Taylor Hicks on Tour: Pt. 2, A Tale of Two Cities
Pt. 2 of Taylor’s tour stops in Washington contributed by Louise Uznanski. Click on the photo to enlarge.
If Mount Vernon, Washington and the Lincoln Theater contributed a warm and comfy feeling on April 27th when Taylor and his band performed there, Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom’s show on April 28th provided a Parisian-like atmosphere with lights, sounds and green surroundings found only in the ‘City of Lights’. A Tale of Two Cities chronicles the Paris of the revolution. Since that time, light has made it a magical place. A musical revolution hit the casino and the uprising can only be blamed on Taylor and his stellar band.
The casino is surrounded by mountains where two feet of snow fell the morning of the show. The casino itself is like a log cabin structure until you walk inside. It’s sleek, modern and very hip on the inside where the ballroom and the restaurants are set at opposite ends of the casino gambling floor. We were not there to gamble; not on a slot machine, roulette table or on a show by the American Idol, Taylor Hicks. We knew he would deliver and it was with the support of nearly 1,000 fans and a professional staff and facilities that the show was a winner. Except for the ringing machines and the slot attendant coming to the stage, the winningest Idol delivered a show that made the tables on the floor look like playground games.
The hour before the show while we waited for the band to come out was spent looking at tall trees where eagles had made a nest year after year. We also gazed out of the foyer windows at the mountain range covered with snow. Dreams of moving to Washington floated through our heads at that time because the collective beauty was most impressive.
Taylor came out on stage with wings spread wide. ‘When they ask me to perform in the Northwest, I say YES! It’s the one place where my allergies take a vacation!” Mentions of his hometown and the surrounding area hit hard by tornadoes were a backdrop for Seven Mile Breakdown and Taking It To The Streets. Seated near the stage and fortunate to have access to the stage for photos, I felt drunk bathing in all of that light. Add to that the music, the dancing, the fans cheering and a sound system to die for and it was a recipe that would make a travel journalist envious. The lights were hypnotic and the music was the chaser.
In photos, trying to capture an eagle is not so hard. They are larger, graceful and soar. Trying to capture a hummingbird on the stage bathed in lights that covered the spectrum of color was a tall order. Taylor’s like a blur always moving and changing facial expressions. The show was so enjoyable we didn’t want to leave. Did we just see this? Was it really better than the estimable Beau Rivage shows? I’ve seen both and to tell you the truth, it does not really matter. Put ‘the Casino of Lights’ on stage with Taylor Hicks and capturing the moment in your mind’s eye is all that is important.
When the show ended too quickly, Taylor signed and smiled and greeted each guest. The line was snaked to the end of the foyer and wrapped around itself but in 40 minutes Taylor had met each person in line and then had to dash to catch a plane for home. All of those fans waiting to see him for weeks and days finally got to see him live and meet him. They didn’t know they had been to ‘Paris’ that night but they did know that they had a sure winner in Taylor and as they proceeded to pass the slot machines on their way out of the ballroom, a feeling of having already hit the jackpot in the past hour made it unnecessary to stop at their favorite machine.