By John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal
November 21, 2021 - 5:51 pm
How’d it sound? No idea. Ask someone who heard it. Tough to tell from behind the stage. But it felt great, like a real rock show, with Sammy Hagar leading the party from at halftime of the Raiders-Bengals game at Allegiant Stadium.
Hagar’s hits were the highlight of an otherwise lackluster afternoon for the home team, which was dump-trucked 32-13 by the Cincinnati Bengals. But Hager, dressed in a new Raiders jacket embroidered with his name, seemed ready to suit up.
“It was like firing a bow an arrow, bam, man!” Hagar said after running through “There’s Only One Way to Rock” and “Right Now” with his guitarist Vic Johnson and David Perrico and the Raiders House Band. “It felt like it lasted three seconds. I feel good about it. Now, I have to sit down and figure out what happened. Did I just do that?”
Hagar was mobbed as he waded through fans at the end of the two-song medley at the Al Davis Memorial Torch. “Sammy! Huntington Beach! Can I get a picture with you!?” was a typical call-out.
But what it all means beyond the experience is yet unknown. Hagar is coming off a blistering, six-show residency at The Strat Theater, a run promoted by a similarly inspired, Strip-facing concert on the roof of Beer Park at Paris Las Vegas.
“I just think that this town is really valuable in a lot of different ways. It’s a place where I can say, ‘I’m going to play here for a month,’ to my fans, and I guarantee you, you’ll have a good time.” Hagar said in the Allegiant Stadium’s green room, which is actually the UNLV Rebels’ locker room, just before taking the stage.
The Red Rocker, simply, has a hot hand. But he’s not sure how he’ll play it.
“Kind of like having your presence here all the time that you’ll picture me jumping on the side of the wall. And I want to keep it that way,” Hagar said. “And, you know, I just think that this town is really valuable in a lot of different ways. It’s a place to where I say, ‘I’m going to play here for a month,’ to my fans, and I guarantee you, you’ll have a good time.”
Hagar says he would love to return to town in 2022, and it’s hard to imagine him not returning to The Strat or entertaining other suitors for his Cabo Wabo-style rock experience. He talks of playing three days a month, every month, in an expanded venue at The Strat or even a new facility. He’s loyal to the Strat hierarchy, longtime friends especially Golden Entertainment Executive Vice President and COO Steve Arcana.
The Hagar shows were mutually beneficial to the property and to Hagar, who used the platform to launch his Beach Bar Rum line. The little cans ‘o booze have been quaffed with great zeal at The Strat, giving Hagar even more motive to come back to Vegas and grow his empire.
“I want to come back to Vegas, I want to do more residencies,” Hagar said. “I’d like to do half as many shows, and have the same amount of people, if you know what I mean. At my age, I’m not looking to do 100 shows a year, so I need a bigger venue.”
Hagar is 74. He knows what he likes, and he likes it here.
“Vegas is the kind of town where I’m happy to bring fans, because they have so much they can do, “I love this down. I really do dig this place.”
By John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal
November 18, 2021 - 10:06 am
Sammy Hagar leaves no venue unturned. He’s performed at his Cabo Wabo club at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, on the roof of Beer Park at Paris Las Vegas, and for six shows at The Strat Theater. And that’s just in the past two months.
The Red Rocker is donning the silver and black Sunday for his biggest Vegas crowd yet, at Allegiant Stadium during halftime of the Raiders-Cincinnati Bengals game.
“I’m actually nervous. I’ll tell you that now,” Hagar said in a phone chat Monday. “When they asked I said, ‘Yes!’ Then I went to my manager, ‘Wait, what am I going to do?’”
Hagar answered his own question, “I’m going to scream my (butt) off.”
Hagar and guitarist Vic Johnson from Hagar’s band The Circle will jam with David Perrico and the Raiders House Band.
“I’ve had a great conversation with Dave and I know that band is great,” Hagar said. “Who knows, after this, we might have to add some backup singers.”
Hagar plans to play some of his “stadium songs,” among them “Right Now” and “There’s Only One Way to Rock.”
“I’ll be playing to about 100 times more people than I’ve been used to playing for in Vegas,” Hagar said. “Who knows? I might feel a little weak in the knees. But I know what the team wants, and they want a rock show.”
Perrico is writing two new arrangements for the Hagar hits. The band leader spent 16 hours Wednesday re-charting the classics.
“It goes to the vision of the Raiders, it’s been their vision of how the house band can be integral to the game experience,” Perrico said. “It’s very much like the Doc Severinsen ‘Tonight Show’ band scenario, in that we are ready to play whoever they bring in.”
The team has brought in Carlos Santana, Ice Cube, Steve Aoki, Ludacris, Too Short, Marshmello and Grambling’s “World Famed Marching Band for pre-game and halftime shows. Criss Angel has performed an escape stunt 100 feet above the field. Gladys Knight, Marie Osmond, Yolanda Adams, Tinashe and Journey’s Neal Schon have been among the national anthem singers.
But Hagar is the first artist to actually perform with the Perrico band. This also is his first halftime show with the franchise.
Hagar has known Raiders owner Mark Davis for years and has followed the team through its history in Oakland, Los Angeles, back to the Bay Area and finally Las Vegas.
“The Raiders are a bit of an underdog in the NFL,” Hagar said. “I can relate to that.”
The “Sammy Hagar and Friends” concept has been a hit at The Strat. Hagar has welcomed such collaborators as Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Rick Springfield and Stephen Pearcy of Ratt. Hagar, Springfield and current Encore Theater headliner Bryan Adams partied at Cabo Wabo after last Friday’s show.
“I am so grateful that Las Vegas has accepted me into the community, that’s what’s really great about this,” the 74-year-old Hagar said. “I really feel like I’m part of the city, and these shows make me feel like I’m 26 again.”
Hagar plans to return to residency in Las Vegas in 2022. The details are to be sorted out, as Hagar wiped out The Strat Theater performances. The room’s seating was nearly doubled to 900 for his shows, and even that couldn’t match demand.
The former Montrose and Van Halen front man says he’d be in favor of returning to a tented structure, similar to the defunct “Celestia” show that closed and hauled out during COVID. Or, he’d be up for an evolved Cabo party experience in if the existing theater is expanded.
“The have all that room in the lobby, near the entrance, and we could take over a lot of that space,” Hagar said. “If they did that, I would never leave Las Vegas.”
David Perrico and The Raiders House Band are thrilled to be joining Opportunity Village as they the Las Vegas Aces at their signature Camelot at the Magical Forest gala on Thursday, November 11th.
The 20th annual black-tie event will feature special entertainment, cocktail hour, silent and live auctions, and a plated dinner for guests. Opportunity Village will highlight the many charitable contributions the Aces have brought to its organization – and Southern Nevada as a whole – since the team relocated from San Antonio in 2018.
By: Kalyna Astrinos
Posted at 11:52 AM, Sep 13, 2021 and last updated 12:10 PM, Sep 13, 2021
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A 17-year-veteran of the Las Vegas entertainment scene has found a new home with the Las Vegas Raiders.
David Perrico and the Raiders House Band are ready to take over Allegiant Stadium for the Raiders first home game.
"Everyone's just dancing, grooving (and) having a good time," Perrico said.
The high-energy 19-piece orchestra is keeping a Raiders tradition alive.
"Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, was specifically looking for a house band in the tradition that the Raiders always had since the 60's," Perrico said. "Our name came up and they did some research on us and we did an audition process."
After more than a year of entertainment at a standstill across the country, this gig is showing hope.
"I think it's great for, for all live entertainment, and for all the hard work hard working musicians in this town," Perrico said. "Not just musicians, all the sound and lighting, everything that goes into shows in bands, whether they're playing loud lounges, it doesn't matter what size they are. It's just great for live music."
The Las Vegas strip will serve as the backdrop for the band where David Perrico and the Raiders House Band will have the chance to show Raiders fans first hand what live entertainment is really all about.
"From Pitbull, to Beyonce, to Earth Wind and Fire, to Chicago, Michael Jackson, to James Brown. It's all fun," Perrico said.
Las Vegas Sun News: Bandleader David Perrico takes his group to new heights with the Las Vegas Raiders
By Brock Radke
Monday, Sept. 13, 2021 | 2 a.m.
The David Perrico Pop Strings Orchestra maintained a popular weekend residency at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace for years, bringing exciting live music energy to one of the Strip’s most beloved lounge spaces. Now a bigger, bolder version of the group has moved to a new venue for a slightly different residency gig.
“We went from the Barge with 250 people to 65,000 people in the audience,” said the trumpeter and bandleader. “It’s pretty amazing.”
Perrico’s expanded band, now numbering 18 with the addition of a full horn section, scored the coveted gig as the house entertainment for Las Vegas Raiders games at Allegiant Stadium. The all-star lineup of Las Vegas musicians will perform a 30-minute pre-show before tonight’s Monday Night Football regular season opener against Baltimore and play short snippets of songs during the game, set up on a stage near the Al Davis Memorial Torch on the Coors Light Landing area of the stadium concourse.
The Raiders have maintained a long legacy of live entertainment at football games, specifically big bands specializing in jazz, funk, rock and soul, throughout the team’s colorful history playing in Oakland and Los Angeles. Perrico, a native of Ohio who has toured the country for years with different bands and performed and arranged music with different shows and special events all across Las Vegas, was somewhat familiar with the football team’s musical history.
“I knew of some of the trumpet players that played at the L.A. Coliseum, but going back a little more, in the 1960s Al Davis implemented the Del Courtney big band at games in Oakland,” he said. “Mark Davis is carrying on this tradition that he always loved as a kid, growing up and seeing the band playing at games. It was his decision to hire us and it’s a great opportunity.”
The band got its first taste of playing at the stadium during the preseason game against Seattle on August 14. While Perrico described it as a surreal experience, many members of his team of experienced musicians are familiar with performing in venues of this size.
“Most of them have done it, backing up acts like Rod Stewart, Beyoncé, Shania Twain, Aerosmith,” he said. “The difference as the Pop Strings group evolves into the Raider house band is in addition to the four singers and the all-female string section, we’ve added the four horns plus myself on trumpet to get that Tower of Power, Earth, Wind and Fire, Chicago sound, all those great horn bands.”
The vocalists are Lily Arce, Perrico’s wife and a former singer in Cirque du Soleil’s “O” and “Fantasy” at Luxor; Las Vegas Academy grad Serena Henry, who has toured with Smokey Robinson and Gladys Knight; Cuban-born Noybel Gorgoy, who has starred in touring production shows and with Paul Shaffer and Clint Holmes in Las Vegas; and Fletch Walcott, a native of Boston who appeared on “American Idol” and has entertained at various lounges up and down the Strip.
Rounding out the band: Jose “Pepe” Jimenez on drums, a veteran of Carlos Santana’s bands; bass player Keith Nelson, who has recorded with Donna Summer, Natalie Cole and Shania Twain; Steven Lee on guitar, who also played in Donny and Marie Osmond’s long residency show at the Flamingo; Otto Ehling on keyboards; sax great Rocco Barbato, who also performs in Donny Osmond’s new residency at Harrah’s; violin players Adrianna Thurber, Chandra Meibalane, Monique Olivas and Christina Rose, all of whom have extensive experience backing big stars like Andrea Bocelli, Tony Bennett, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan and Shakira; viola player Crystal Yuan and cellists Sarah Chaffee and Zuzana Engererova; tenor, soprano and baritone sax players Andrew Friedlander, Charles McNeal and Mathew Schumer; and trombonist Steve Meyer, who currently performs with the Righteous Brothers and orchestrates their show.
“The great thing about this band is it’s my fantasy football team,” Perrico joked. “It’s always been that way. People ask me, how do you get these great players? Talented people want to work with talented people.”
Perrico said he is thrilled to be “drafted” by the Raiders, especially after the long layoff of live entertainment in Las Vegas, and is looking forward to the unique opportunity to connect with local football and music fans at games.
“I’m flattered and honored. I just want to deliver every game, hit every cue and execute.”
Published September 2021 by Guy D'Astolfo, Business Journal Daily
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Live music at games is part of the Las Vegas Raiders playbook.
So the NFL team went looking for a band leader to make that happen at its new stadium and found the perfect pick in Youngstown native David Perrico
The Raiders moved to Las Vegas last year when the pandemic kept stadiums empty.
But Perrico and his ensemble are bringing their big, brassy and electrifying music to Allegiant Stadium for the 2021 season.
The trumpet player has been a key player in the Vegas music scene for almost two decades. His Pop Strings Orchestra has been the resident band at Caesars Palace casino for the past four years.
Perrico, a Chaney High School graduate who earned a baccalaureate from Youngstown State University, grew up as a Browns fan but has nothing but respect for Raider Nation.
“There’s been an incredible amount of excitement [for the live performances at games] and it’s [team owner] Mark Davis’ vision,” Perrico says. “It comes from the top. And my interaction with the Raiders staff has been the best. It’s a top-flight, family kind of operation. And Raider Nation [the fan base] is definitely a real thing … the silver and black.”
Las Vegas has always had a lot of Raiders fans, he notes, and that number has risen exponentially since the team moved there.
Perrico is known for his rousing versions of pop songs. He has put together a play list for games that will include some Raider Nation must-haves, such as music from Star Wars and the team’s theme song, “Autumn Wind.”
The list runs the gamut with songs by the likes of Michael Jackson, Metallica, AC/DC, James Brown, Bruno Mars and Tower of Power, all given Perrico’s high-octane treatment.
The team has always had an orchestra at games. The tradition dates to the 1960s, when Del Courtney and his band played at games in Oakland when the team was owned by Mark Davis’ father, the late and legendary Al Davis. The team also had live music during its stint in Los Angeles.
The practice continues at the Raiders’ new home, and in true Vegas style.
“We are the entertainment capital of the world and Mark Davis is drawing on that facet to incite excitement for the fans,” Perrico says. Entertainers headlining shows at casinos will make cameo appearances with his band at Raiders games this season, he says.
Perrico and his 18-person Pop Strings Orchestra auditioned for the Raiders in early June after the team reached out to him. They were called back a couple of weeks later for a closer look, and landed the job after a final audition on Aug.6.
For Raiders games, Perrico leads an ensemble that is largely the same as his Pop Strings Orchestra, but the name will be changed.
“For the branding of it, we might be David Perrico and the Raider House Band,” he says. In addition to Perrico, there are four singers, five horns, six strings and a rhythm section.
The act plays a 45-minute pregame set, with segments of 30 seconds, one minute or two minutes interspersed during the game for commercial breaks, touchdowns or timeouts.
The Raiders gig is an exceptional way for Perrico and his orchestra to end their hiatus from the stage.
“After 17 months of not playing and Caesars Palace closing its lounges [because of the pandemic], this is our first gig and it’s exciting,” Perrico says.
Perrico also serves as producer for 10 Vegas bands who were also put out of work. He used his pandemic downtime to “retool” them, updating their music, promos and videos.
“I employ 76 musicians in town,” he says.
The music he plays for Raiders games includes some songs that he wrote. But all selections feature Perrico’s arrangements for each instrument and he makes sure that each number has that Pop Strings level of bombast. “Everything we play at Raiders games, and at all of my performances, are custom arrangements,” he says. “This is not a cover band. We have to orchestrate.”
After graduating from YSU in 1994, Perrico toured for eight years as a member of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and as a cruise ship performer.
In the early 2000s, he moved to Las Vegas to get his master’s degree in music composition at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and later worked as an adjunct music professor at the school. He would go on to work with a litany of shows as music director and arranger, including for Paul Shaffer, Gladys Knight, Donnie and Marie, Toni Braxton, Frankie Valli, The Village People, The Rat Pack Is Back, Cirque du Soleil Elvis, Dean Martin Lives Show and Sinatra Live.
But no matter how far he goes, Perrico always credits his success to his roots. “That blue-collar work ethic – and my ability to improvise and hustle – I got from Youngstown,” he says.
Watch David Perrico in a LIVE interview with Monica O. Jackson on Good Day Las Vegas during "Mondays With Monica" this morning, Monday, August 30.
By John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal
August 25, 2021 - 3:52 pm
David Perrico has been a music fan since he was a kid. He’s also been a Cleveland Browns fan.
“If you’ve ever sat in the Dog Pound at old Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, before they tore it down, you know what I mean,” says Perrico, a native of Youngstown, Ohio. “The wind off the lake was coming in. It was 20 below zero with the wind-chill factor. It’s amazing.”
But serving as the bandleader for Las Vegas’ NFL team has shaken up that alliance. That wind off Lake Erie has been replaced by “Autumn Wind” at Allegiant Stadium.
“It’s our team, our game, when you are up there playing,” Perrico says. “Now I’m a Raiders fan, too.”
Perrico and his 18-piece Pop Strings ensemble have been drafted as the Raiders’ house band for the 2021 season. The team sets up under the Al Davis Memorial Torch for a 30-minute, pregame set peppered with AC/DC, Earth Wind & Fire, Pitbull, Bruno Mars and Tower of Power. The band also plays in spots throughout the game (including the theme, “Autumn Wind,” and the Star Wars’ “Imperial Death March” after Raider TDs).
Pop Strings headlined most recently for four years at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace until Caesars Entertainment shut down the venue in May. Perrico’s band debuted at the Raiders’ preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 12.
The band is made up exclusively of veteran Las Vegas players, led by Perrico, who has performed in Las Vegas for the past 15 years. His popular vocalist wife, Lily Arce, is also featured on the Raiders’ stage.
Perrico recently talked of his time in Vegas, and the big break that led his group to play for 65,000 fans rather than 160 at the Barge:
Johnny Kats: What went through your head during your first performance at a Raiders game?
David Perrico: It was a feeling of, first, I was honored. I was very happy for the band, because we’ve been off for 17 months and we lost our Caesars Palace residency. The energy of the whole Raider Nation, the Raider fans, the noise and interaction of everyone crowded around the bandstand. All that partying and grooving. That was my takeaway.
And your family showed up, unexpectedly, at the game.
Yeah, I turned around and my brother (Brian) was there, and my sister-in-law (Kris), they live here. But my dad (Joe) flew in from Youngstown, and he still lives in Youngstown. My stepmother (Linda), half-sister (Amanda), half-brother (Matt) all showed up by surprise. I’ve been lucky in that sense. Wherever I played, wherever there was a concert, my family was always there.
Why did you decide to play the trumpet?
My dad’s a retired sax player, so I had a clarinet. I went to school in fourth grade with my own clarinet, and I was gonna be in a band. But the band director says, “Well, you know, we don’t have any trumpet players in the band. Why don’t you try it?” So I came home with a trumpet.
How did you get to Las Vegas?
I was offered a full scholarship in the UNLV jazz program, with (department head) Dave Loeb. I said, “OK, I’ll do my master’s degree,” and the plan was to stay here for two years and move to New York.
What happened to the plan?
Things just started lining up. I started subbing for Donny & Marie, I did a year with Cirque, “Viva Elvis” at Aria, and went on to play with Lon Bronson’s band at Ovation at Green Valley Ranch and in “The Rat Pack Is Back.” … Then we opened with the big band, Pop Evolution, at South Point in 2012.
We’ve talked a lot through the shutdown, about how this has affected musicians in your company. You told me last year that 70 percent of your business was booking bands for corporate and private events. What was it like to lose the bulk of your business?
That was really the punch in the gut. You know, in my production company, I produce 11 bands. So you’re looking at about 60-70 musicians, independent contractors, who were out of work.
How did you help sustain those musicians?
What I tried to do with some of the (Paycheck Protection Program) money, and some grants that I received, was to keep everyone working by doing some recording, doing some original music, new photo shoots or new jingle writing. Whatever I could do to keep everyone kind of going. I pay musicians for their time.
You spent a lot of time as a performer and road manager for the Tommy Dorsey Band. What was that life like, compared with being settled in Las Vegas?
When you’re on the road with a band 46 weeks a year, you learn how to keep a band together, keep the band fun. Any touring musician will tell you the work is the 22 hours between gigs. The shows are the fun. This was in the mid- to late ’90s, no cellphones. You had a phone card to call home on Sundays. You went from Florida to Missouri, Missouri to Vermont. You’d be at the Lincoln Center in New York City, and then the next gig would be a tobacco farm in Paris, Tennessee, or at the Iowa State Fair. You saw it all.
It’s like being on a team, right?
Yeah, it is like being on a baseball team or a football team. It’s very sports-oriented, in that good players want to play with other good players. The coaching is part of the environment. That’s fun, too.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.
By Christian Wissmuller • News • August 25, 2021 • Jazzed Magazine
The Raiders’ gameday experience has historically combined the cacophony of action on the gridiron, the roar of the crowd and soul-stirring live band music.
Synchronized Raiderette routines have been paired with live band musical stylings dating back to the 1960s in the Bay Area, when Del Courtney and his band matched the intensity on the field with their orchestral performances. That tradition continued in Los Angeles when Horace Heidt Jr. led an equally symphonic group of some of the finest musicians in the world, who roused Coliseum crowds for over a decade.
Jazz, funk, hip-hop, rock and soul – the sounds of Raider Nation.
Those live symphonic stylings are being renewed in Las Vegas as an 18-piece orchestra led by award-winning trumpeter, composer, and Phaeton artist David Perrico will entertain the Raider Nation. This large ensemble is a high-energy, diverse, unique, innovative and dynamic group featuring a six-piece acoustic string section, five-piece horn section, four singers and a rhythm section.
Over his career, Perrico, a resident of Las Vegas for more than 17 years, has performed with legends including Gladys Knight, Toni Braxton, Natalie Cole, Frankie Valli, Michael Feinstein, Frankie Avalon and The Temptations. The house band is comprised of world-class Las Vegas musicians who have performed with the likes of Celine Dion, Santana, Beyoncé, Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli, Shania Twain and Diana Ross.
“It is a great honor to be the conductor as the 18-piece band is absolutely fantastic, and it is a pleasure to entertain Raider Nation,” Perrico said.
Given the experience and versatility of the ensemble, they can perform an array of musical selections across a variety of musical genres, particularly arrangements influenced by the Raiders and Las Vegas, as well as the Silver & Black institution, The Autumn Wind.
The ensemble’s pit will span the length of the Coors Light Landing near the Al Davis Memorial Torch, with the world-famous Las Vegas Strip serving as a backdrop. “We have a lot of exciting new rocking-themed arrangements for the Silver and Black,” Perrico said. “We’re looking forward to an amazing Raiders season in the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World.”
DAVID PERRICO IN THE NEWS
Here's where you'll find all the latest news about David Perrico, Pop Strings Orchestra, and Pop Evolution.