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REVIEWS Las Vegas '03

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Las Vegas, NV - The Joint: 5th September 2003

Review by Dino Everett

The show was in a venue big enough to make it interesting, but small enough to make us giddy thinking "Am I really gonna be this close to see the Sex Pistols?". The venue looked to be full but not uncomfortably overfull. Showed up shortly after the Dropkick Murphys, since I was having a meal in the Hard Rock cafe with friends. It's funny, all the fans lining up to see the Pistols didn't even realise that two of them (Paul & Steve) were eating 25 feet away from them, oh well.

The lights came down and out they came and into Bodies, "Ahhhh!" the Jimmy Kimmel show was just a warmup, and this was the real deal and it started with a bang! Next up was Seventeen to which John dedicated, "That was for Lazy Sid". No Feelings and then God Save The Queen really got the crowd wound up and singing along which inspired John to announce, "Don't you worry I'm surveying the troops......well fuckin' done." The newly re-titled Baghdad Was A Gas led way into a great version of No Fun with the gravelly "Fuckology" intro. A funny bit happened after Liar - John gave a security guard some razzing and then told him to pay him $5 and maybe he'll let him stay. Holidays and then Pretty Vacant followed, and finally EMI, which finished with John calling out some of the record companies, and replied that there was no need for 'em. It was Brillliant. That was it, they were off for a tea.

The crowd started screaming and then got intimidated. Finally, you could hear John talking about "Grandad Rotten", and then he came out and said he was almost 50 and couldn't hear the crowd. This ignited them into more screaming which only got louder once they started into Anarchy, complete with the singalong done perfectly by the crowd. Then it was Problems and they were off. The whole thing lasted a little over an hour and was the best I have probably seen them, loose and all. John is really "shining out" on this tour and on complete top of his game. I only wish that the tour was just getting started instead of nearing its end. I defy anyone to witness this tour and not walk away realising they have seen a band that was influential for a reason.

Review by Jeff

Well, I flew down from Portland to see them for the fifth time; twice in '96, (PDX then Seattle), the Crystal Palace show, Inland Invasion, now this. Despite what I suspected, the show in Vegas was really laid back and you could get a drink, get a good view, and hear the players quite easily. This made the whole experience really great.

There was a volleyball tournament going on at the Hard Rock at the same time, lending to an overall "three ring circus" atmosphere. I came in during the last bits of the Dropkick's set, sorry they're not for me, but aren't bad. Is the girl singer new? I don't remember her at Crystal Palace.

The Sex Pistols. Jones' guitar was a touch muddy but the sound was overall adequate and it appeared to improve slightly as the show wore on. They sounded really great, of course, as always, and all seemed to get along with each other, and I would echo what was said about the San Francisco show where they really were unified in their playing and feel. They ARE a great band, and I'd see them any night of the week. Paul Cook really stands out as a classic drummer - his sound is so crisp and clean (Yay Premier drums!) and he's got such a great touch at the skins. He is really in his own way the musical spirit of the band.

The band was very tight, very few flubups - they ended Submission and No Fun very tightly - I think they've figured the endings out finally! Extra verse on Holidays and Pretty Vacant, and they stretched out Problems as the last encore a bit much. One dork threw something early and he got the typical Rotten treatment. Rotten as always was hilarious and I was laughing my head off at some of his quips and antics - he IS a great entertainer in the very surprisingly classic sense. Matlock appears to have remained in a state of suspended animation aging wise. The rest are aging very gracefully. I wouldn't mess with Steve on a soccer pitch!

The crowd filled in quite a bit during the show. A bit mellow for a crowd but they got going all right. Again, the whole layout at the concert was very laid back and I gotta give Hard Rock some credit for that. No muss, no fuss, and the drinks were even o.k. (very important for me!). Rotten has definitely cast his lot with the internet and file sharing as an alternative to the typical record company treatment. He's definitely walking the walk with this very unsponsored tour! I enjoyed the show more than the last four, all of which I enjoyed tremendously. I am still overcompensating for not being allowed to go to Winterland by mommy and daddy all those years ago.

©2003 Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net
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