Sun Casino - Uncasville, Connecticut, 8/7/2000
Mohegan Sun is a casino that is run by Native Americans and it has fake Indian
decor everywhere you look. Fake wigwams, fake petroglyphs, fake Indian paintings.
The casino itself emits a weird sound -- no, it's not just the constant clinking
of the slot machines -- it's an annoying hum that emits ethereally from the
space one currently occupies. It probably is loaded with subliminal messages:
"spend, spend, more, more, win, win (ha ha ha)."
However, the Wolf Den, the name of the venue itself, is really nice. I have
mixed feelings about the animatronic wolves that are on top of two pillars
outside the venue (Rafaela said that not only did they wag their tails and
wiggle their ears but they actually howled from time to time), but the tape
loop of wolves in the wild that was shown on the jumbotron before the show
was so good that you'd think you were watching the Discovery Channel.
The "doors" opened right on schedule for this free show, at 5:30, and we
were shown to seats -- no "tipping" was required here to get a good seat based
on one's spot in line. I say "doors" with quotes because the Wolf Den is right
out in the open; there are no walls separating it from the casino. As a result,
the subliminal whine from the casino was sometimes audible between songs during
Dave's set, but other than that the sound was very good.
The stage was big, something I'm sure Dave appreciated after the cramped
quarters he'd had in the nightclubs he'd played the previous two nights. The
stage is shaped as a semicircle and is about 4 feet off the ground. No bad
seats in the venue. This was the only time on the tour I was actually cold
-- they had the a.c. blasting -- but by the time the Traveling RDF's (now
including Leslie and Fritz, who joined us the day before after flying into
LaGuardia Sunday morning) stormed the stage late in the show, the music had
warmed me up nicely. The really great feature of this venue is the Jumbotron.
Several cameras, with fade-outs and professionally done editing, showed the
show on the big screen above Dave's head, and it was really fun to watch two
of him at the same time. Although I would have liked a few more close-ups
of members of the band. Aw gee, I wonder if they keep copies of those videos?
(Just the thought makes my salivary glands go into action, even if there's
no chance anyone from the venue would ever b**tl*g, cough, cough, that video.)
Dave played a similar set to the previous few nights, starting with the
great "Charity" and highlighted, for me, by a song I absolutely love, "Creepin'
Jean." (If I ever start a band I'm calling it Creeping Jean.) Dave loves this
song too, judging from the fact that he's played it at virtually every show.
He's gotten very theatrical with this song. He gestures toward The Ravens
on the line "these creepy friends"; on the line "your dirty friends and underwear,"
he makes a gesture like holding out a dirty undergarment at arm's length and
adds an expressive "blech!" to the line.
Another song that's gotten very theatrical is "You're Looking Fine." Tonight's
nuance was on the line "first time I saw her, she looked all right." Dave
sang the word in such a way as to express mediocrity, as in "she looked ONLY
all right." Is this guy enjoying himself on this tour?
The surprise song of the night was a very short country song, "Please Help
Me I'm Falling in Love With You." I'd never heard it before but members of
the Traveling RDF's identified it as either a Patsy Cline song later covered
by Elvis Presley, or a Hank William s song.
All in all, it was one of the best shows of the tour, and a surprisingly
good venue. The fact that the show started promptly at 7:00 and was over by
8:45, allowing for the TRDF's to catch up on the sleep we'd been deprived
of the last few nights, contributes to the positive feelings I have about
- Joanne Corsano