seeing Ronnie Vannucci play in Las Vegas is just as awesome as it sounds
the in-between song banter never fails to entertain: “there’s a lot of hot ladies in here tonight….onstage.”
the Hawaiian shirt game was very strong
chatting before the show was next-level amazing; Ronnie is great, Taylor is so so sweet, Brooks is so cool
the show started late and I had to catch a flight immediately after, so that was stressful
(d) overall thoughts
Caught a quick flight to Vegas from LA to see Big Talk again, and hot damn, was it a good time. It was hot as hell, but waiting outside was so worth it when Ronnie brought out water and snacks to the line (my heart), and definitely worth it to hang out in the courtyard pseudo-desert-garden area of the Bunkhouse Saloon. The show definitely felt like a hometown show in a lot of ways even though Ronnie hasn’t lived in Vegas for awhile, if only for all that Killers-in-Vegas history.
The setlist was exactly the same as the night before, which might sound like a bad thing, but it honestly wasn’t. Again, we didn’t have an album at this point. We pretty much had one single and that was it, so to hear all those songs again and really grasp the garage-band-y vibe of it gave more context. “I’ve Been Sentimental Lately,” “All My Luvin’,” and “What The Night Can Do” were immediate stand-outs aside from the lead single “What Happened to Delisa?” and I still dig those songs a lot to this day. The newer songs fit right in with the debut album in my opinion, even though Ronnie mentioned a couple of times that he disliked the older songs. If I had to guess, I think that opinion is mostly informed by the first album’s production; RJV was adamant about Straight In No Kissin’ having a less slick and more gritty sound to it, and the band certainly accomplished that in more ways than one. The crowd dug a lot of it and I felt very lucky to have witnessed that show.
Bottom Line: The Bunkhouse Saloon was the perfect environment for Big Talk to perform their newest album in Vegas; gritty songs with pop-y melodies fit best in dingey cowboy bars on a hot desert night.
literally just BEING THERE; I was outside of the venue, sitting on the fake lawn they set up in front of a screen and next to a bar; it was AMAZING
“Midnight Show” = first time they played it since 2007; me = DEAD
“On Top,” the end.
having just seen the band at the most memorable show ever at the T-Mobile Arena to two hours later watching them totally tear down this super tiny Vegas joint was pure magic
it would’ve been amazing to physically be in the bar, but I never would’ve dreamed of leaving the arena show early; I’m so glad I stayed and could even be on the Bunkhouse grounds at all, so…no actual lowlights
(d) overall thoughts
Fifteen minutes into The Killers’ performance at the T-Mobile Arena (see previous post), they tweeted that they’d be performing a midnight aftershow at the tiny Bunkhouse Saloon in Downtown Las Vegas. A couple of my friends had anticipated the band would be up to such antics, so we smiled, rolled our eyes, and had fun at the arena. Some fans left the show to get to the Bunkhouse and set up camp, but we stayed. The moment the arena show ended, we drove the 5 or so miles Downtown and found at least 500 people already in line. The space inside the physical Bunkhouse was full, but the garden area was still open with a screen to watch the inside, have drinks, eat food and all that.
Magically, somehow, by the grace of God, we got inside the garden and set up camp in front of the screen, exhausted but elated to even be there at all. I had envisioned sitting on the sidewalk and listening to the show from across the street, but this was better. How many bands in the world would go from selling out a 20,000-person venue to immediately playing a bar that barely holds 200 right after just for the fun of it? It was such a memorable night and iconic event that it almost felt damn-near magical as I lied on the fake grass, closed my eyes, and listened to songs I’ve heard a million times but never fail to excite me.
Bottom line: Everything about that night was unreal, but being a part of the band making history was the cherry on top.
The best part about seeing local Las Vegas bands led by local Las Vegas legends is that no one knows the setlist and no one cares.
finally hearing songs I remember downloading off Myspace circa 2006
the Bunkhouse Saloon atmosphere: two parts broken-neon-cowboy, one part hip Downtown Vegas makes for a sweet spot
good ole fashion rock ‘n’ roll with a dusty country hint
taking photos in this venue feels impossible when the lighting is so fickle and makes every photo look exposed to UV rays; (ironic that lights were lowlights, yeah?)
(d) overall thoughts
I discovered both Halloweentown (fronted by the infamous Ryan Pardey aka the Captain aka Bad Santa [see: severaldifferent Killers’ Christmas music videos]) back in 2006 when Ryan spent his time touring with The Killers, and Romance Fantasy (fronted by Ryan’s brother Rod Pardey aka Michael Valentine [see: a wonderful b-side on an iconic Killers album]) through osmosis over the years. Romance Fantasy had a bit of a Southern California-beachy rock ‘n’ roll vibe with comforting vocals and catchy choruses – though I’m a Beach Boys fan, so I dig that. Halloweentown tapped into country soul; every song had heart and a story, if you know what I mean.
Bottom line: Loved the local cowboy vibe of the venue, the good ole fashioned rock ‘n’ roll tunes, and hope the Bunkhouse Saloon stays open for the foreseeable future.