Queens of the Stoneage at Cosmopolitan

The reason for my mini stay at home Las Vegas vacation began because I wanted to see Queens of the Stoneage at the Boulevard Pool at Cosmopolitan. I haven’t seen this band in years and I figured that the setting of the Boulevard Pool on a warm summer night would be amazing. As soon as I bought tickets I immediately went to Caesars.com to get a room because this isn’t the kind of band I want to see sober and I’d rather not pay for a cab – most rooms are cheaper or even free. The best I could muster was a room at Harrah’s, which wasn’t so bad after the upgrade.

After the room was booked I mentioned my excitement about how awesome the show would be to a friend and they booked a flight from the east coast. The game was on! What started as one night of raging became 4 nights of raging. R A G E !

I’ve seen Queens of the Stoneage before but it’s been a while. In the last year I’ve gotten back into their catalog. In fact, I’m listening to R as I write this. Side note: I wrote a comparison between the Boulevard Pool and watching a band at the pool at Red Rock Casino on Vegas Chatter last week and the main difference is the setting.

Watching Queens of the Stoneage (QOTSA) on the Cosmopolitan rooftop was awesome. The views we stunning and the sound wasn’t bad – especially for an outside venue and the setlist was great! They even played some songs I forgot about (like “Little Sister”).

Regular John
Avon
The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
3’s & 7’s
If Only
Sick, Sick, Sick
Better Living Through Chemistry
In My Head
Into the Hollow
Make It Wit Chu
Little Sister
(Intro Jam)
Burn the Witch
First It Giveth
Go With the Flow
You Can’t Quit Me Baby
Encore:
No One Knows
A Song for the Dead

It was almost like a greatest hits set, but it was kind of what I wanted. I got lost in the show and atmosphere a couple of times. Once alone when I found a seat towards the back of the pools looking at the stage with The Harmon in the background. Nice advertising for Viva Elvis.

QOTSA Back
QOTSA Back

I had another moment again when I was up closer watching the show and taking in the Vegas strip skyline. To be super honest, it was moving. That’s what Cosmopolitan has been banking with everything they do and the Boulevard Pool is a success there. I rarely have moments like this so this night will remain special for a long time to come.

QOTSA Side
QOTSA Side

One of the most stunning parts of watching a band on the Boulevard Pool at Cosmo is the marquee. It’s a great piece for the bands to have at their sides when they play because it makes watching the band easier if there are a lot of people or you just want to be in the back. The big screen is viewable for just about anyone on the strip (no audio though) and is visually stunning if you don’t want to be close enough to see the band from stage.

QOTSA Marquee
QOTSA Marquee

Speaking of being in the back, the Cosmo flickr has a bunch of professional pictures from the show which are way better than my iPhone pictures. If you’re into concert pictures you’ll notice there’s nothing take from less than 200 feet away from the stage. Still nice pics, but that’s the difference between nice and awesome and ZOMG!

Anyway, the people there to watch the band were cool, but that only accounted for about about 40-60% of the crowd. This show was easy to spot who was there to see the band and who was just there. QOTSA is the kind of band that is definitely more fun to watch with people that are into the music as they get into the music and everyone feeds off of each others energy.

Less cool was the fact that beer prices were about 20-30% higher than in the casino. My can of Fat Tire was $10. I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $7 for a beer. My Stoli and Soda was about $13. I’m pretty sure that’s the price of Grey Goose at Book and Stage. I drank for “free” at Harrah’s beforehand so this wasn’t too big of a deal. (I say “free” because I know my gambling spend allows me the Diamond Lounge access)

The most uncool feeling was the feeling that the casino didn’t want any rock people hanging out after the show. Everywhere we went after the show had some kind of AWFUL pop-dance-remix music pumping. I get that people like that kind of music, but it would have been nice to be eased back into that after the high an awesome rock show. Especially since the casino usually plays much cooler music. I can only imagine that indie snobs going to the Cosmo to see bands will never return or would just leave right away without spending money. I ended up walking to Planet Hollywood to get a cab back to Harrah’s since the line was at 20-30 minutes.

Bottom line is that QOTSA was an amazing show, but it came across that the club (Cosmo) wanted a different customer that evening. I’m not sure “the curious class” isn’t being taken over by “the douchey class.” More on that another time.

Grazie Upgrade, Upgrade!

I was chatting with some locals at the Diamond Lounge at Rio after I got knocked out of the poker tournament on my last trip to Las Vegas and they tipped me off that I could get my Grazie card upgraded at Venetian/Palazzo if I show them my Harrah’s Total Rewards Diamond card.

So, of course I upgraded my Grazie card from purple to gold, but it was a little late on the trip to have any real effect.

Unfortunately the upgrade is only for 3 months and my first impression was not good.  I could not get a later checkout than normal and the room rates I was given were higher than I have ever seen.

There are quite a few perks with the gold card, but most important to me is access to the 24 hour Gold Club and 50% increase in points for play.  Here are the extras you get with an upgrade.

•    Guaranteed suite availability 72 hours prior to arrival

•    Complimentary suite upgrade*

•    Invited guest check-in

•    Early check-in and noon late check-out*

•    Complimentary shuttle bus service to and from the McCarran International Airport (limit 2 guests)

•    Valet – Front-of-the-line priority service

•    Venetian Gold Club Lounge access

•    Slot Rewards points- Up to 50% more

•    Priority Concierge phone line

•    Priority show and restaurant reservations*

•    Phantom – Receive $25 off Orchestra or Golden Circle-level seats

•    10% off select non-sale items at Venetian & Palazzo-owned retail shops**

◦    Venetian: Apothecary, Baccarat, Emporio D’Gondola, International News II, Mercato III, Newstand 2, Ricordo, Venezia, and Pool Shop

◦    Palazzo: Apothecary, Café Presse, La Fortuna, Prosecco, Seasons and Pool Shop

•    Gondola Ride- 20% off tickets

•    Canyon Ranch SpaClub ® – 10% discount on services**

•    Azure – Complimentary entry for 2 (Thursday-Sunday)***

•    Tao Beach – Daybed rental with $100 F&B purchase (Monday-Friday)*

•    Tao Beach – Line pass and complimentary entry for 2 (Friday-Sunday)*

•    Tao & LAVO Nightclubs – Line pass and complimentary entry for 2*

There is a lot of *stuff* given to gold card member, but most of it doesn’t interest me.

I have to get 10,000 points on my next trip to keep the status.  I’m pretty sure I won’t, but it would be sweet if I did.  They count cash spending 2-1 for points, so I’ll earn a few bucks drinking wine and eating steak, so ya never know!

Beyonce…kick it.