Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Las Vegas: Soundgarden X nine inch nails at The Axis at Planet Hollywood powered by Monster, July 19, 2014

Okay, first let's talk about about that ridiculous venue name.  The first time I went there, it was the Aladdin Theater for the Performing Arts where I saw Boingo.  A few years ago, I saw nine inch nails play there and it was called the Planet Hollywood Theater for the Performing Arts.  Now it has a fully corporate sponsored name.  Blah.

So anyway, this was a fun weekend, but mediocre show.  Had a nice dinner at Gordon Ramsey's BurGR before the show.  The line to pick up tickets was a bit long, but no big deal.

Oneohtrix Point Never was a strange opener.  There was one guy behind a DJ station.  The performance felt like something out of an abstract art gallery.  Lots of slow build up to nothing.

Nokia 808 - Oneohtrix Point Never

I went to the merch booth to pick up a new keychain.  Soundgarden started up before I could get back to my seat.  It was a bit strange, since their bassist was in the crowd for the first song and slowly made his way to the stage.  I guessed right that they would play Spoonman as their second song and tried to record it, but the girl in front of me was both too tall and liked to dance so I never had a good shot.  Because it's the 20th anniversary of Superunknown, their set was heavy in songs from that album.  I enjoyed the simple imagery of an eclipse used for those songs.  At one point, lead singer Chris Cornell stopped to talk about how when they formed the band, the world was bleak and things sucked.  He said pop and modern music is fine and all, but the world aint any different.  I really enjoyed their performance, even though they didn't play one song I wanted to hear, Been Away Too Long.

Nokia 808 - Soundgarden

I probably would have enjoyed the show more if I wasn't stuck in a shit sandwich.  I had to manuever a lot to look around dancing of the tall girl in front of me. It got worse when she switched with her even taller boyfriend.  Behind me were an incredibly obnoxious couple.  Every time a singer would say thank you, she would yell "NO THANK YOU!" or "I LOVE YOU!" Her boyfriend was dancing a lot as well and often bumped into my friend.  Vegas being what it is, I noticed a group of four leave halfway into Soundgarden's set two rows up.  It wasn't until halfway into nine inch nails' set that me and my friend moved up to their empty seats.  The show was much nicer at that point.

Nokia 808 - Trent Reznor

  I was pretty impressed with the stage crew.  They tore down and removed Soundgarden's stage in about 5 minutes.  After about 20 minutes, a stagehand put out a lamp on the stage and a small music device on a podium.  5 minutes later, with the house lights still on, Trent Reznor casually walked out on stage and started the show.  Eventually the three other members of the band made their way on stage and the lights went down and the stage formed.  

Nokia 808 - nine inch nails

The performance was riddled with faults. Lots of the stage effects were malfunctioning. Robin Finck's guitar would crap out and he threw it away in disgust.  Trent would later say, "Hey its the first show, things are bound to go wrong."  In the past, he would have thrown a tantrum and broken instruments or parts of the stage.  Musically, it was very interesting to me since a few songs were done without live drums or different instrumentation than past shows.

Nokia 808 - nine inch nails

After the show I went to the Cosmopolitan in search of a proper Mint Julep.  I was told to go to, the Chandelier Bar, but they didn't have the cups to serve one in.  I walked down to Caesar's Palace to visit the Forum Shops, but it was closed.  With that, the night ended.

Sunday I returned to the Forum Shops to find Max Brenners had closed.  Afterwards I headed to the pinball museum and blew some quarters.  The day concluded with playing my DC Deck Builder game.  Here's a tip, if you're driving from LA to Vegas, stay until Monday morning.  The Sunday afternoon drive is always a nightmare.  The Monday morning drive back was a breeze.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Upgrading at&t U-Verse

Nokia N8 - at&t logo - (I must have been drunk when I took this photo)

I am subscribed to at&t U-Verse internet. My rate was $36 per month for 6Mbps down / .5 up.  That pricing expired in July, so my August bill went up to $46.  Last week, I called 1-800-ATT-2020 and asked for a better deal.  They offered nothing.

I called again, this time asking to cancel my bill.  I was offered $41 for 12Mbps down/ 1 up.  I mulled it over and said I would call back after shopping around.  I was then offered $34 for said speed and with homewire protection.  This would be great, since my current set up has a phone wire connected from my modem to the box outside.  The line between my wall jack and the box outside mysteriously went out years ago.  As soon as the weather gets better, I'll call up at&t an have them fix the wiring.