September 28, 2007

So we went to a concert at a casino

Had the tickets for a few months now. There is a new casino (well, a couple years old) just south of town and we had yet to go. So, when the Wreckers were scheduled, we decided to check it out. They are Michelle Branch and her backup singer in a country/pop band. Perfectly fun pop country--though nothing to write home about. Blogging is another matter.

I would have to say that the entire experience was completely contrary to what I expected. I know there are those here who frequent casinos, so maybe we just didn't get it, but I was not sold. Perhaps it was the smoking, I don't know. In fact, I don't know what I expected about the casino experience, but I think I was anticipating, well, anticipation or excitement. It seemed the opposite. Kind of a dull stare. Perhaps it was my own ignorance. The machines confused me. While all were flashing, some had recognizable games on them and others were completely confusing displays of fruit and trumpets. Or something. People sat in front of them and poked buttons repeatedly. And the people sitting there--often smoked cigarettes and stared at the machines--not with enjoyment, or excitement, but with a rather glassy-eyed stare. Then there was the constant drone of sound. Not bells or music, just a droning hum. HMMMMMMMMM It freaked us the hell out. When the concert ended, we had some free tokens (or something--that was part of the confusion, I couldn't figure out how to even bet--perhaps this PhD is useless?) but the droning sound made us both want to flee.

I am assuming we missed something. Perhaps someone can interpret for me.

But back to the music. That I understand. And the music snob in me was on full alert. Well, not going in. I kind of thought it was a smaller venue (perhaps because I hadn't thought it through) but it was a big concert hall. The sound was marginal--a little muddy, so lyrics were hard to pick up. The musicians were all good. In fact, the mando/fiddle/banjo player was quite good, and Michelle Branch herself plays several instruments. Both ladies sing very well and their harmonies were nice. That was what it was. It was nice. Perfectly nice harmonies and pop lyrics with some perfectly good musicianship added in. I have written about transcendent moments at music concerts--from some in our own public parks to others in bars and clubs. There was no transcendence here. Though many of the young women who flocked to the concert acted as if they heard the best concert of their lives. I wanted to talk to them and say, "hey, this is good stuff, but don't confuse it with great." But that was the snob in me. So, I listened and enjoyed and appreciated when the harmonies worked or when the mando player worked a great little line into a perfectly boring Judds cover.

And then we fled the drone.


Sarah said...

Back in college, I worked in a bingo hall (the old Goldsby Gaming Center, just south of Norman) and I found it incredibly depressing. You'd have these people coming in, night after night, saying things like, "I'd better win tonight, because this is my electric bill money I'm using." Working there kind of turned me off of gambling.

I have to say that Vegas is kind of fun, though...if only because it's such a spectacle.

steve s said...

Working in a public mental health center about a half hour from a casino has pretty much turned me off to gambling and casinos. Vegas was kind of interesting, but also kind of tacky.