The Fab Four at the Snoqualmie Casino by Don and Peg Doman
Our friends Rob and Vickie Erb were celebrating their anniversary. They invited Peg and me along with friends Donn and Debbie Irwin to join them. Rob purchased tickets for The Fab Four at the Snoqualmie Casino. My buddy jazz guitarist/singer Ed Taylor has been performing there and constantly invites me to join him, but has never offered to pay my way. Rob purchased the tickets for all of us, so it sounded like it could be fun.
Rob picked us up and the six of us began our journey from Tacoma 's Northend to Snoqualmie. Since it was Friday afternoon, we got caught in rush-hour traffic, so the trip took longer than it would normally. We wanted to arrive early enough to sample the seafood buffet at the casino. We started off and, after constant complaining from me, Rob
finally turned off his annoying GPS device with its audio commentary. We had no trouble finding the casino.
The casino is beautiful and offers valet parking, and we took advantage of it. Once inside, I could smell tobacco so was a little worried. You enter approximately in the middle of the casino. The Falls Buffet was to the left and the Ballroom was to the right. We walked towards the buffet restaurant. As we approached the eatery I noticed "No Smoking" signs, so by the time we entered the restaurant there was no odor of tobacco . . . a good thing.
We lined up and began to get the lay of the land. The seafood buffet is $26.95 plus $8 if you want a lobster tail. Peg declined the lobster, while I decided on two. I was a little worried about the lobster. I was picturing how some restaurants ruin lobster by first cutting the tails in half and then over-cooking them. We were seated and our server, Barbara, took our drink orders. She was a little abrupt, but attentive throughout our dining experience. She became really friendly towards the end of dinner when she
handed out comment cards and flattered several of us . . . ah, yes . . . it was tip time then. But, she was an old hand at the game.
While my lobsters didn't equal the taste and texture I long for from our Cape Cod trip, they were tasty. I'm guessing they were a good six ounces each and cooked perfectly. Served with lemon and placed on a plate swimming in melted butter and herbs, or in my case two
lobsters I asked to be combined on one plate, they were delicious.
There is a constant turn-over with the food. It all tasted fresh and well-cooked. I was given what I asked for, with a small piece of prime rib. Donn praised the prime rib and the creamy horseradish. It was indeed praise worthy. The large cocktail shrimp were excellent. Even the fried foods were not over-cooked and dried out. Peg gave me a deep-fried scallop and I was almost sorry I hadn't picked up a few for myself. The battered cod looked perfect as well. From salad to dessert it was a great selection, but then with dinner for two approaching a hundred dollars, it wasn't cheap,
but it was a really good.
We had our leisurely dinner followed by coffee and then walked to the other side of the casino to the ballroom. Bottled water was free just outside the ballroom, which was a nice surprise. The ballroom left a little to be desired, unfortunately. The folding chairs were padded, but they are locked together and butted up right next to each other. Luckily, the two people who claimed their aisle seats next to
me left almost immediately. Thank god. I moved over one and then a bit later Peg moved next to me giving her breathing space on her left and I had breathing space on my right. If the casino had simply raked the floor or provided some tiering (like is done at casinos in Las Vegas ), it would have improved the viewing and increased the enjoyment of performances, even with folding chairs. Cramming people into a space does not make for a memorable experience . . . you do remember it, but not fondly.
The Fab Four is a Beatles tribute band. The band plays live and the members are all expert musicians and singers. The front three: Paul, George, and John can easily pass as the originals at least from where we sat in the seventh row. Their skinny legs and feet easily fill the pants and boots of the originals. The opening session begins as the presentation on the Ed Sullivan Show. Throughout the concert there is a mixture of original footage from the early years on the ballroom's large screens which flank
the stage. During the second session the group appears in Sgt. Pepper uniforms and then each has a chance to perform solos from the later years . . . except for Ringo. He only shines in one song as "the one and only Billy Shears."
Paul and John talked and joked with the audience and were outstanding. Actually, George (the only tribute musician from Liverpool )
should have played and sang more, but the crowd was well pleased with what they saw. Both women and men ended up dancing in front of the stage and at their seats. There were plenty of wistful smiles. In a pre-concert trivia quiz on the big screens, you could hear people sharing the answers with their friends. It was a little disconcerting seeing the disparity between The Fab Four appearing to be in their mid-twenties and never aging with the audience who have aged considerably over the forty odd years since Beatlemania.
Of course, John sang Imagine and talked about his death. The crowd loved his performance. Paul did a great job on several numbers like Hey, Jude and Yesterday, which was shown on the big screens in black and white and simply done by Paul alone on guitar. Very nice. They deserved a standing ovation, and they received several.
On the way back home, as we sat in the dark we joked about life and mentioned songs that were not sung at the concert. Each had their favorites and we all knew that
it would have been an all day and all night affair if The Fab Four had played every single song recorded by The Beatles. From a selection of YouTube videos it appears they must change the songs around to give a different look and feel for each concert, while retaining the mystique. It was a nice evening, and a nice way to celebrate the marriage of friends.