Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine – the Review

I’m very late on this review, but there was a sick kid then this pesky hurricane knocked out power and internet for several days, but better late than never I always say.

During a recent trip to Vegas, the wife and I got the opportunity to take in Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine at AJ’s Steakhouse in the Hard Rock Casino.

We got to the show late because we didn’t expect it to take a light year to leave Ceasar’s Palace.  Luckily, our cab driver knew a shortcut down an alley and past an empty lot that, according to him, housed apartments up until the previous day.

We scurried through the lobby and casino at the Hard Rock to AJ’s.  Senor Queso and his swinging trio were already knocking them dead.

For those unfamiliar with Richard Cheese, he “loungifies” current songs.  Everything from Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” have gotten the Cheese treatment over the years.  Think Sinatra doing Metallica and you’re getting there.

We grabbed some rail near the bar and took in the show.  I quickly realized we were too far away for many good pictures from my little Nikon.  I got a few though.

Mr. Cheese played for nearly two hours, including a medley of requests, an medley of “all” the Mr. Mister hits (all 2 of them) and a really impressive Michael McDonald impression.  I was especially fond of the lounge version of the “Imperial March” from “Star Wars.”  That and the RC version of the theme from “Three’s Company” made me want to pick up a copy of “Dick at Nite.”  

That picture above was taken as RC was juggling bottles of water to impress Penn Jillette who was in attendance.

During an especially poignant rendering of the theme from “SpongeBob Squarepants,” the girl from the merch table passed out tiny bottles of bubbles to the crowd.  I was lucky enough to grab one and lent myself to recreating the desired underwater ambiance.

Perhaps the highlight of the show was RC serenading a woman who went to the bathroom during the show.  AJ’s is small and RC could see the crowd.  He followed her to the bathroom and began to sing Journey songs to her.  She wouldn’t, or couldn’t, come out for the longest time.  RC kept on singing and cajoling through the door and it made the moment all the funnier.

The band worked their magic on “Down with the Sickness” which was featured in the recent “Dawn of the Dead” remake.  The show ended with “People Equal Shit,” that uplifting number originally by Korn.

After the lights came up, I hit the merch table and picked up 2 CDs I didn’t have AND a t-shirt for 20 bones.  Quite a deal.

They announced Mr. Cheese would be signing autographs and I got in line.

This guy stood behind me all night and kept screaming for “She Hates Me.”  It wasn’t played and he drunkenly asked RC if he’d play it next time.

Then it was my turn.  Got the CDs signed.  Then I asked him about the comment he posted right here.  He said it was indeed him.  I also asked about a rumored Houston date, and he confirmed that he and the band would be playing the new Houston House of Blues in 2009.  We’ll be there.

Then RC posed for a photo with me and the wife and we headed out to catch another cab.

It was a great show.  Thanks to the band and everyone at the Hard Rock for giving this “Cheesehead” a 40th birthday show he won’t soon forget.

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