Saturday, March 02, 2013

Las Vegas pt. 2

My evenings were all sorted with shows leaving the daytime to just rest, relax and then explore the casinos.

In the Cosmopolitan the Chandelier Bar is housed within a huge amount of bling. Nightclubs and bars here seem to thrive on the need to book tables in advance, not good for someone on their own. Also there is much more importance around how you look and what you wear in getting in. That's never a reason for why I go clubbing so I had no intention of seeing this side of Vegas.

I'd also not want to spend a lot of money getting in to a place only to find the DJ is someone from Jersey Shore. Haze is one of the big clubs on the strip and there is a lot of competition in getting DJs to play in these places. The EDM (electronic dance music) scene has really taken off. Looks like the US is a good 20 years behind Europe then.

The Vdara hotel and spa complex behind the Aria. I think this one has no slot machines offering tranquility instead.

The City Center complex has a number of modern art pieces around the place. This one made of canoes is rubbish. I'm a modern art philistine for the most part anyway.

The Monte Carlo casino is to the south of City Center.

This type of art is much easier to understand.

Someone with a bigger belly than me found in the Aria.

Ha, what a great beer! I have no idea if this is legit, I think it might be :)

For some reason there's a walk of fame in Vegas but it all seems to be performers that I'd never heard of. 

The Mirage is home to a new Blue Man Group show. Unfortunately I had no slack in my already book shows to squeeze this one in. I will be back to Vegas and shall see it then.

The MGM has Cirque's Ka show (amazing) and David Copperfield's show. I hadn't booked this in advance but the hotel concierge was able to get me a ticket and do me a deal in doing so. I think it helped that the Aria and MGM are both MGM shows. 

This show is quite simply brilliant. Yes it's a little overly heart-string-pulling in places (the kid working through his dead sisters bucket list who wanted to do some magic for example) and he does make reference to having to have his hair being blown by fans, but put that aside and the magic itself is amazing. The show takes place in among the crowd as much as it does on the stage and it's some of the close-up tricks that are the best. There is also some audience participation and I was fortunate enough to be involved in the finale where he made some of us disappear and reappear at the rear of the theatre.

This was the trick, although here it's being done in the round. Can you see how its done? I'm not going to say how it happens, a post-show meeting with David where he asks us not to, ensures I won't give anything away here. Having watched it from the outside and knowing from what I can recall on the inside it's a very well done trick. It is interesting whilst going up you're asked if you're a magician or a journalist. I understand the second question but not so sure why they'd want the first to be excluded given there's a code between magicians that says you don't give anything away. There is a third question that gives some of it away that I'm not going to reveal, haha! 

In an attempt to embrace social media some of the casinos allow you to tweet and see messages appear on a big screen. It looks like you can call Copperfield a bitch and still have it get through :)

Screens a plenty. This is the MGM's sports hall where you can bet on just about everything.

For those that haven't booked shows in advance there are a number of ticket booths where you can get last-minute tickets for shows that day. I don't know how good the seats are but it's worth considering as some of the deals are pretty good and on occasions better than the deals being given by hotels. 

This M&M land doesn't smell as chocolately as the one in London; this is a good thing.

Everyone who walks past this for the first time is obliged to take a photo of it...without fail.

Inside Miracle Mile shopping. Does Damien Hirst know about this?

There are some very bad costumed people on the strip and its rude to take photos and not hand over any dollars. This is one of several cookie monsters I found.

Today was pancake day so it made sense to enjoy unlimited pancakes. I think I managed two plates of 3 pancakes before giving up, my belly ending up even bigger than the buddha statue.

I wonder what goes on here? 

Not long after the pancake overdose I thought I'd try Gordon Ramsay's latest Vegas eaterie (he has 3). This one called BurGR (his initials making a bad pun) it's obviously a burger bar with really nice food. I got to sit at the bar where I could watch the kitchen staff working flat out whilst a nerdy boss gave them a hard time in a failed attempt to get them more productive. The waitresses have a really cool uniform too ;)

Paris hotel is one casino that I tend to just walk past. Not sure why. Ramsay's signature restaurant (i.e. more posh) is in this one, and I was happy to give it a miss.

There's an animal garden in the grounds of the Wynn hotel, which can be found at the north end of the strip.

Opposite Caeser's Palace is the Quad complex and they're building a huge ferris wheel here. The project has been  on and off over the last year or so but there was activity happening when I visited so it might open one-day.

Caeser's is also home to Absinthe an adult take on the Cirque show. I was saving this for the last day.

More Chinese theming. This is in the Bellagio.

The Bellagio still has the largest chocolate fountain in the world.

Back down at the Southern end of the strip in the Mandalay Bay they're putting the finishing touches to what will be the new Cirque du Soleil show. It's another Michael Jackson one and I hope better than the travelling travesty I saw in 2012.

The Mandalay is also going to be home to a Cirque themed nightclub, which is due to open in May. This'll be checked out the next time I come here.

A rather impressive wine collection, where the sommelier dons climbing apparatus to get your bottle.

What a terrible wedding photo!

At the House of Blues (Mandalay) you can shout abuse and listen to music.

The Luxor hotel is the home to Criss Angel Believe show which you can read about on the next post. I was just checking where in the hotel complex the theatre was. These places are easy to get lost in and I didn't want to lose time finding them.

Luxor is also going to be home to a Jabbawockeez show having been moved from Monte Carlo. These guys won an American dancing TV show and have gone onto big things. I'll definitely see this next time I'm here.

New York x 2 still looks good, and I didn't ride the coaster. No coasters on this trip remember?

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