All I can say is THANK YOU Billy Joel for being an addict and hitting rock bottom during a tour with Elton John. Yes, you screwed me out of (what I thought at the time was) the concert of a lifetime…but I have to admit -- I was wrong. Everything happens for a reason and you were just a small piece in a big puzzle. I have now let bygones be bygones…I forgive you and I no longer carry a grudge (Thanks to Ian and Hannah!).
Bright and early this past Saturday morning I began my whirlwind trip to Vegas to see Elton’s Red Piano concert at Caesar’s Palace. I have to say that initially I did not think that this was going to be worth it…exactly 24 hours in Vegas and 13 hours of travel time just for a concert (I left my house Saturday morning at 6:15am and walked back in the door at 11pm Sunday night)…whew, double whew for someone who doesn’t like travel time that much. My concerns grew even more when our quick little lunch cost $77 before tip!! (2 sushi rolls, 2 small Saki’s and 2 green tea’s). Holy crap! I thought food and drinks in Vegas were meant to be cheap to lure all the gamblers…guess I thought wrong!
After meeting up with Hannah and grabbing lunch we decided it was time to try our hand at some video poker and take advantage of the complimentary drinks. We had just over an hour to play before getting ready for the concert. While we were playing Kelley met up with us - she planned to join us for dinner then show us some of the town after the concert. Video poker was fun! I think we got Kelley addicted and I think I've now become addicted to Justin's Play Station version (played for hours while Denise was doing her photo shoot).
Our dinner was fabulous! Wonderful food, great wine and good company. Hannah picked this awesome restaurant with a Hawaiian flare. My first course was to die for...this Ahi tuna roll thingy. Second course, a rock shrimp salad; main, sesame crusted Mahi Mahi; and a yummy dessert trio that I could barely even try because I was so stuffed.
After dinner we made our way to the concert hall. I STILL can not believe that Ian and Hannah scored 3rd row seats for us!! We were right on the end too, so no squishing through people for bathroom breaks, etc. We met these two really nice guys sitting next to us and started yapping about the concert, which led to how much we all paid for our seats. These guys got their tickets through a scalper and saved a ton. They also mentioned that the scalper told them that the first 3 rows got to get on stage with Elton. I laughed and said they got sold a line! There were at least a 1/2 dozen bouncers lining the stage shoving people away who got too close...there's no way they would let 50 to 100 people up there that close to Sir Elton John!!
The concert was absolutely amazing! Elton was funny and personable, the props were unique (there were evil menacing inflatable boobs lurking above our heads) and meaningful (there was video on a large screen behind the stage that almost brought tears to my eyes). The song choice was great...I even grew to like songs that I had not cared much for in the past. This was the best concert I've ever been to and I highly recommend it to everyone - even if you don't like Elton so much...you will walk away loving him!
Near the end of the concert one of the guys sitting next to me leaned over and said, "see, I told you so!" I thought he was talking about the unique props because he mentioned that earlier as well, so I shook my head and said yeah...just as I was turning to look back on stage one of the bouncers was waving us up!!! No FREAKIN' way!!!! Yes WAY!! We got to get up on stage and dance around the big red piano to "Saturday Night"!!! We couldn't believe it!! What a great Birthday present!!!
After the concert Kelley took us to Mandalay Bay to a cool balcony bar to see the night scape of the city. The bar was pretty amazing, the bathrooms...even cooler! There were a couple of stalls that the entire back was was floor to ceiling window so the john looked out over the city. There were some other neat bars in this hotel so if I ever go back I'd like to stay there.
From there we went back to the room to crash...we had to get up relatively early to catch our flight home. Whew...what a fun, exciting, whirlwind of a trip!