The son of a professional poker player, Ryan Pardey knows a thing or two about the Las Vegas lifestyle. Yet instead of pursuing a traditional career in casinos, the 32-year-old singer/songwriter and Las Vegas native transformed those experiences into song. As Halloween Town, Pardey has already tickled the fancy of the East Fremont Street bar set; he’s performed with The Killers; and now, in a full-circle twist of fate, he’s playing the Palms—but not the cards. Thanks to a call from scene-staple promoter Brian Saliba, Halloween Town is defying the lounge-sound stereotype and taking the stage at the Lounge in the Palms for a monthlong residency.
What’s it like to play a casino?
It’s great to play somewhere and be treated well. At first it was weird, but it’s really nice to play on good equipment and for different people, though my drummer broke his arm two weeks ago and we had to get a new drummer ready. I feel like there’s some pressure to do well so this can happen again since we’re the first [local] band doing it. I think Rusty Maples and The Lazy Stars could do this next.
What do you think about a casino lounge as a venue?
A lot of my songs are Vegas- and casino-based anyway, so it’s interesting to play in this setting. This fits because Halloween Town is a metaphor about Vegas.
How have the tourists responded?
It’s kinda been a Downtown-y crowd, but there’s some foreign faces and people who don’t like going downtown. I don’t know if you would call them “fans,” but there’s people who wouldn’t normally come to the Palms. I think I’m a bit of an anomaly in this scene; I don’t really fit into it, so it’s nice when people ask me to do things like this, and I’d like to do it again if it goes well.
You’ll be playing songs from your first LP at The Lounge. When can we expect the yet-to-be titled CD to drop?
The record is done but not printed yet; I guess sometime in July. After these shows I want to take a minute to regroup, then fire it up. I don’t want to rush; it’s taken me three years as it is. I have the 7-inch out and a lot of recordings I’ve been sitting on. I just want to make sure everything matches up. Since I’m an old man already, I don’t need to rush.