The night is halfway through but bikers don't stop arriving.
Reno is more than 700 km northwest of the state of Nevada, a distance that doesn't bother these people. Easy Riders Americans, fearless pursuers of the events dedicated to them in the brightest and noisiest cities in the Western USA.
In origin, the party had ended in the early afternoon. By the time we got around Fremont Street, that street and Las Vegas in general were still hot.
Os bikers they dismantled and unnerved the legs and arms that their Harley Davidsons and the like had condemned to unnatural positions.
The Fremont Pioneer Exploration
John Charles Fremont had a much harder time getting to the vicinity of the road he lent his name to. The explorer was the first American to glimpse these places and come across the great Sierra Nevada.
The narration of his expeditions guided by the iconic Kit Carson to these western reaches inspired several Mormon communities to settle in neighboring Utah. Given what is happening today in Reno, Las Vegas and others, those religious settlers were right not to opt for Nevada.
From time to time, some visit them with the sacred purpose of alerting the regulars. from bad life to sins. Fremont Street is, of course, one of his favorite targets.
a band of hard rock in black clothes and shabby air, he is rehearsing for a concert that is about to open. Hundreds of bearded and hairy bigwigs from wrestlers remodeled, wrapped in leather and scarves with skulls and US flags
The long journey whetted their appetite. They drink countless beers from plastic cups and make the day with the hamburger and hot dog peddler who, in a master's move, had set up shop nearby.
Hard Rock at the Height of Motorbike and Heavy Duty Audience
The vocalist knows what they're coming from. In musical moments starred by shrill guitars, he provokes them with infallible platitudes and challenging postures: “C'mon guys let's rock this town".
The audience rejoices in the show and absorbs decibels that exceed any permissible scale. reciprocates with headbangs uncontrolled that spread as by the action of some virus among the excited crowd.
We are still at the beginning of the street but Fremont is definitely connected to the current. It's not a new thing.
Long Before the Famous Strip, the Genesis of Fremont Street
Fremont Street received Las Vegas' first asphalt in 1925. Six years later, the city's inaugural traffic light followed. Casino fever arrived, however, long before gambling was legalized. The Northern Club won one of 6 pioneer licenses issued in Nevada and the first for the street.
Thereafter, Fremont welcomed more and more casinos and its neon aura intensified.
The famous Golden Nugget was erected from nowhere, completely dedicated to gaming, in 1946. The following year, the Pioneer Club installed the still iconic lighting of the cowboy Vegas Vic. The competition did not want to be left behind and created its own electrical attractions.
Thus, the brand image of Fremont Street became a reality and its extreme west became the colorful vision that every movie and TV show wanted to show in Las Vegas.
Casinos, Neons and Video Clips: Fremont Street Life
The coexistence of neons earned him the title of Glitter Gulch (Gulch Gulch), an enduring fame that was often renewed.
In 1964, the street entered the opening credits of “Viva Las Vegas” with Elvis Presley. Seven years later, it hosted one of the James Bond chase scenes from “Diamonds are Forever".
In 1987, the members of U2 toured it in the video for “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For”. Another band, the Flaming Lips, filmed part of their music video there for “Do You perform” and Tom Waits makes several references in the theme “Mr. siegal".
Fremont Street even inspires the San Andreas version of the popular video game Grand Theft Auto, in which it appears as “Old Ventures Strip".
But, at a certain point, the street had no room for more casinos and the population of fans and gambling addicts kept growing.
Some entrepreneurs re-located their investments to the much more open Las Vegas Boulevard (6.8 km) and created there a kind of new Fremont that would reach far greater dimensions and flows of people and money. This avenue would later be named The Strip.
The Fascination of the Lights and Colors of Las Vegas
As we move along Fremont Street, our senses are awakened again and again, but the notion of the surreal unexpected is reinforced.
Further on, there is a bar located right in the middle of the road where several bartenders they serve drinks to the music, in a hyperactive and acrobatic way.
Passersby flow in both directions, semi-hypnotized by the neon lights and the long roof on which mind-blowing visual themes from the Freemont Street Experience are projected, a light & sound installation conceived in 1990 to attract more people to the area. downtown from Las Vegas that suffered from the Strip's growing polarization.
On the concave ceiling, images are displayed with irreverent and irreproachable design that play with color and luminosity, with eccentric and futuristic visuals or simply dear to the American nation: going to the moon, the flag, patriotism, the game.
Gentlemen Clubs, Porn Actresses and the Religious Contest of Nevada Preachers
Downstairs, garish Carmen Mirandas and other uninhibited female baits invite men and even couples to join the casinos or the Gentlemen Clubs they represent. One of the latter, Girls of Glitter Gulch has become popular in its own way.
There, on a long crosswalk stage equipped with three poles, dozens of sexy models parade, dance and insinuate lapdances practically naked. The presence of famous porn actresses and stars is frequent center fold of the magazines of the genre.
Every hour they spend there is paid by the weight of gold, but this new strip club is the only one in downtown Las Vegas and has been making astronomical profits, in such a way that it spent nearly 3 million euros some time ago on a makeover of its look. .
Her neon cowgirl Vegas Vickie appears sitting on the entrance porch or, if you prefer, on a real mine.
Not all Americans like it, or Fremont Street and even Las Vegas in general. We walked a little further and came across two pastors from one of the thousand houses of God who later settled in the state.
Armed with megaphones, they fearlessly preach the guilt and possible salvation of the Gentiles: “there is still time to repent”, “There is no love in your lives”, among other moral platitudes.
They also complement their verbal indignation with a poster showing the drawing of Christ scourged on a cross with an inscription “Sin, Sins, Sinners” and enforces the biblical passage from Galatians 3:13: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, making himself a curse for us; for it is written: "Cursed be everyone who is suspended on a tree."
The multitude of sinners passes by the religious and ignores them or observes them as a mere expression of madness that many passersby insist on photographing.
Then they're on their way to the next fun. Life is short and this Fremont Street is in the heart of Las Vegas. "The show must go on".