Photo: Al Powers/Powers Imagery

Recently, LA Taco was invited to check out the  finals for the “Las Vegas Spin off,” over at the Marquee Night Club. Having never been to Vegas before, I jumped at the opportunity to cover this event and do a write up, while at the same time, check out the Vegas scene. The night was to feature 7 finalist, chosen from a panel of judges that include Lil’ John, DJ Vice, Sol Shafer, LMFAO and Markus Schulz. The winner,  would get a $10,000 home studio, Puma gear, & a guest DJ appearance at a Vegas club. Needless to say that I never did find out who won because I never even got past the door. Sad face :(

This is is what the club looked liked from the outside. Not my typical crowd considering I showed up to the place wearing tennis, dickies, regular t-shirt and a track jacket. Needless to say that the bouncer at the door didn’t like my fashion sense and totally denied me entrance. Tried slipping him some feria, but to no avail. Plan B went into affect, which was buying a collar shirt and dress shoes on the spot at any near by store. Denied once more. $200 + dress shoes is not in my budget this month.

Photo: Al Powers/Powers Imagery

Had I gotten to go inside the club, I would have seen things like this crowd having a good time.

Photo: Al Powers/Powers Imagery

Or the DJ’s, like Eric de la Torre here, doing their thing and helping everyone have a good time.

Even though the club event was a flop, we still had a great time in Vegas trying to find the cheapest places to drink on a tight budget and doing the tourist thing since I’m a first timer. We resorted to doing some Neilson test for some extra cash, buying booze at near by liquor stores and cruising the strip. During the two days there, the only times I would run into anyone that’s Latino/a was when they were trying to hand me fliers for call girls, serving food or standing across the counters at shops/stores. Seeing all the homeless folks asking for change, booze or trying to sell you something. I can see why everyone numbs themselves with booze and excess the entire time they’re there.

But then, there are those moments of serenity that call out to you from the far off distance. Familiar sounds, sights and smells that seem like a drop of water in a desert. My friend and I could hear magical music being created by that accordion, sweeping us off our feet and drawing in us closer like a pied piper. Hearing those ever so familiar ballads was heart warming. That familiar sombrero and red, white and red colors, making my feet move to the rhythm as if I was in a cantina in L.A. again. Turns out the musico was an L.A. native via Mexico and only recently moved to Vegas because he couldn’t make a living. Now he’s making a few hundred bucks a week, serenading those crossing his bridge. He does what he wants, when he wants. Plays the songs he wants to play and shares his smiles with those who understand and share a smile or story in return. He ain’t tripping on looking the part or trying to look a certain way to get in to any club. He just marches to the beat of his accordion, where ever that may take him next.