Sunday, May 13, 2012

A side trip to Kansas...

Last night, I took in another concert, this time with the venerable group Kansas.

This necessitated a drive west from Asheville to the Cherokee Indian Reservation; the concert was at the Harrah's Casino there.

The drive was lovely, although longer than I wanted. There were two possible routes, I unintentionally took the road less traveled by; has it has made all the difference? Time will tell.

When I arrived at the casino, my goal was dinner. For those who have never been in a casino, they are designed such that you must wander amidst the money-taking amusements in order to get anywhere you want to go. That is, after all, their bread-and-butter. So I had to wander a bit just to find a restaurant; I ended up at Paula Deen's. "Has Paula ever been here?" I asked. "She was here about a month ago."

I can't recommend it. I make better fried green tomatoes myself; although the pasta dish was good.

There was still time before the concert, so I wandered the gambling floor. I thought I'd play a little roulette; it's a fool's game (they all are), but it's fun talking to the other folks. But no roulette. I played some video poker, which was terribly boring. I'm very glad this sort of thing bores me.

If you are neither gambling nor drinking, a casino floor is very boring indeed. I might note, in passing, that this casino seems to be one of the last places in the eastern U.S. where you can smoke at will. Everyone seemed to have a cigarette; yet the ventilation system certainly did it's job.

Well, I wandered about a bit, then went to find the concert hall. It looked like it seated about 2,000 folks, and the seats were filling fast. In contrast to the Zac Brown concert, the average age here was certainly a lot higher. I'd guess between 45 and 50. There were a few under-20s, vastly outnumbered by folks in their 50s and 60s. Nice to be the kid again!

No warm-up band; the group hit the stage right on time, 7:30 pm, and started rocking. No chit-chat between songs; one right after another. That's when I remembered a conversation from Thursday with my acquaintance Jeff: he said the concerts at the casino don't last long; the management wants you back gambling.

Sure enough; about 8:45 the band seems to wrap up. I turned to a fellow fossil seated behind me and said, "wait--they aren't finishing are they?" He didn't think so, but they did all leave the stage. As best as we could, we hooted for more, and they came back for two more songs, finishing with "Carry on Wayward Son"--and that really was it. It was 9 on the dot.

So...disappointing. Zac Brown gave us 2-1/2 hours of his own stuff, plus 2 hours more from other bands; for his ticket you got over 4 hours of music. This was exactly 90 minutes.

It was fun all the same and now I can say I saw Kansas in concert. Not all original, I'm pretty sure, but still fun.

It was also fun contrasting the audience last night with Thursday. Thursday's audience was on its feet for almost the entire time. The rather older audience last night would jump up, holler, point...then need a breath and sit down again. And most seemed content to move out of the concert hall at 9 pm.

Well, have to go to Mass; I will report on that when I next get a wifi signal!

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