Saturday, July 19, 2008

las vegas > denver

By Pauly
Denver, CO

I was up early and eager and ready to get the hell out of Las Vegas. Nicky and I ate our usual breakfast at OHOP down the street before we made our way to the airport.

The check in for TED was quick, but security was a bitch. The thing about Las Vegas is that it attracts a lot of Americans who don't travel frequently which means lots of inexperienced travels making rookie mistakes.

Our flight way delayed and I knew it was gonna be late because I looked out the window near our gate and did not see a plane there. We had to wait for one to arrive, deplane, clean it up, turn it around, and make all of us board. Yet, the sign read "On Time." Fuckin' liars.

Had three kids sitting in row in front of us. Had Iraq veteran sitting behind us telling Baghdad bad beat stories. Say hello to Mr. Xanax.

Being in Las Vegas for too long warps the way you think and do things. I forgot to slip out of Vegas mode. Sure, over the last few days I accumulated $20 bills and changed as many hundreds as possible. But when the waitress handed me my drink, I slipped her a rolled up $1 bill as a tip since I assumed she was a Vegas cocktail server. I caught my mistake before I really embarrassed myself. Oops.

We arrived into Denver late but the Joker was right there to pick us up. Nicky had never ridden inside of Marco... which was the pimpn' vehicle that the Joker and I took to follow Phish in 2004.

The Joker showed us his new house near downtown Denver which is in a colorful and flavorful neighborhood. An aging black motorcycle gang lives on his block. They were badasses in the 1970s, but now, they are mellow 50-60 year olds.

We also met the Joker's kitty... Emilio Estevez. The Joker grilled up some burgers and Windowsill Wendy from Bathtub Gin fame joined us for beers and burgers. Jonas stopped by with his new pimpin' ride and then it was time to go out and party it up.

We hung out at two hippie bars/clubs/venues with live music. The first one was called Owlsley's. The drinks were super cheap. Pint glasses with booze filled to the brim for under $5. Seriously, I got a Red Bull and vodka, a margarita, and a Jack & Coke for like $15. In pint glasses. Doubles. Sickness.

Pretty Lights performed. He was a kid wearing a hoodie that I expected a 20-something Scandi poker player would wear and Pretty Lights was busting out the tunes on his laptops. Jamtronic. The hippies went nuts.

There's a back porch were people were toking. Reminded me of the Amsterdam vibe but in Colorado. Total opposite of Las Vegas. So happy to be out of that hell hole. One kid in dreads sipped scotch. Then he handed me a flask which contained... more scotch. He offered me a sip and I accepted.

We headed down to the street to Cervantes. Another hippie bar with live music. The Joker took us in the back door and we snuck in without having to pay a cover charge. Except that it smelled like puke and piss in the alley.

A band called Prang opened up. Michale Kang from String Cheese sat in with them. We were there to check out EOTO which is a two-man band made up of ex-members from String Cheese. More jamtronic. More hippies in ecstasy. Kang also sat in with them.

A chick got up on stage with a hulahoop.

"I met her earlier," said the Joker. "She's not wearing any underwear."

Everyone was shithoused by 2am. Nicky made a super fast trip to the bathroom.

"There was so much vomit in there. I had to pee quick," she said.

We bailed from the club and went back to the Joker's for a late night party. I eventually passed out and Emilio the cat decided to jump into bed with me and Nicky. I knew that was trouble. Micky has the "jimmy leg" and likes to kick in her sleep. Within an hour the poor kitty go a swift kick in the ass and jumped out of bed.

Ah, now it's morning. The Mile High Music Festival starts in a few hours. Time to recharge and party it up. I'm looking forward to seeing Mike Gordon and I'm hoping Steve Winwood's set will surprise me.

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