New Years Eve 1999 with Dave

New Year's Eve with Dave Amato and REO was an event which we had been looking forward to for about six months.  This Webmaster lived in Las Vegas, so there could not have been a better way to celebrate the arrival of the New Millennium.  

We got downtown about 7:30 p.m. and called Dave in his room to touch base with him.   Dave told us to be at the South elevators at 8:15 to meet with the whole group going over to the stage. After arrival of all band members, families and handlers, off we all went walking to the stage, which was just a couple of blocks away. (hey, no limo ride? Okay, it was just a couple of blocks.)

This was an outdoor event so there was a large tent with a heater set up behind the stage and that is where the families could sit and talk. There was also an office-trailer mobile home kind of thing there for the band but we didn't even try to go in there. The band seems to get quite focused on the upcoming show, except for Neal who seemed totally calm. During the concert we had access to a reserved area right up front, but off to one side of the stage. We stayed up there much of the time. The band put on a great show, the crowd was well mannered, and had a good time. I didn't keep a set list, but I can tell you they played all the classics along with BTB and JFY.

This was a rare opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes action of a live rock show, and to chat with the wives who had seen a lot over the years. . Bryan's wife, Cindi we had met a couple times before and she always goes out of her way to speak to us, and even offer a hug. I was impressed that Cindi stands to the side of the stage nearest Bryan so she can watch him work, and exchange supportive smiles. I was also impressed at how hard Bryan beats those drums! He really gives them everything he has to give. Kevin's Lisa had decided to stay home with Holly and the twins. My Terri talked to Kevin a while before the show and he was also very pleasant. There was a lot of light conversation all around. Topics included everything from music, to houses, to kids, to tubal-ligations and vasectomies. But I guess I can't put a lot of that on the web page!  (tacky tacky tacky)

During a band break, Someone came running up to us and said she had just seen Elvis! Now that is not uncommon in Las Vegas where there are a lot of Elvis impersonators, but she said this one was really good looking and THAT IS rare. We grabbed Dave and took off to find Elvis in the crowd. It took a bit of detective work by Terri, but we found him. Man, he was a hunka-hunka Elvis! Elvis posed for photos with all of us. Dave was starting to panic as the show was about to start up again. He darted back to the stage, only to be momentarily detained by the security guard who was a petit young lady. It seems Dave didn't have his pass with him and she was reluctant to let into the controlled area. From her vantage point, the security guard hadn't seen any of the show so she didn't recognize him. The magic words that worked were "What? But I'm the Man!" and she let him pass. Dave grabbed his guitar and started playing as he walked up the rear ramp to enter the stage. He made it back just in time.
I had promised Terri that we could be home at midnight, REO was still playing when we decided to leave at about 11:20. We said the good-byes that we could, and beat-feet to the car. We were home in about 20 minutes (no traffic) and watched the New Year come in on television along with Casper and Rowdy (large parrots) who were not very enthused about being awake at midnight.

Many thanks go to Dave for arranging this memorable evening with REO for Terri and I. When I started the fan page a year ago, I had no idea it would lead to this. We look forward to the spring tour and have been hearing rumors of show dates and the opening band. The guys aren't ready to make any announcements other than there will be a big tour to publicize the new "Ballads" CD.