Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Vegas: Concert, Cougars, and Stalkers!
The Valentine clan, Utah chapter, went to Vegas this weekend to see Maroon 5's final show of this leg of the tour. My father, mother, brother, Chris and his wife, Marilyn, and Topher and I drove down together in a mini-van. There was a lot of dark chocolate, talk of what our next meal would be, and making fun of each other. I totally win at that game. More on that later.
We took off and less than 15 minutes later my father takes out his own can of spray glass cleaner and begins spraying the windows, leaving a nice coat of film over Topher's Egg McMuffin and telling everyone how you can buy cans of this stuff at Costco (apparently for a reasonable price--in packs of 4, fyi), and instructing my mom and brother how they're not wiping it off correctly (not vigorous enough--rookie mistake). So, yeah, we were totally off to a wild start!
As soon as we got to Vegas, we met James, went to dinner, then off to the sound-check at The Pearl. The sound check is really a study in fan etiquette. Someday I'll have to do a study of the Maroon 5 fan base, but that's not for here. On this particular night, Topher and I noticed an unusually large population of "Cougars: 40-somethings with a lot of make-up, a lot of plastic surgery, dressed like lap-dancers with money and time to burn!" (re: totally awesome). I'm not judging, I'm just painting an ugly, desperate picture with words.
At the "meet and greet," fans who won or bought special time with the band get to take pictures with the boys, have stuff signed, and listen to the sound check. It's cool to hear the guys play some different stuff. They played a version of "Purple Rain" that was amazing. It's also a good time to watch my mom and dad. My dad has a special technique where he'll casually introduce himself to people by saying something like "Wow. They sound pretty good, huh? Well, I'm James Valentine's father. . ." or "Do you like Maroon 5? I'm the lead guitarist's father. . . " He loves the reaction, and I can't say I blame him. If anyone says anything good about one of my children, I smile and beg for more too. It's payback for when they were little and hit you in the head with Matchbox cars. But I get the feeling my father just wants to be part of the excitement. More than once, he offered to take a picture for the fans, all goofy over Maroon 5, and that's a special surprise because my father is meticulously talented with things like that. You can be guaranteed he got their feet in the shot.
The concert was truly amazing. I know, now I sound like a sister, not your regular concert-goer, which I'm not because I'm a big, fat pregnant lady who has a hard time staying up past 8 p.m., (and a constant reminder to everyone who saw me that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas, if you know what I mean), but it was a really great concert. They are all at the top of their game. They are all so talented and so tight together. I got a big kick out of seeing James sing back-up, too. It was very, very cool and there were cool lights. I'm impressed by big productions like that, especially when the music is so on.
I think the audience liked it, too, because a woman behind us was clapping so hard the sapphire from her ring flew out. We helped her look for it, but she was more annoyed than frantic. She told us it was over 2 carats, and less than 10 hours old! And her stupid husband (her words, not mine) paid cash for it, dummy, instead of putting it on the American Express so it would be insured. She walked out (Cougar), and the woman next to me found it minutes later. It was obviously fake because there was a big glob of glue on the back of it. So, I'm intrigued: why the detailed lies? Will I ever understand the mysterious Cougar?
After the concert, there were talks of cool parties, getting dinner (big surprise for the Valentine family), and hanging out. We were waiting outside a celebrity-filled party and I clearly hear my sister, Gina. Deep breath. Gina was wearing leggings AND high heels, so she was in full-force. I hear her yelling, "Oh my gosh--We LOVE your show! You guys are so AWESOME! Seriously, we really watch your show! And I'm James Valentine's sister, so I'm not, like, A STALKER!" Red light, red light. . . I feel this maternal-like instinct to save the cast of "Chuck," so I run over there and give Gina the look like, "That's enough, calm down," and she recognizes said look and says, "No, Lisa, you don't understand--we totally love this show!" I nod in a "No Gina, I totally understand" way. After a couple of pictures, I apologize for taking up their time and come to find out that "Chuck" and "Morgan" are a. gracious and very kind b. really good-looking in person. Seriously, "Chuck" is breathtakingly handsome in person. I love the picture at the bottom of this post because you can see the earnestness in "Chuck's" eyes, and Gina's conversation. Acting, ladies and gentlemen, is a craft. Later James and I try to explain to Gina that stating you're NOT a stalker is not a way to convince someone you're not. It seems logical, but smells like crazy.
Then we had an elaborate room-service spread and realized that I had never had room-service in my life before. How fun for me! Might I recommend the Godiva chocolate mousse? And then Gina and her husband went back to the party to look for "Chuck." But remember: she's James Valentine's sister, so it's alright.
(In the spirit of equal opportunity reporting, check out Gina's version of the story at the compelling and controversial blog: www.thesewingfriend.blogspot.com)