by Leslie Ventura
Thu, Jan 21, 2021 (2 a.m.)
The sensation of sitting in a lounge and listening to live music. The singer’s charismatic banter, and the energy that builds as the band plays off the crowd. Throughout the pandemic, Las Vegans have seriously missed live music, but David Perrico has a one-night remedy. The Las Vegas-based composer will bring his Pop Strings Orchestra into living rooms around the world for on Friday, January 22.
Perrico’s two-hour show, available as a $24 livestream, will features favorites from his orchestra’s Strip residency—a longtime favorite at Cleopatra’s Barge inside Caesars Palace—plus new songs the group has been working on throughout the shutdown.
“It’ll be based on our high-energy show at Cleopatra’s Barge, but I’ve added some new music,” Perrico says. Expect to hear hits from current pop stars like Dua Lipa, sung by regulars Lily Arce (Perrico’s wife) and Fletch Walcott, plus additional vocalists Serena Henry and Noybel Gorgoy. “They’ve always been in the rotation,” Perrico says, “but I decided to have four singers on this to beef it up a little bit.”
Perrico says the pandemic has given him time to consolidate the show and work on new music—“just catching up on a lot of loose ends, mostly with producing.” A new show, String Queen, is now in the works and will feature an all-female string orchestra performing the music of Queen.
“A handful of entertainers have contacted me about tweaking their shows, so I’ve written arrangements for them, which has kept me with some compensation coming in,” Perrico says.
One of those is a lighthearted public service announcement and commercial encouraging the public to wear face masks, produced in collaboration with the UNLV Health Department and Light Forge Studios. The bit, composed by Perrico, features Pop Strings pianist Otto Ehling and vocals by Arce.
As for the Pop Strings streaming special, Perrico says the idea came from Mondays Dark host and owner of the Space Mark Shunock.
“We did a show for a family in Delaware—they contacted me through our website about doing a virtual Christmas party concert, and we did it at the Space,” Perrico explains. “After we did that, Mark approached me and said, ‘Would you be interested in doing a pay-per-view livestream?’ I said I’d been steering clear of anything like that, but [the Christmas special] went so well, and the orchestra agreed. So we thought, ‘It’s going to be this way for a while, so why not try it?’”
Perrico’s orchestra has gone from performing nearly nonstop—weekly at Cleopatra’s Barge, six shows a year at the Smith Center, plus late-night gigs at the Westgate and hired corporate events—to not performing at all during the pandemic.
“Seventy percent of our work was at trade shows and corporate events,” Perrico says. “Until this virus gets under control, until we get the trade shows and hotels at 90-percent capacity, Vegas is still going to limp along. But I’m optimistic. Through crisis comes opportunity. I look at it as time to go inward and reevaluate, hone your skills and develop new skills, and just be ready when it’s time.”
Perrico says everyone in his orchestra will be COVID-tested and cleared, and the show will be performed without a live audience. The energy, he says, will simply come from the band, working symbiotically with one another.
“With all that’s going on right now in this political climate, the pandemic, the loss of work and businesses—if someone could take a break for two hours, it’s just one way to stop and let go and watch a live performance from Las Vegas.”
David Perrico Pop Strings Orchestra Livestream January 22, $24, 6 p.m., stellartickets.com.
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