the road, you name it. He also feared: they would sound terrible and Francis would not sound anything like he used to (this is a valid fear: I saw Peter Paul and Mary back in high school, and Mary sounded like she had smoked 5 packs a day for 40 years- which she most likely did. She still sang alright, but talking? Yikes.). Well I would like to report that not one of these things got in the way of Matt and the Pixies. In fact it was all he had ever dreamed that it would be. They sounded FANTASTIC! We were right up front besides the fact that when we got there after dinner there was a giant line and people were already being let in- we made it in and walked right up front. The only people in front of us was one line of people against the rail, and all of them were recording, so it would have been lame being there anyways. We parked ourselves in front of Joey (lead guitar) and close to Frank -this kind of gave Kim the shaft, but watching Joey play took precedence. The show was so fun! I haven't bounced around in the front row of a concert in a very long time and it was awesome. I was again grateful for being tall, since you can stick your nose up once in a while and get some relatively fresh air. I always feel so bad for the girls that are at armpit height at these things. They played the entire Dolittle album (it was called the Dolittle tour), and included a long series of clips from the movie that the song was based on. Slicing up eyeballs? Check. Un chien!
My favorite parts I can think of was the song, "Hey", "Into the White" (they fogged the place up a lot, in fact, you couldn't see the band the whole song, just fog. Being so close, we were also enveloped in a blanket of fog and it was one of those times that you just feel surreal (an indelible image if you will). Everyone was kind of quiet and probably going through the same thing as me and it was just cool. And which song was it Matt that Joey and Frank were playing together and it was just magic? That was also a favorite part. Also, when they started playing "Where is My Mind?" Apparently that is a very rare song to hear live and it was amazing and very unexpected. A VERY cool thing they did was email the mp3s of the concert to us! Seriously isn't that the coolest thing ever? I hope Radiohead does that when I see them in concert. (Note I said "when" not "if". If Matt can see the Pixies, I WILL see Radiohead).

Here are some pics we took with our phone at the concert. (I would like you to note how close we are, no zoom at work here.)
Black Francis

Joey Santiago

They had this up on the screen during "Here Comes Your Man" and it was such a cute thing. Best I can figure, they put each member of the band in a room alone and sat them down and filmed them listening to Here Comes Your Man. They kind of sit there looking awkward, they fidget, they nod their heads to the music, they smile, Frank messed with his glasses, they look awkward again. It was just really fun and I will most likely think of it for the rest of my life every time I hear that song.

The report from Sue while she babysat was that Elle was super good. I was glad to hear it. Apparently, she and Doug really hit it off. I texted her during the opening band (it was so bad it was not worth mentioning here), I asked Sue how Elle was doing and this is what I got back: "she loves Doug and is eating yogurt in her dunglees".

Sue and a knocked out Elles picked us up afterwards and we got some smart water and chocolate. Then we tried to watch a movie but ran into too many obstacles so it was shower and bed (we wouldn't have lasted more then 5 minutes into the movie anyways).

The next morning we woke up and then laid around waiting for Matt to wake up. We were hungry (especially Elles), so went to the ol' IHOP and watched Elle stuff her face with everything she could get her hands on. That girl LOVES breakfast foods.

Then before leaving town, we decided to explore a little (I haven't been to Vegas in about 7 years, so it was time). We took a series of pics of Elle in various Vegas spots -just for the record.
Treasure Island
This was about .5 seconds before the panic set in upon fully realizing her surroundings.

In front of a fancy-a store at The Venetian. This was really taken to get a shot of that glittery horse for Scout's benefit since she was unable to go.
Attempts at a good gondola shot. Elinor was unimpressed.

Group shot.
(I would like to point out my crazy slept-on-wet-hair-then-got-up-early-after-a-concert-and-tried-to-do-something-with-it-but-only-halfheartedly-since-it-was-a-travel-day hair).

So that's pretty much it. We drove home and made it back somewhere around 9. Then Matt and B drove home to Wyoming the crazy kids. Speaking of Matt and B you can read their account of the trip here.


Matt said...

Great recap!! Fun to hear another perspective of that amazing trip of joyness. It's too funny that I was such a trip nazi that you guys were afraid to wake me up the next morning. haha. "just let him sleep... there's no telling what he might do"
That picture of ells with the blue dudes is awesome. I loved how everybody that walked by was like "Awwwww"
To answer your question, I think the song you are referring to was the end of "Number 13 Baby" when they just play forever and it was all dark except for the red spiral in the background. Oh man, I can still hear it!!!
Matt's Radiohead. haha. You will totally see them. And it is going to rip your face off and eat with a side of dope sauce. I will be there for sure.
OH! And we still need to go to Six Flags/Disney Land... lines or not...

Pops said...

Love that first pic of Elinor with the head-set.

Emily said...

I thought of another funny trip nazi moment: I don't remember if it was the night before or morning of, but my ear squeaked (you know how that happens once in a while and it's like it has popped against great odds, or had been blocked for a long time during a cold?) So right after it happened, I mentioned it- just out of sheer surprise. Matt turns to me, points and yelled something at me I can't remember what. BUT the essence was that it was a possible impediment to the trip and nothing big or small was allowed to happen that might upset it- even an ear squeak.

Cat said...

Thanks for that post,Em. I haven't had a good cry like that for a while. Honestly, a good cry. I'm so glad you guys got to do that. I love you guys.

Emily said...

That's nice Cat and you were truly missed. Matt and I consoled each other a little knowing that you got to see them on their first reunion, but still- wish you had been able to go.

Radiohead streamed their last concert of the last tour they did on the internet live and I watched it on the laptop in my bed and I cried and cried and cheered and clapped and cried cause I couldn't make it and see them. They toured at the very worst time for my family in every way but mostly financially and of course they didn't come anywhere closer then California. At least they are still together, but man when a band that means so much to you comes and you aren't there...... Especially ones that don't tour every year.

Pops said...

I cried and cried when Gerry Mulligan stopped playing.

Emily said...

I just looked up who Gerry Mulligan is and I think I would have cried when he STARTED playing.


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