Gilley's - Las Vegas, NV on August 5, 1999
Linda and I have now been to 20 Marty Stuart concerts. Anyone who has seen Marty and the Rock and Roll Cowboys in concert knows why we call these Marty Parties. Although we live in Reno Nevada, we decided to take a Marty Party Trip. We went to the show at the Troubador in West Hollywood (read the reviews; it was an unbelievable show) and then went on to Las Vegas for the shows at Gilley's. Gilley's resides inside the Frontier Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
We arrived a day early and were able to check out Gilley's and purchase our tickets. Gilley's to our surprise had a dance floor in the middle, railings around it, and tables and chairs outside the rails. To accommodate special seating, they put long tables and benches between the stage and the dance floor. This was very different from other shows (especially the mechanical bull on the side) so Linda decided a little before 4:00 p.m. to wait at the front door. This turned out to be an excellent decision because it did not take too long before a line started forming behind us. The line continued to grow until you could not see the end of it. Marty walked by on his way into rehearsal and joked a little with Linda. We knew that we were in for a treat.
The doors opened about an hour before the first show. To our surprise, all the front seats were labeled "RESERVED" so we ended up with a table to the extreme right of the stage. The people came in until the place was crowded and packed really tight. Then all of a sudden a voice came over the speaker (a local disc jockey) and asked if we were ready for a real treat. He primed up the crowd (which already had too many peanuts and drinks) and then yelled "MARTYYY STUARRRT".
Marty came out and the crowd just started yelling and screaming. Marty and the Rock and Roll Cowboys started playing and the roar of the crowd became even louder. Marty performed exceptionally (as usual) with songs like "Hillbilly Rock," "Western Girls," "Blue Train," "Hobo's Prayer," "The Pilgrim," "Red, Red Wine......," several others and even some of the classics. Then he ended up his encore with "Rocket Ship."
Despite this unruly crowd, Marty came through as the true professional he is. Marty and the Cowboys never missed a lick despite a very rude and unruly crowd that was even throwing peanuts. He even brought the band together and ended the show with a single bow by them all. Linda and I were so impressed with Marty and his ending bow to an unruly crowd that did not deserve it.
Linda and I then waited as they sweeped the crowd for the second show. They let us stay because we had already purchased our tickets for the second show. Linda talked to Stoney (the manager) into removing the reserved sign off the last bench so we could move closer to the stage. We went backstage for the meet and greet and Marty was his usual loving self. Linda got her "Marty Hugs" and we talked a little and then Marty gave us a remembrance we will never forget. Linda went for her final "Marty Hug" and I got a surprise. With pen in hand, I got a line across the front of my shirt. Needless to say we all had a good laugh.
The time finally came for the second show and once again the voice came across the speaker MARTYYY STUARRRT. The extremely large crowd once again started screaming and yelling as Marty and the Rock and Roll Cowboys started their opening number. I'm not completely sure but I don't believe that they ever quit screaming and yelling through their opening number. This crowd appeared to come prestuffed with peanuts and libations.
Marty proved himself once again to be the consummate professional. As peanuts, paper, food and other things were flying through the air, people walking back and forth in front of the stage, Marty and the Cowboys stepped through their songset. Once again never missing a lick, Marty even talked a little about his new CD then played a few numbers from The Pilgrim. When Marty performed "Oh, What A Silent Night," this unruly crowd suddenly became extremely quiet. This crowd then continued their unruly ways undeserving of such a talent. He continued on with some old standards thrown in and then finished the show with "Rocket Ship." He said his goodbyes and thanked Gilley's for having him there and walked off the stage with the Cowboys following soon after.
That was the last we saw of Marty and the Rock and Roll Cowboys. There was no encore which was no surprise. We knew that he had a show in New Mexico the next day several hundred miles away. We realize that this is a review, however, Linda and I have very strong feelings about what happened at Gilley's. We might be considered old fashioned or square, however when a professional steps out on the stage, with the very first step he deserves respect. An individual who has dedicated his life to entertaining others, quite often free or for special needs, deserves the respect and love they have earned. I doubt very much we will ever step foot in Gilley's again (unless Marty decides to try it again). The majority of people that came to these shows ruined it for others who paid to see a very special person and his band, Marty Stuart and the Rock and Roll Cowboys.Review by John & Linda Ammons, Reno, NV
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