So, my wife had the opportunity to make up for two misses of Duran Duran by seeing them live at the WinStar. It was my first trip to the Chickasaw palace and I was interested to see how this casino had evolved. I heard the stories, but needed to verify it in person.
There are a few things to get out of the way. It is bigger inside than it looks on the outside. You will need to have your walking shoes on. You are there to gamble. There is no fancy mall attached. Wolfgang Puck does not have six restaurants there. There are no oxygen or hooka bars. I didn’t see any illegals handing out prostitute cards and most of the dealers looked homegrown. There was a mix of people, but their decriptions will come later. The biggest hindrance was the piss poor cell reception in the place. It really sucks that you cannot tweet realtime about two chics sporting matching black tanks and acid washed daisy dukes (they were in the 35-45 demographic). The worst thing I saw here was someone sitting at a penny machine while her daughter with Downs Syndrome sat staring at the floor. It appered she had been there awhile and there was no sign she would be leaving soon. Didn’t see much Southern Oklahoma PDA’ing going on which, in retrospect, is a refresher. Another downer that you do not discover the next day after you wake up and your lungs have exited your body are are beating your ass for tormenting them. Meaning, the place feels like the air is clean, but the cigarette smoke is in cloak mode, and infiltrating your airspace. You have no idea until you wake up and have to take a shop vac to your nostrils and lungs to get the gunk out.
Now, to the reason we were there…Duran Duran. This is my wife’s all-time favorite band. Our friend, Shannon, who was with us, shares the same love. So, it was a match made in heaven. The show started at nine, i.e. 2100 hours. There was some doubt whether it would start on time as the band was commuting from SXSW via I35E which handed them some wrecks and other disruptions. We arrived to two mile long lines. I thought it was a bad sign, but they were for will call and we had our tickets thanks to my brother in-law who still has the knack of getting great tickets even when its been almost two decades nice his Sound Warehouse days. We had an extra ticket and were fortunate to find a buyer (at face). We get in there and the place, deemed the “Global Event Center”, resembles a large dancehall. Ther are about 30 rows of sets and some riser in the back with another twenty rows. There is one t-shirt line that is about a mile long and I knew I would be standing in it. Fortunately, there were a few drink lines with a good selection, so I stocked up for the wait.
While waiting, I looked to my left and saw a high school classmate I had not seen in twenty years, Cristela. She was there and as eager to see the band as my roommates were. I was able to secure the two pre-selected shirts as the girls were rehearsing their 80’s dance moves. I saw one guy with a vintage Powerstation shirt. I am sure it was not so fitted when he bought it twenty five years ago, but it was in good shape. There was one dude who looked like he was a tall Billy Corgan whose wife’s goal was to try to look like Oksana Grigorieva. They thought they were celebrity attendees. The ratio of women to men was about 100:1. When I strolled back and forth in the event center you could easily pick out those people who received comp ticket from the Casino. They looked about as enthused as I would be at a PETA rally. There were two black people there. There was really bad white people dancing. It was the stereotypical stuff that we cannot deny occurs.
I arrived at the seats after the third song started. The band sounded great. These guys are now in their early 50’s but their energy and their sound was not degraded. This simple event center had great acoustics. The sound was clear and the show was on target. There was no overwhelming HD screen, laser lights or flashy costumes. They played a great set sans Hungry Like the Wolf, Come Undone and any Arcadia hits, but they played straight through with a 45 second break for the encore. In summary, the show was worth the $80 per ticket and the advanced travel logistics we had to do between San Antonio with the three kids. They even gave the great metropolis of Thackerville it’s props. Yes, Duran Duran playing Thackerville. I wonder what the odds of that ever occurring were back in 1987.
We went to bed and woke up, got packed and headed downstairs for breakfast. While en route, Shannon and Nikki failed to see John Taylor in line for his coffee. I saw him and they didn’t believe me it was him. It’s not like he looks like your average Pauls Valley CPA. So, we went to get seated which was still in view of John standing in line. There was one lady working the counter. This was the same very kind and polite lady who helped me the evening before with a brownie. She was the same lady who told me about how her late husband told her she drank expensive beer, Corona. So, you do the math. Anyways, I convinced the two to find the guts to get their photo with them. I wish I had a bullwhip because it would cut down some of the time, but they huddled together like two puppies left out in the cold and slowly approached him. It took some more prodding and I left them to do their life’s bidding, something they wanted to do since they were ten (besides the dirty deed) and Nikki walked up to him. She was wearing her concert tee and nervous as hell and she approached him. She told him she felt like a dork but asked for a photo. He assured her she was a dork and politely obliged. Shannon and Nikki stood there, with their ass cheeks tigger than a pair of rusty vicegrips and got their photo via the iPhone 3Gs and Instagram. While others stood around in awe as they didn’t have the balls to do it including the chic who was sitting her old dude’s lap (there was not a shortage of chairs), the two girls got their dream answered. It may have been 28 years late, but it happened. It justified every cent that was spent. It sank in about 30 minutes later and you knew it was a high point of their lives and the best thing about it was that he was cool, polite, genuine and did these two girls a favor without hesitation.
After that, we got our bags and proceeded on our way to get on the road. As we went to exit, the entire band was there in the small hotel lobby waiting for their convoy. About two dozen fans were taking photos, shooting the breeze with the band. I went out to get the car from the valet. Simon who looked 37, not 53, was running the show, getting the bags loaded and getting everyone in. Nikki got some paparazzi style photos and the fans were giving their regards. It was a proud moment for Nikki. She got close to her favorite band. She had her Duran shirt on. She was still thinking of her grasp of the skinny bass player that she adored as he was waiting for his Casino coffee from the Corona loving widow. Then the 2010 Charcoal Honda Odyssey Touring Edition made its entry reminding us of our trip from Thackerville to Broken Bow, a trip that would be filled with views of garage sales, old outhouses and abandon storage containers to see our children who were only apart from us for 27 hours and would greet us if we were gone for months. Still, it was a great time and one that will be talked about again and again.
And this concludes the first blog of Chris Loehr void of any iOS app reviews or other IT jargon. Until another day…the Digger H is signing off.