Tag: Northern Quest Casino

Boyz II Men 4/8/15 – Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights, WA

Boyz II Men 4/8/15 – Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights, WA

Review and pictures from thenaturalstoner

 Boyz II Men 4-8-15 Spokane, WA 5

The outskirts of Spokane were host to a real treat tonight, as Boyz II Men threw a big time party at the local casino!  The only other time I have seen the guys from Philly, even if it is only three of them these days, was in May of 2011 and you may happen to remember my review.  If not, here is a quick summary: My girlfriend loves them, the show was a lot better than expected, and I said I would get us tickets early the next time they came around to avoid getting shut out (really!). Well… you could say I was DETERMINED about getting tickets quickly because I got up for a 6am pre-sale and popped front row, dead center tickets to the show!  So how were the Boyz from the best spot in the house? Awesome, of course!

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Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris came out to a boisterous sold out crowd following a ‘greatest hits’ type video montage that was shown on the big screens, similar to the start of their 2011 set.  But the setlist was mixed up from last time, which was what I was hoping for, and it just felt like the guys were in a better mood than four years ago.  Starting with a song I didn’t recognize was fine, most everyone else in the crowd knew it, but the set really got going when “On Bended Knee” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” opened things up.  The latter being the first acapella jam of the night, and also their one big hit not played at the last show I had seen. It was very cool to get that one ‘off the list’, and acapella taboot.

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The over 90 minute set was filled with hits spanning the bands 23 year career, plus several covers including a Motown > rock and roll medley that included everything from Marvin Gaye to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, The Four Tops, “American Woman” (Lenny Kravitz style), and “Come Together” by the Beatles.  Shawn even picked up a guitar and Nathan a bass for the segment.  That was something that was pretty cool and unexpected.  Shawn noted that they had just recently decided try out the instruments and learn how to play, and it actually ended up sounding alright.  The “Teen Spirit” was particularly surprising and got me excited.  Other hits like “Water Runs Dry”, “End of the Road”, “Uhh Ahh”, and the Lonestar cover “Amazed” were all crowd pleasers.

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While the other Men left the stage, Wanya slowed things down to tell a story about “Amazed”. Apparently Boyz II Men were offered the song but turned it down, even though they thought it had a chance to be a big hit, as they had other things in the works.  Lonestar then got the song, blew it up, and made a bunch of money off it, much to their dismay.  The set was filled with little stories like this, and continued on until the classic “Motownphilly” closed out the night to a huge round of applause and adoration from the Spokane crowd.

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Being in the front row of a show can actually make a person feel a little self conscious, but it’s totally worth it when Nathan Morris gives you some knuckles and your girlfriend gets a rose handed to her!  Plus both of us were able to shake all three of the Mens hands, which was pretty neat. Being so close to the stage made this show special, and both my girlfriend and I had a really good time.  Boyz II Men seem to be able to bring it pretty good each time I see them, and I look forward to catching them again the next time they circle through eastern Washington.

 

Alice Cooper Raises the Dead in Airway Heights, WA

Alice Cooper at the Northern Quest Casino – Airway Heights, WA – 11/17/2012

On Saturday night, The Natural Stoner (TNS) and I made our way over to the Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, WA to see the legendary Alice Cooper. I had wanted to see Cooper for years, but sadly never got around to going one of his shows before. Yeah, I know, I’ve only had more than thirty years to make that happen. However, after watching the stream of his 2012 Bonnaroo set, I knew that I would be there the next time he played the northwest.

TNS and I arrived at the casino a couple hours before the show started. I figured we would grab a few drinks, tour the casino floor, and maybe win some cash along the way (unfortunately, that last one didn’t quite play out). So we strolled around the casino, checked out the merch table (t-shirts started at $40), and wasted time until the show began at 7:30 p.m.

We headed into the venue and took our seats at about 7:25 p.m.  I had a nice little buzz going and was ready to have a great night rocking out to some awesome Alice Cooper hits. The lights dimmed and Cooper hit the stage to the unmistakable guitar opening of Hello Hooray. The sold-out 1,300-seat theater erupted in cheers, especially from TNS who had been hoping for months that this song was back in the set list after it apparently went missing from some of his shows over the summer.

The ninety-minute set was packed with classic Alice Cooper hits such as Welcome to my Nightmare, I’m Eighteen, Poison, and School’s Out. What really made it all worth it for me was the four-pack of songs that I had wanted to hear—the previously mentioned opener Hello Hooray, Under my Wheels, Be My Lover, and a song that forever is burned into my childhood memory as a result of watching Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives about a hundred times, He’s Back (the Man Behind the Mask).

The show had everything you would expect from an Alice Cooper show, including strapping on a gas mask and then morphing into a giant Frankenstein’s monster during Teenage Frankenstein. Of the many highlights throughout the night, one that will stand out for many is Cooper’s twenty-minute Raise the Dead tribute to Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Keith Moon by covering Break on Through (to the Other Side), Revolution, Foxy Lady, and My Generation, respectively.

 

Cooper is the original master of the macabre and has been influential to many artists over the past forty years. There are not many performers who can still work a crowd the way Cooper does, puting on one hell of a rock show. Backed by a great band, and with such an extensive catalog of hits, Alice Cooper brought fans to their feet with an amazing experience. For those of us who were lucky enough to be there, it was a show that we will remember for a long time.

Boyz II Men 5/21/11 – Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights, WA

Boyz II Men 5/21/11 – Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights, WA

Review, pictures and video from thenaturalstoner

 

Coming into last nights Boyz II Men show in the suburbs of Spokane, Washington, I had zero expectations for their performance.  I mean, I always kind of liked the dudes and their acapella/R&B style was fun when I was way younger, but I certainly did not expect to have a blast at this show.  I was surprisingly wrong. This show was one big fun party.

Coming out to a pretty cool intro video collage (biggest R&B band ever, 17 million records sold or something), the three remaining Boyz opened the set with an abbreviated version of Motownphilly. This was pretty cool for a couple reasons. 1) My date particularly wanted to hear Motownphilly and 2) I had predicted a Motownphilly opener.  I mean honestly, they HAD to open with that, it’s the perfect crowd mover to start their show. And the crowd was moved!

Speaking of the crowd, there was debate on the drive to Spokane on whether this would be a sit-down crowd or a stand-up crowd.  I had guessed this would be a 90% sit-down concert because of the style of performance.  However, little did I know that Suburban Spokane, Boyz II Men fans were serious about their shit and actually flipped my prediction.  This was a 90% stand/dance show, which was fine with me and pretty cool.  It was lively in that ballroom, and it was an older crowd taboot!

Another note about the  fans, this show sold out quickly (really!) and I haven’t had such a hard time finding tickets to a show in ages (sans this Summers Eddie Vedder Seattle shows).  I FINALLY found a pair on Craigslist less than a week til showtime.  Who knew this was such a hot ticket?!  Maybe that was why the crowd was so into it.

The Boyz played for a hour and forty minutes, about what I expected.  There was no opening act and we were out of the show by 10pm. Each member took turns bantering with the crowd, giving out roses to the ladies, and generally having a good time. You can tell these guys are really good performers, and have mastered that art.

The rest of the set is probably what you would imagine, except for a couple distinct things.  Of course we got almost all of their greatest hits (“End of the Road”, “Amazed”, “On Bended Knee”, “Water Runs Dry”, etc.), and also a nice, albeit predictable, Motown era medley mid-set.  But two things stood out. First, the only disappointment of the night came when the set ended and they did not perform “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye”.  I don’t know how THIS band could not play THAT song, but that was a bummer.  Maybe they are sick of playing it every night? Pearl Jam certainly isn’t playing Jeremy at every show, and I can understand that I guess. Second, as the set came to an end and we got one last tune, they decided to bring Motownphilly back and do the full song!  “We opened the show with a song and didn’t get to finish it, until now” was I believe the quote.  And the crowd, my date and myself included, got super pumped and it was a fitting way to end (and start!) a show.

The Boyz put on an impressive performance I wasn’t entirely expecting.  If they came around my area again, I would probably go without question (and get my tickets early so I don’t have to deal with Craigslist stress).

Til next time…

 

Boyz II Men Videos-

Boyz II Men – Amazed

Boyz II Men – Money (That’s What I Want)

Boyz II Men – End of the Road

Boyz II Men – Please Don’t Go Away

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