There are a few things we knew we’d be doing on this vacation before we left Connecticut. We came with tickets to see Rick Springfield in concert at the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella.
Google directions in hand, we set out across town, past the airport, Kirk Douglas and Bob Hope Roads, then east on the Interstate. We were heading toward Indio, though the highway continues to Phoenix and then all the way to Jacksonville, FL.
That reminds me – Here in Palm Springs they’ve got streets named after Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, and other show business luminaries. I’m not sure how that compares with New Haven’s Whitney, Goffe and Whalley, though my suspicion is, on this one New Haven wins.
We expected Spotlight 29 to be a little skeevy. Not so. I’m not saying this is Mirage or Mohegan Sun, but it was a passable ‘locals’ casino. I poked my nose into the poker room and saw three tables in use. You can gamble at 18 here, but these were grownups.
We went to the restaurant. My hamburger was pretty good and the meal uneventful… until I walked out to meet up with a friend of Helaine’s and forgot to pay the check!
I had it in my hand, as I walked across the casino floor. I guess I would have gotten away with it had I not looked down, let out a little shriek and run back to the restaurant.
Dinner was cheap – around $16. I wouldn’t normally mention that, except that’s what I won on a slot machine. Free meal. Thanks Spotlight 21.
We headed into the theater for the show. I was impressed. It was a nice room with a large stage. There was no curtain, so we watched the last minute on stage preps as we took our seat in the center of the first row.
Oh… yeah… one more story. I was there as Helaine purchased the tickets online, though it’s still tough to believe. They went on sale one morning at 10:00:00AM and Helaine bought our two at 10:00:05 AM.
They were truly the best seats in the house. I was surprised they hadn’t been held for the casino’s use.
Rick Springfield took the stage around 8:15. This was my fourth time seeing him, though not all the others were complete shows. Helaine has run out of the necessary fingers and toes to count her attendance.
As you might expect, the audience was heavily female and mostly old enough to remember his first trip through General Hospital. Lots of them were hard core fans who attend his concerts on a regular basis.
What most people don’t realize is, Rick Springfield is a real rocker. Honest. Sure, my wife would want me to say that, but it’s still true. There’s really no way you’d know without seeing him perform.
The guitar work is much more energetic and rough edged than you’d expect and I don’t remember any ballads. This is not a pop show from a pop artist.
Before General Hospital, Rick Springfield was a musician. He had a minor hit that I played on the radio: “Speak to the Sky.” That was long before GH and Jessie’s Girl.
As the band opened, playing “Who Killed Rock and Roll,” the audience came alive. As it turns out, the regulars are a bonus to those who are casually coming to see that “Jessie’s Girl guy.” They’re already sold on the fact they’re going to have a good time – so that’s what they do. In an audience, a good time is contagious.
The concert continued and I snapped pictures. It’s a Fox Family tradition, passed from mother to daughter and now father. Being in the first row helped, but there were other interesting picture taking opportunities as he went deep into the audience.
Both Stefanie and Helaine have taken some great photos at Springfield concerts. I wanted my turn. Though I know more about the camera, their advantage is being able to predict his moves.
I have some good shots, but I know when I’ve met my match.
Helaine had a great time and so did I. Part of my enjoyment was turning around and just watching the crowd. To me, that was part of the show. Some of these women were quite emotionally involved with what was going on on stage.
We’re back at the hotel now. Helaine’s gone to bed. I’m near the pool with my feet up on the brick ledge of the gas fire pit. I see tall, thin palm trees in every direction. They tower over the mostly one story buildings in this older neighborhood.
It’s a little chilly tonight, but my feet are warm.