As a Vegas local I try to avoid the free outdoor shows on the Strip unless I have out-of-town visitors dying to brave the crowds but recently I was hired to shoot one — the Sirens of TI at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino — for a lighting manufacturer whose LED lights were installed as part of the show’s recent lighting revamp. Phase Two was completed over the Christmas hiatus but because the show is canceled when there’s inclement weather issues and since it has been a bit, shall we say “breezy”, it took a while to get it all set up. After several re-schedulings and last-second cancellations, the wind died down enough for the show to go on. And for me to go to work.
While there has been a pirate-themed show in the lagoon in front of Treasure Island for something like 10 years, the Sirens of TI — or shall I say scantily-clad women — were introduced about seven years ago and the new, sexed-up version has become a very popular attraction. The 18-minute show has the Sirens lure a band of pirates into their cove and quickly find themselves in a battle with cannons firing from the pirate’s ship, pyrotechnics and lighting effects, lots of music, dancing, swordplay, acrobatics and even the sinking of a full size ship. While the female performers may dress like strippers (Dress like strippers? Hmmm. Is that an oxymoron?), the show is pretty PG rated so it’s fairly safe to take the kids. But be aware that even though the viewing area has also been modified and greatly enlarged, strollers are not permitted and it fills up quickly, so get there early and be prepared to get up close and personal with several thousand tourists and a few hesitant locals. The summer performance times for the sirens of TI are 7:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 10:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. daily.
My focus for my shoot, of course, was capturing the new lights in action and after talking to Brent — the head of the lighting and sound — I decided to shoot two shows from two different angles and to focus on the big dance scene (right after the burning of the stage with pyrotechnic effects). I was escorted onto a water level platform where Brent works the light and sound systems for the first show and then escorted to the closed and empty Christian Audigier nightclub’s VIP area that overlooks the lagoon for the second show.
After the second show — as I left the nightclub’s VIP area — a small group of somewhat toasted 20-something male tourists asked how I got into that special section. For a diva there is simply one possible response — “I’m VIP of course” I told them over my shoulder. As I sauntered away, I hear them asking “who was that?” It was a lovely way to end another great photo shoot with Brent and the Sirens of TI. All in all, my client was thrilled with the images and that’s all that really matters.
On a different note, my backup band — Rev. Bill and the Soul Believers — will be playing poolside at the Orleans from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. every Friday night in June. It should be a great time…come on by and have some fun with us!