I learned something new during my latest trip to Las Vegas. I usually make an effort to watch one show whenever I am in ‘The Entertainment Capital of the World’. This time I decided to see Rod Stewart. Having some time before the show and ready for some dinner, I found a seat at the bar of the Palms Steakhouse. I nodded to a friendly guy next to me who seemed to know every bartender’s name. I could tell he is a regular customer.
Friendly guy: “are you here for business or pleasure?”
Me: “Oh, attending a conference. Grabbing something to eat before the Rod Stewart concert.”
Friendly guy: “I am going to see the show, too. This is my 94th time seeing him.”
Me (gasped): “the 94th time?! Are you kidding me?”
Friendly guy: “As long as Rod has been performing in Las Vegas, I’ve been going to every single show, except last Wednesday. I was out of town to attend a funeral.”
Friendly guy (shrugged): “Oh, I just really like him and enjoy his music. I live only 20 minutes away, it’s not like that I have to travel far.“
Me: “Don’t tell me that you buy premium tickets as well.”
Friendly guy: “Oh, I do.”
Me: “Caesar’s Palace should really give you a discount for the tickets.”
Friendly guy (chuckles): “Oh, I don’t ask for it, but the general manager knows who I am and I do get a great seat.”
Me: “Have you met Rod?”
Friendly guy (with admiration): “Yeah, I met him once and he is such a great guy.”
Me: “Wow, that’s amazing.”
Friendly guy (with a laugh): “My wife tolerates it. I work in construction. I come to this bar two or three times a week after work. Before the show, I come here and grab a salad, then off to the show. I am usually home by 10:00 pm.”
Me: “Have you ever gotten tired of the shows? After all, you have seen it 94 times.”
Friendly guy: “No. Rod makes it fun. He interacts with his audience. There is something different. Here is a little surprise for you: during the show, he will kick out soccer balls to the audience; I got nine of them so far. I promise you that you will have a great time.”
Me: “Rod is so lucky to have a fan like you. I can’t wait to see the show.”
The Friendly guy was RIGHT! The show was electrifying. I sensed Rod’s enthusiasm and passion from the Mezzanine. He was fun, sincere and interactive. He graciously thanked his musicians and gave them the spotlight to shine, whenever possible. Most importantly, he truly cared that his fans had a great time.
The friendly guy’s name is Dane Isenmann. He is such a regular at the Palms that they made a plaque for his seat. In a social media world, the word “fan” is over-rated and over-used.
Dane taught me the true meaning of a the word ‘fan’: a person who loves the brand so much that he quietly devotes his enthusiasm to it without asking for anything in return.
Dane, just want to let you know that I really enjoyed the show. I will bring my boys to see Rod Stewart, if the opportunity arises. Most importantly, I hope to see you again, when I am in Las Vegas next time!