by jeff watts

Mother fucking Vegas. I told myself I was going to write this article directly after the show. It’ didn't happen as I sit here and write this in March 11, 2004. I have some notes but not much on the bands. Ok so the night before our flight to Las Vegas we went to the Replay lounge in Lawrence, KS. The Murder City Devils, Catheters and Yo Yo’s were playing. This ranks as one of the best live shows I’ve been to, if not the best. The Catheters were great. The Devils van broke down in Denver so they stuck their organ in the Catheters van and made it to the Replay, with not much time to spare. This is the best set I ever saw Murder City Devils play, it was amazing as they ripped threw songs off the three albums they had out at the time. Truly a show that leaves you speechless. I have plenty of photos from the night but would kill for a video copy. I sat out back for most of the Yo Yo’s set I hate this band a bunch of assholes and the music is poppy crap. Ok the next day we get up and have our sister drive us to the KCI airport, I was pretty hung over from the the night before. Hell it was worth it. So we make it to Vegas my stomach is not felling great about this time. We check into the Gold Coast hotel and casino where the Shakedown is being held. I really liked the fact that the show and our rooms were in the same place. So we could drink as much as we wanted and stumble back to the room. The Gold Coast is not too far off the strip or main drag if you like. Basically Vegas is not really a place I would visit if it wasn’t for the bands playing. I not big on gambling and don’t like to do
tourist type stuff.

I now refer to by brief notes (too much beer & rock and roll) Way too many people/tourists from all over the U.S. and world. Flyer jockeys on every street corner along the strip trying to get you to take adult flyers, they would tap the flyer on their hand twice then try and hand it to you. This is real annoying. I noticed a strong foul odor outside Caesars Palace maybe to get tourist to not linger there. By the end of the trip I was sick of hearing the sound of slot machines as you walk thru the casinos which were set up in a maze. With no easy exits you would have to walk past a ton of slot machines to get any where. Two things this city has going for it are great architecture and great food. If you like either one of these then you’ll find a lot to do in this city. It was weird seeing escalators outside. The city looks a lot better at night with all the lights on. After all it is in the middle of dessert. The Gold Cost is a nice hotel and casino with a western theme. Terrible Mike’s a good hamburger place inside we ate at a couple times. A world class bowling alley with good snack bar. Also a liquor store in the hotel. A movie theater that was closed for renovations at the time.
The bands my memory is a little foggy as far as all the bands go. Kind of a weak day one. With the good bands being The Monkey Wrench and Throwrag. Fuzztones, Nashville Pussy, and more I’m sure. Day two, Wongs 3:30 P.M. fucking amazing garage band 3:00 A.M. Reds two great Rip Off records bands. Catheters played a good set. Valentine Killers and Dead Moon were good. New Bomb Turks were great they showed up Crypt style and tore the place up. Also Dragons and Donnas weren’t bad. Day three some really good band this day. Most of the night was spent in the ballroom Zodiac Killers, Murder City Devils, Electric Frankenstein, Real Kids, and The Dictators. What a great end to a fun weekend. Most of these bands don’t tour, so not much to see the live other wise.
My main complaint is they had the bands split up into to rooms the show room and the ball room which was bigger. They would have two bands start at the same time so you had to pick what band you would weather watch. They could have offset the start times more. I ended up missing some bands I wanted to check out. Over all it was a great event and I’m glad Fungus Boy attended it. 2,000 garage rock fans lots of New castle beer and rock and roll. Sorry for how short this is but words can’t really describe how fun this was any way. Also check out Double Down Saloon @ 4640 Paradise Road a cool bar with live music and ass juice (a drink I didn’t try). I didn’t gamble very much. I won more than I lost in the slot machines. I was fairly tight with my money back then but not as much today. New York New York hotel has a good roller coaster. The Luxor mummy exhibit is sort of a rip off. If you end up in Vegas enjoy the food and don’t plan on going home rich.