Beach Music

Rusted Root and thoughts on the Vegas pool concert season

The experience of seeing Rusted Root perform May 28 at the Hard Rock’s pool concert series, Rogue’s Friday Night Live (presented by Vegas Seven sister company, was as much about the vibe as it was the music. The pleasure of relaxing in a tropical paradise almost overpowered the sound.

Nonetheless, their music was a perfect complement to a laid-back spring evening. Boasting the 1995 Billboard Hot 100 hit “Send Me on My Way,” Rusted Root clocked in its fourth appearance at the Hard Rock’s pool. This performance included the addition of drummer Preach Freedom, whom frontman Michael Glabicki describes as having “more raw and pure emotion than we’ve ever had.” That emotion seemed to vibe well with the unusually light crowd, which was sparse due to the mayhem of Memorial Day weekend. All in all, I had a blast. But to be honest, it would have been just as much fun with a lesser band.

This is not a bad thing. Since music is only one aspect (albeit, a large one) of the pool concert experience, casinos save money by booking mainly midrange bands that tap into GenX nostalgia. For example, the Spin Doctors play the Palm’s Skin Pool Lounge (June 17, $30-$50), Rob Thomas plays Red Rock’s Sandbar (Aug. 14, $49-$89), Hoobastank plays Rio’s Voodoo Beach (July 8, Free) and Gin Blossoms are next at the Hard Rock’s Friday Night Live ($25, June 4, 9 p.m.). Or you can always enjoy the waves at Mandalay Beach with Boz Scaggs ($39.50, June 5, 9 p.m.).

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Everybody has an opinion on Dana White. Just bring up his name next time you are out on the town and see what happens. “Guy’s an idiot,” “ignorant loudmouth,” “super nice guy,” “one of the most real people in Vegas,” “totally down to earth” and the age-old classic, “asshole.” Those are just a few samples from people I encountered in the run-up to this interview, but one conclusion is clear: The jury is all over the place, except in the middle.



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