The first thing I notice walking into the Snoqualmie Casino is that I'm not being assaulted by the schizoid cacophony of hundreds of slot machines buzzing and dinging. Granted, I've never enjoyed myself at a casino (some forms of debauchery are just depressing), but the clanging discord of all those machines has always been an annoyance to me, and I'm grateful that this freshly-minted den of iniquity has decided to turn the volume down a notch. The North Bend casino is actually more pleasant than most I've been in: The amber light fixtures and enormous wood-beamed ceilings take the chill off things, and the food options extend blessedly beyond the buffet. The sushi bar actually looks appealing. The primary purpose of my visit is to catch the surprising appearance of local bands Truckasaurus and Head Like a Kite onstage in the casino's Club Sno, a modern discothèque obviously aiming to lure a younger crowd. I order an impressively potent ginger vodka and soda at the circular bar adjacent to the stage, and try to ignore the Heidi Fleiss look-alike making out with her elderly boyfriend in front of me. Aggressive PDA's aside, it's actually a good room, with accommodating sightlines and well-mixed sound. I give them credit for thinking beyond the usual retro-rock programming fare, though it is worth noting that their next local band on the calendar is precisely that: Queensrÿche will play a two-night stand April 16–17. Hopefully the club's booking agent will get more adventurous after that.
37500 S.E. North Bend Way, Snoqualmie, 425-888-1234.