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“I’ll have that vanilla ice cream,” one says. “You know—-that chocolate vanilla.” Playing an all-ages show in Las Vegas is akin to this absurdist ice cream order.
Las Vegas is a decadent town built on the poor decisions of many decadent adults. Punk in its original incarnation—-the trashy “53rd and 3rd” punk of the Ramones—-fits in here very well. However, so-called “positive punk” and its associated all-ages politics doesn’t jibe next to overblown casino meccas with names like “Excelsior” and “Circus Circus.”
“I was going to book an all-ages show of all Las Vegas bands at Circus Circus once,” said the promoter of my show last night. “Circus Circus backed out, though.”
“What?” I said. The prospect of an all-ages show at Circus Circus, where fortunes have been made and then lost at blackjack and roulette, boggled my brain. Then again, the Sex Pistols have played Atlantic City. Still, all-ages exists in Vegas—-just, well, casually beside questionable art.
“We came to see you,” said an enthusiastic Vegas fan. “Then, we went to get Thai BBQ. Then, when we came back, you were done!” The fan then opened a Budweiser and drank it in the street. This action would normally violate open container laws, but I don’t think Vegas has any.
“Tough luck,” I said. After the show, I went to Binion’s casino and won $188 playing 1-2 No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em. This $188 is more money than I have made playing a show in some time. However, I lost $200 playing 1-2 No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em in New Orleans, so I am still $12 down for this trip.