As gaming culture shifts, Las Vegas thrives on music and live performance
Many believe that the concept of a Las Vegas vacation is beginning to become obsolete in the face of Internet gaming. Despite the fact that Vegas remains an incredibly popular destination—it made the list of best U.S. cities to travel to in Lonely Planet last year, and the tourism numbers certainly aren’t suffering—there’s a perception that the very entertainment industry at the heart of the city has moved online.
This perception isn’t without some foundation in reality. U.S. gamers and gamblers are acutely aware of the budding online casino industry, even if it remains illegal in most states. In much of the country, legislation is in the works that will legalize various forms of online gambling. Some online casino companies are already positioning themselves for market share. Betfair’s online casino has already established a partnership with Caesar’s in New Jersey (where online gaming is legal), which in turn lines Caesar’s up nicely to roll out an online division when the time comes. This will be happening more and more with various companies and casinos as the industry is legalized in more states.
Naturally, this is in some capacity a threat to the established Vegas casinos. But where the online entertainment industry will never catch up to the thrills and spectacle of Vegas is in the artistic and musical performances that give the town its one-of-a-kind flavor. And a big part of that flavor, for the musically inclined, is the abundance of incredible piano bar and concert performers spread out across the city.
Vegas has always attracted some of the very best musical performers in the world, and the piano players have particularly helped shift the city’s culture from past to present. Because pianos are so versatile and timeless, these performers are able to play the older music associated with Vegas in years past just as easily as they can interpret current pop hits. And if this is something that intrigues you as a piano player or enthusiast, here’s a look at some of the city’s very best performers.
The Bellagio’s David Osbourne
One of the most respected musical performers working in Vegas, Osbourne is labeled on his own website as “Pianist to the Presidents.” This is because his prowess as a piano player has repeatedly led him to the White House to perform for our nation’s leaders. His main gig remains at the Bellagio on a nightly basis.
Harrah’s Pinegar Twins
Harrah’s Piano Bar has become known for enthusiastic shows with a great deal of crowd participation, but it starts with Kimberley and Tamara Pinegar—identical twins who put on an incredible dueling piano show.
Anyone At Don’t Tell Mama
In naming Don’t Tell Mama one of the best piano bars in Vegas, CBS astutely covered the fact that this is essentially a piano bar for New York transplants. While The Bar At Times Square at the New York New York hotel offers a different kind of New York atmosphere, Don’t Tell Mama brings in players from the Big Apple and all over the world to a high-quality, cabaret experience.
Ultimately this is only a small look at the incredible piano performances you can see in Las Vegas. But from the world-class play of David Osbourne to the party atmosphere of a Pinegar twins performance, these options demonstrate the quality of music all around the city. A look at any one of these performances will show quite clearly why Vegas tourism continues to thrive in the face of online gaming and modern changes.