The Entertainment Capital of the World
By Mace Yampolsky
They say New York is the city that never sleeps, but I’ll put my money on Vegas. In the span of one weekend, there was the NFL Pro bowl and ancillary activities, the NHL All-star game, and the NHL Skills game, not to mention the innumerable shows that permeate the Strip.
I’ve only had a small sampling of the virtual cornucopia of choices and I almost feel overwhelmed.
First of all, I have a disclaimer. I don’t gamble and I really don’t like going to the Strip but that is where the action is. No pain, no gain. I want to be entertained; I just need to suck it up.
Paid parking is also one of my pet peeves but it is to be endured rather than railed against. I’m sure it makes a lot of money for the casinos, but at what cost? It is way out of line for the locals.
I went to see Garth Brooks at the Park Theater at the MGM. They blocked the balcony so it was a much more intimate setting (a lot more than Allegiant stadium). He was great, the consummate professional. I’m not really into superlatives, but he was awesome, terrific, and unparalleled. He came on the stage by himself and a guitar. No band, no backup singers, just him, it’s amazing that he could fill that theater with sound with just a guitar. Apparently, he is looking for a residency in Las Vegas. That would be great. I would see him again.
He had the audience in the palm of his hand. His guitar playing was masterful. He played some Bob Seger, Bob Dylan and James Taylor because they were some of his musical influences. He did them well. He also paid homage to George Strait. But the most interesting thing he did was to play two Billy Joel songs: Shameless and Piano Man. The best part is he sounded just like the record (I realize I’m dating myself which is still a crime in Georgia), but what else am I supposed to say? That he sounds just like the MP-3 or jump drive? It just doesn’t sound right. I was very impressed.
I also saw the NHL skills set. That was fun. It’s amazing how accurate they are when they shoot the puck. For one competition there were four targets in the corners of the net. The winner hit all four targets with four shots in 10 seconds. It’s hard to imagine.
They had another contest by the fountains of the Bellagio. They blocked off the Strip (only in Vegas). The goal was to land the puck on some floating flat vessels and drop the puck in a bucket. Also, the pucks were lit so you could follow them even though it was at night.
So, if you are looking to be entertained, you are in the right place, especially if you have friends in low places.
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