View Full Forums : Stormhaven's Vegas Review (Elton, KA, Gordie Brown and Blue Man Group)

03-01-2007, 10:01 AM
So, I just returned from my third trip to Vegas - and this time I actually decided to take in some shows instead of just randomly dumping all my money into slot machines. I saw four shows - Cirque du Soleil's KA (MGM Grand), Elton John's Red Piano (Caesar's Palace), Gordie Brown and Blue Man Group (Venetian).

<b>Elton John's Red Piano</b> - This was the first show me and my roommate saw. I'm not a big concert or, hell, even Elton John fan, but it was his last show during the first part of the year, so I figured what the hell. First off, I will say that I am <i>not</i> a concert-type. The show was very choreographed and the stage crew was awesome. There were a lot of inflatable props that popped up during songs along with neon lights and a huge video screen in the background. The show was <i>very</i> loud. I'm sensitive to speakers peaking out and giving off that annoying "rumbling" when they're overloaded, and this actually happened a few times during the show. My roommate also noticed that Elton couldn't quite hit his old high notes anymore, so most of the time one of the backup singers were hitting them for him.

My roommate's a bigger fan than I am, and according to her, the show was great, and I will agree that it was enjoyable even for a non-fan. The show is rated "mature" for a reason, however. There is a <b>lot</b> of overt sexuality in the show - in other words, if you didn't know Elton was gay before the show, you absolutely know now. The background video included a lot of half-naked men, mostly naked women, and a lot of interpretive dance and crotches on fire (not a typo).

All that aside, I think the thing I didn't get was why anyone would want to see this type of show. There was maybe 2% audience interaction - the rest of the show was just Elton singing on stage. It was like watching a music video in an auditorium. I guess I'm just more of a interactive person.

<b>Cirque du Soleil's KA</b> - This was probably the show I was looking forward to the most, except for Blue Man. If you don't know, KA's Cirque's "Asian-themed" play that's supposed to take place on a state-of-the-art set designed especially for the play. The tech portion did not disappoint - it was pretty surreal to see the entire stage platform rotate around, go vertical or disappear entirely. Again, the timing was amazing - much of the pre-recorded graphics called for the actors to land on a precise location at a precise second in order for the effect to work. There were a few times when the actors were off by a split-second and you could really tell.

This is my first Cirque show, so I don't have much to compare it to, but if you're not very knowledgeable about Asian stories, you probably would have had a hard time figuring out what the hell the story actually was. As expected, the costumes were amazing, the acrobatics were outstanding, but the music - at least in my opinion, was probably more of a B or C compared to some of the other stuff I've heard from them. I got my KA tickets for half price ($70/ea) and I don't think I'd pay that again - I know I wouldn't pay the full price and am glad I didn't. However the show was good enough that I'd still go see another Cirque show - I've heard that "O" is their best one on the strip, and I might check that one out next time.

<b>Gordie Brown</b> - This was the only comedian I went to go see. Gordie Brown was a small act out on Freemont Street who got "promoted" to the Strip. I had no clue who this guy was or what his act was about, so I went in with no expectations.

He didn't disappoint. Many of his jokes were pretty old and cliche, but his delivery and timing were pretty damn good. It's the way a joke you've heard before is still funny when the person telling the joke does a good job of delivering it. Also, the fact that he was an musical impressionist didn't hurt either. He was very tall white man, and seeing/hearing him do an almost spot on impression of Sammy Davis Jr. was pretty eerie.

Again, these were half price tickets ($35/ea) - I'd pay that to see him perform again. I don't think I'd do $70 though.

<b>Blue Man Group</b> - I've been a big fan of Blue Man since I saw them do a tiny skit on the Tonight Show like ten years ago. I wanted to see them since my first time in Vegas but never got around to it. Now I really wish I had. Blue Man was so much fun, I saw it twice. If you don't know who Blue Man is, it's hard to describe them. They're a trio of stage actors who incorporate rock music, Vaudevillian comedy, Gallagher-esque splatterfests with lots and lots of percussion.

Four words: Front Row, Poncho Section.

Banana. I had lots of banana on me by the time the show was over.

The first time I saw the show, I was so jazzed by it, I made up my mind that I wanted to see it again. There are elements in the show that are scripted to look like they're spur of the moment, but if you go twice you'll learn that it's staged. However knowing what's about to happen didn't diminish any of the show's energy.

I went once on Tuesday night and once on Saturday night. There was such a huge difference in the energy level and the way that it impacted the show was pretty neat. The Tuesday audience was pretty subdued, but they paid more "attention," so they reacted to the Blue Men's queues better. So the sight gags were very well timed and smooth. Saturday I went to the 10:30pm show - many more drunk and hyper individuals. <i>Much</i> more raw energy. The audience was less about pinpointing when to react as they were about giving back as much energy as possible when they noticed they were supposed to. Lots and lots of yelling at this show, but damn fun.

So if you couldn't tell, Blue Man was by far my favorite show. I started looking to see if I could find tickets for their "How to be a Megastar 2.0" tour, but they're not booked for my area :(. I'd recommend seeing Blue Man to anyone who's interested in a big energy show. Not for the faint of heart or people who don't like loud noises.

Second choice would be a unknown for me - Gordie Brown. Funny, pretty good crowd interaction, and not a huge auditorium environment.

KA and Elton - well for Cirque, I heard O would be a better choice. For Elton, well if you're a fan, I'm sure it's a great show; if you're not a fan, probably can find some other better shows for your money.

Either way, I'm still loving Vegas and will probably go back again before the year is over. :D

03-01-2007, 10:56 AM
I was disappointed by Cirque in Vegas. I love their traveling productions much, much more. I think I've seen two of their vegas shows.

Blue Man is awesome. :)

03-01-2007, 03:07 PM
I'm sad that KA was a bust, I've never heard of it though, and maybe that's why. I saw Mystere when I went to Vegas a few years ago and I was really impressed. It's the only cirque de ... show that I've seen. I don't know if there was supposed to be a story or not, if there was it was really out there and I didn't pick up on any of it. It was more like a circus, with a clown running around and some stunning acrobatics. I loved the music and even got the CD and listen to it now and then. At one point in the show they bring out 20-30 drums of various sizes and just go at it.

The friend I went with loved Mystere as well. The loud talking gentlemen behind us who had seen both O and Mystere liked Mystere more and parents who have seen both shows also like Mystere more.

I have tickets to see O I'm just dying to get down there and see it sometime.

03-01-2007, 03:14 PM
<b>Blue Man Group</b> - I've been a big fan of Blue Man since I saw them do a tiny skit on the Tonight Show like ten years ago. I wanted to see them since my first time in Vegas but never got around to it. Now I really wish I had. Blue Man was so much fun, I saw it twice.
The Blue Man show rocks! I've seen them in Vegas four or five times and in Chicago once and I'll see them again for sure. I usually have a short attention span for live shows but Blue Man keeps me transfixed right through the final paper assault every time.

Another fun show is Teatro ZinZanni. If they have it in your city you might look into it. It's not really like Blue Man but it's a lot of fun.

03-01-2007, 04:19 PM
KA wasn't awful or anything, and I'm sure that it would probably keep kids very entertained - there were a lot of bright colors, pretty costumes, fire (and fireworks at the end) and things like that. It just didn't feel very "Cirque-ish" to me. Cirque's got a ton of shows in Vegas, and maybe they're spreading themselves out a bit too thin. Off the top of my head I can remember KA, O, Mystere, Beattles: Love, and Zumanity.

And Klath, I'm actually considering seeing the Blue Man Group in Manhattan. That's a pretty big step considering I hate going into the City unless I have to!

03-02-2007, 03:06 PM
And Klath, I'm actually considering seeing the Blue Man Group in Manhattan. That's a pretty big step considering I hate going into the City unless I have to!
I'm betting it will be worth it. When I attended their show in Chicago it was at a much smaller venue than their Vegas shows and although the show had most of the same elements there were quite a few surprises.

My favorite thing they do is the neon desert bit with the animated characters that come alive and do the whipping thing with the glow rods. What a trip!

03-02-2007, 03:27 PM
Yeah, the whippy thing was messed up! It was hard to figure out what was going on even in the front row.