The Best $20 I’ve Ever Spent? Seeing an Elvis Impersonator in a Washington Casino
The following is a review of a recent concert in which I was stone-cold sober.
I think my mother raised me right. One aspect of my life where I still feel her tremendous influence is in my musical tastes. (My mom is still alive, by the way.) Because of my mom, I like a lot of artists across several genres. I love Billy Joel. I love Billy Joel enough that I accidentally bought a second copy of an album of his that I already had. I love R.E.M., INXS, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Elton John, The Beatles, ELO, The Police, and Bryan Adams. That's not even the tip of the iceberg yet. I love live music to the point where there are some artists that I only own their live albums.
I took my mom to see Elvis this summer, not knowing how much it would move me and re-ignite my love for the King. I have a tendency to go on "kicks" of obsession, usually around musical artists or actors. I don't know how to explain it but I should have known an Elvis Presley kick was on the horizon. I found myself listening to his music constantly, looking for other live versions of his songs I hadn't heard before. It took me most of my life but I finally realized what made him so special. There was a point to every action he took on stage. Every joke, every dance move, every wink. He poured his heart and soul into his music and performances and did it for his fans.
Since Elvis died 15 years before I was born, I obviously missed my opportunity to witness perhaps the greatest performer of all time in his element. So, that's what led me to attend an Elvis impersonator concert at Legends Casino in Toppenish.
Justin Shandor is, simply put, the best. I walked away from his concert understanding what made Elvis so great. Not only were his vocals spot on, but so were all the little nuances. The way he smiled, the way he moved, the way he held the ladies up front in the palm of his hand. That's right, Justin Shandor had women clawing at him for a sweaty scarf. What was most impressive to me, however, was how Justin evoked Elvis' signature sense of humor. If I closed my eyes, I was at an Elvis concert. He really was that amazing. For a fan of live music, seeing tympany, brass, a choir, and all of those instruments at work was fantastic.
In a day where Blink-182 tickets are hundreds of dollars, take a chance on a $20 show.
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