Las Vegas: Seeing The Boss and Feeling Like a Boss

I am currently sitting in a Hampton Inn in Salt Lake City, UT, blocks away from the Delta Center – The House That Ainge Destroyed.  I have a couple of hours before the Jazz-Mavericks massacre game so I figured I would recap an eventful, inspiring and cash-hemorrhaging couple of days in Sin City!

2 New Jersey Icons. One Arena.

I arrived in Vegas on Friday at 3pm on a bus trip that inspired last week’s blog on speakerphone usage.  The main purpose of my trip was to take part in the Stand Up Podjam – a day long festival built around the extended comedy and podcast community of Pete Dominick, and brought to fruition by the extraordinary efforts of Cassie Rice, a generous fan of Pete’s and mine.  I would be performing a live episode of Making Podcasts Great Again on Saturday afternoon and then performing stand-up comedy Saturday night.  But before that was time for my first Bruce Springsteen concert.

I have been a fan of Bruce Springsteen for most of my life, the way a Catholic who goes to Church on Christmas and Easter is a lifelong Catholic.  I have several of his albums, but also found his Broadway show boring (an apostasy that I think would get me the death penalty in parts of New Jersey) and have found the Opus Dei level worship (to keep the Catholic analogy going) among many of his fans to be off-putting (and fertile ground for jokes).  But with a night in Vegas to kill and The Boss in town, it felt like time for me to finally get baptized in the waters of The River.  It was also the second musical concert I would see featuring a Twitter follower of mine (Richard Marx – 1st, Stevie Van Zandt – 2nd).

Now to preserve a lot of the Springsteen adventure for my podcast (if you are a fan of me, my ideas or my comedy and don’t listen to Rain on Your Parade every week – amend immediately!), which will be completely dedicated to Springsteen on April 4th, I will simply say I enjoyed the show a lot. I still consider myself a secular Springsteen fan, but might attend a few more services than before. How many? TWO! THREE! FOUR!

Springsteen in Vegas

Making Podcasts Great Again and Stand Up 

When Jay Nog (my co-host) and I took the stage at 1pm I felt confident we would have a great live episode. I did not necessarily think it would be out best episode ever, but that is exactly what happened.  Now, with all due respect (which is not much) to anyone who thinks anyone on God’s Green Earth does a better Trump than me, this show was the death knell of that erroneous delusion.  Voice, mannerisms, hour of ad lib content and an extended jerk off dance were just some of the reasons why this taping should be a special on Netflix and why we should be performing it live in theaters every night until the 2024 election.

The episode should be available on audio soon for our podcast subscribers and the video, of which I just learned only 26 minutes of the hour taped unfortunately – (resume blog from new computer that was not smashed to smithereens) – will be available to view for subscribers of MPGA as well (standing ovation at the end not featured).

After the podcast we had a few hours to have Chick Fil A and rest –

Sidenote – the great thing about a place like Vegas, much like Los Angeles, is that even the regular folk are sort of a trickle down hot.  While getting coffee at Starbucks the students at a local beauty school kept coming in and I kept wondering are you the students or the finished products?  at which point hot coffee was thrown in my face.  And the aforementioned Chick Fil A felt a little less like Christian chicken and a lot more like a guy who liked women who looked good in glasses and form fitting red polo shirts (seriously it was clear that the God-fearing manager of the restaurant had a busty, Filipina librarian fetish)

We went back to the venue for the stand up show and musical performance.  The show began to take on the feel of almost a memorial service for Pete, though Pete was alive, healthy and emceeing the show.  It is just that Pete has been a big part of his fans’ lives for well over a decade and there is a deep appreciation for his work, his character and most importantly, his showcasing of world class talent on his show, me.  I just want my fans to actually buy tickets (or anything above free that I do), so hoping for a warm community of heartfelt tribute seems like an absurd ask for this life.  Though to be fair, two of my biggest fans made the trip from the land of Latter-Day-Saints to Sin City to see me and brought a friend as well (thus clearing my “wherever two or more are gathered in my name” requirement for me to perform)! So that felt good in a way that an arena of 20K fans screaming your name cannot match (take that Bruce!).

On the lineup was Pete, followed by Ophira Eisenberg who killed (I was last on a show with her over a decade ago and she always just has impeccable polish, without seeming too prepped or inauthentic). Then Christian Finnegan went up and, while I was hoping that since he had recently discussed how little he was doing stand-up while on Pete’s show he would lower the bar, he promptly murdered.  So then I went up as the literal and figurative half-Black sheep of the lineup and did well (better than I felt according to the audience) but it was an overall superb show.

Once we were done, musician Gareth Sever performed several songs, the overwhelming highlight of which was The Ballad of Pete Dominick, which was basically like Bob Dylan’s Hurricane if it were twice as long, funnier than Weird Al’s funniest and featured a sizeable roast of J-L Cauvin that was so good I can’t wait to share it when an MP3 is available (on my patreon he finishes … as 99% of the people who know J-L sighed as they would never give 3 dollars for lots of hilarious J-L related work). Finishing the evening was Jon Carroll, singer-songwriter, who among his smallest credits is the theme song for Pete’s show, Stand Up, which he performed with back-up from a local group of high school musical students (I think they were high school – at this point every one 16-23 looks like a child to me).

The event was awesome. The fans were awesome and I am very proud to have been included in the event and with my contributions to the event.  The next day it was time to go the Vegas strip and destroy all those good feelings.

Wheel of Fortune and Roulette

I met the girlfriend at the Venetian for a day of more official Vegas activities. To sum it up I spent a large amount on a return visit to Wolfgang Puck’s Cut (excellent again and somehow even more expensive than just 5 months ago), was treated to the Darren Aronofsky movie at the Sphere (incredible experience, incredibly expensive – but beware awful people – it involves climate change so it might be “woke” – i.e. stating obvious things about climate and nature that would make a normal human feel slightly guilty and/or distressed) and some gambling – the girlfriend, on her first ever time playing roulette, devised a roulette system that had her slowly accumulating chips over an hour until she left up $200 (I genuinely think whatever her system is she could have made $2k if she sat there for 6 hours).  My gambling consisted of massive losses on slots, medium losses on roulette and major losses of self-esteem.

Ok – remember – to join both of my podcasts for some of the best sh*t you will ever listen to this week. Off to the Utah Jazz game!

  • Kim Nyborg

    Than you so much for coming to Podjam! It was such a joy to see what you do live & in person.
    On another note… I came *this* close to buying Bruce tickets. It would have been my 3rd show – I was born & raised in ‘The River’ ❤️

    1. J-L Cauvin

      Thank you! For your support and your participation… hope you enjoy the podcast up now with me as Stevie Van Zandt

  • Robert Felix

    Thank you so much for making the trip out there with us JL! Your presence gave us all the feels too (you probably hate that shit)!

    1. J-L Cauvin

      haha thank you! (I’ll allow it this one time)

  • Hilary

    Oh, I am so pleased for you!

  • Carlo Sgro

    J-L, thank you so much for not only performing at PodJam but also for your presence. It was great having you around, chatting, and taking photos with you. Make PodJam Great Again for the win!

    1. J-L Cauvin

      Great meeting you and thanks for all your kids words and support for my nonsense!

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