Photo Diva: Holiday Parties Vegas-Style
Monday, December 21, 2009
This time of year is all about fabulous parties and I had quite a few to go to this past week, starting off with my day gig’s company holiday party at my boss’ house (complete with catered food and karaoke into the wee hours) and ended with a dear friend’s birthday party at a local bar and plenty of interesting moments in between. I’m gonna skip talking about the company party because, even though it was a lovely party, it wasn’t a noteworthy event except for the fact that I missed the key change in Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” but lucky for me the moment wasn’t documented so fingers crossed it’s just a bad memory of my lack of karaoke talent.
Thursday was the much anticipated UKLV Crimbo Party at Aurora Bar inside the Luxor Hotel featuring all things British and festive, including UK-inspired specialty drinks, a Tuck Shop and the local Beatle’s cover band, The Fab. The group, UKLV, really know how to throw a party as this was just a spectacular as the one held just a few weeks prior at the Monte Carlo that I talked about previously and included a great raffle with terrific prizes and finger foods. It was considered an “intimate” party to celebrate the holidays and limited to 300 ticket holders who follow — and are friends with — the British-born but Vegas-based foursome. One of the leaders, Samantha, is one of my most dearest friends and asked if I’d come along and shoot a few pictures and that was just the perfect excuse for this diva of distant Scotch/Irish decent to party to the sounds of Beatle’s songs and partake in British food and drink.
Oh, by the way, The Fab were pretty good although the corner of the bar (with a big-ass pole and a wait-staff ordering machine right in front of it) that serves as a stage is not a good set up for more than maybe a duet or trio and the sound system was having a hard time keeping up with the five-piece band but since most of us were well into the libations and merriment I doubt it was noticeable to most party-goers. That big-ass pole on the other hand… The best part of the evening for me was that I finally got to meet some people I have “met” through the various social media outlets (a.k.a. Twitter and Facebook) that I frequent including Lynn, Laura and Jill and had a lot of fun chatting and getting to know each other without the limitations of 140 characters.
Speaking of people I’ve met on social media sites, the following night I found out that a local bloggers group, Beer n Blog Las Vegas, was having a special event along Fremont Street so I decided to tag along. I have been chatting online with a few of the members and really wanted to make that personal connection. The event? snugcrawl: an event consisting of bar hopping through downtown establishments wearing Snuggies. You heard me: wearing the “as-seen-on-TV” extra long fleece blanky thingies with extra long sleeves attached. Since I didn’t have one I had to buy one quickly and ended up with a pink one from Wal-Mart. I rushed home to accessorize my new fleece ensemble with my glittery diva rhinestone belt and pin and headed off downtown. I was running late so I caught up with the group at Las Vegas Country Saloon where a few people in the group rode the mechanical bull or line danced to the sounds of the Voodoo Cowboys (with special guest, Bobby Kingston) in their Snuggies but most were more interested in typing messages into their Blackberries than to make real face-to-face connections and while I did meet and had a great chat with Lori, Sara and especially Julie when it was time to go to the next bar I decided to stay at the Country Saloon to talk to Scott Woodward, the bass player in Voodoo Cowboys (as well as our band–you can see him in the promo videos at revbill.com) and to listen to them play a little while longer. Good times.
Saturday was all about birthday parties for musician friends of ours: Andrea Bensmiller and Bill McClirk. Birthday girl and fellow Sagitarian Andrea — guitarist/singer in the group Bare that I have reviewed in the past and a fantastic singer/songwriter on her own — did a one hour solo set of her original music during the “Coffee After Dark” music series inside Mocha Joe’s, a coffee shop located in old Henderson’s Water Street district. I’ve never seen Andrea perform solo so I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was soon apparent that she is every bit as good a songwriter/soloist as she is as a singer/guitarist in the phenomenal trio act Bare. My hubby and I settled into some comfy chairs with our hot beverages and intently listened to her stories wrapped around each song and when she ended her set with a song that is currently part of comedian Margaret Cho’s “Beautiful” concert (available on iTunes) named “You’re Beautiful” I was actually surprised that it was over already as it was so enjoyable. We quickly said our goodbyes and drove over to the Tailspin bar on Pecos to celebrate Bill’s birthday. Bill is the keyboardist for local band Stone Lizard (umm, and the Soul Believers — is there some kind of thread here?) and invited us to their semi-regular gig at the Tailspin for cake and live music but it didn’t take long to find out that Lizzie, the lead singer in the band, had been suffering from bronchitis for weeks and couldn’t sing so my hubby volunteered to do a few songs to help them get through the gig because, after all, the show must go on. I’ll save a review of Stone Lizard for another time and just say that even though it may have been a rough gig those are the times that you find out who your friends really are as they step up to the stage to help you out.