Posted by: Nick | June 6, 2008

REVIEW: Cake @ Caesar’s Indiana- 6/4

Nestled between the Horseshoe Hotel at Caesar’s and the riverboat casino is an enormous stage and outdoor arena. Formerly a parking lot, the arena consisted of bleachers 15 to 20 rows high on all sides and even some VIP suites in the back. General admission floor seats consumed the rest of the area. Caesar’s built the arena as part of its Summer Concert series, that will host different artists throughout the summer. Last week Sheryl Crow kicked off the series. We went across the river for the second installment…CAKE.

You probably remember Cake from their second album, Fashion Nugget, with the song “The Distance,” a delectable slice of the alt rock sound of the mid to late 90s (pun intended). Cake, however, is a blend of a lot of other genre’s mixing horns, lead singer John McCrea’s unique vocal presentation and, my personal favorite, the mandible. We haven’t heard much from the band since their fourth album, Comfort Eagle, with the song “Short Skirt, Long Jacket,” released in 2001, but that is what made the show so enjoyable. Call it my old age, but it seems like I’ve been seeing more and more “nostalgia” shows. They are always a good time because it is more than an event, it is a blast from the past (without Brendan Frasier). The Cake show was exactly that. It was no coincidence that the show ended with three of their biggest hits (and “Mexico” to cool down the crowd). That said, McCrea assured the crowd that they don’t use a set list because that would be too canned.

About mid-set, McCrea asked for a tree, spawning a number of comments from the crowd, but eventually a small cherry tree was brought on stage. He offered to give the tree away after the show to a lucky fan that (a) had a place to plant it, (b) had parents that wouldn’t die too soon, and (c) would send them a picture of the tree after of few years of nurture. Eventually a part (d) was added…win a dance off. Two lucky ladies were brought on stage and had to dance to a Cake instrumental for the rights to the fruit tree. The winner grabbed the tree by the trunk with both hands and hauled it off the stage (see photo below).

During Cake’s encore, two Caesar’s employees brought onto stage a huge cake with a ton of candles lit on top. At first, I thought it was all part of the act (you know, cake…Cake), but it turns out that it was lead guitarist, Xan McCurdy’s birthday. Oddly, I felt happy, somewhat lucky, to see cake on stage with Cake. They didn’t stop to eat, but McCurdy did take time to blow out the candles.

The show ended strong with and encore that included “Short Skirt, Long Jacket,” “The Distance,” and “Mexico.” From the buzz leaving the concert area, I got the feeling that everyone had a good time and I can’t disagree. If you haven’t been yet, I would pick out a couple of the show below that catch your eye and make a casino/concert night out of it (Black Crowes, Stone Temple Pilots, Boston/Styx!).

I headed to the casino after the show and played some black jack and brought down the house for $45!! Considering beers were $6 bucks, I broke even (which I consider winning). I ran into two of the photographers I met at the show around the slot machines and they were with a security guard because they just hit the jackpot on a slot machine. Now, I am not saying that they are handing out tons of cash at the Caesar’s, only that they were handing out cash to people with camera bags. Good luck on your trip!

For a list of shows to come, set list and more photos, see below…

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008
6:00 PM
Friday, June 27th, 2008
8:00 PM
Saturday, July 5th, 2008
8:00 PM
Friday, July 11th, 2008
8:00 PM
Saturday, July 19th, 2008
8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Saturday, July 26th, 2008
8:00 PM
Sunday, July 27th, 2008
8:00 PM
Friday, August 15th, 2008
8:00 PM
Saturday, August 16th, 2008
8:00 PM
Friday, August 22nd, 2008
8:00 PM

SET LIST

  1. ?
  2. ?
  3. ?
  4. Rock n’ Roll Lifestyle
  5. Guitar
  6. Sheep Go to Heaven
  7. Ruby Sees All
  8. War Pigs (Black Sabbath)
  9. Ruby (Kenny Rogers)
  10. Wheels
  11. Dance Off – Instrumental
  12. Never There

ENCORE

  1. Short Skirt, Long Jacket
  2. The Distance
  3. Mexico

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Responses

  1. They opened the show with ‘Comanche’, and played ‘Frank Sinatra’ either 2nd or third. [Hope that helps!]

  2. thanks for the update!!! Our photo pass was for the first three songs and I didn’t write them down. I have to start multitasking.

  3. My wife was the dance-off winner. After the show in the parking lot, a girl jumped in the back my brother in law’s pick-up truck and tried to run off with the tree. My wife and her two sisters jumped out and stopped her.

    We planted the tree and will soon post a picture to cake’s website.

  4. Any idea of the name of the band that opened for them?


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