DJ88’s Pop-Up looks to satisfy Las Vegas’ musical voids

Sound engineer: Bree DeLano is bringing more musical church.
Andrew James

The loss of Insert Coin(s) in July meant much more than just the closure of a popular Downtown bar. “It was a musical church to a lot of people, and it’s going to take a while for it to resonate on what a loss that is,” says Bree DeLano. “It was iconic for Downtown, but it was a destination location across the country and the world. We had a really interesting group of different people in there on a nightly basis, and we were able to get away with murder as far as music was concerned. We tried stuff, and it worked.”

DeLano, also known as DJ88, was the music director at Insert Coin(s), where the soundtrack was big on hip-hop and soul but far more diverse than it got credit for. “When The Foreign Exchange played there, when Hiatus Kaiyote played, it was church. To see everyone’s face on those nights, not to sound corny, but that was really what it was all about for me. The format we created in there, nobody’s doing it, and now it’s missed.”

Fortunately for those who miss it, DeLano won’t stop trying to fill the Vegas nightlife void between dive bar and megaclub. Her latest endeavor is Pop-Up, a recurring sonic party that will make its debut Sunday night at Ghostbar. Each event will feature a different musical genre and rotating partnerships with venues and artists, and the first is the Soulsonic Edition featuring local R&B-tinged standouts Brittany Rose, Cameron Calloway, CoCo Jenkins and Rico DeLargo. DJs, including 88 herself, will help set the vibe.

“I’m taking everything I did as a programming staple at Insert Coin(s) and breaking it into its own separate night,” she says. “Any given night you could have heard Steely Dan or Diplo or Stevie Wonder or Wu-Tang. Since there’s not a place like that now, taking risks with that type of format, I’m going to break it down into separate parties.” And DeLano—who came to Vegas in 2006 and has gigged everywhere from the Griffin and Downtown Cocktail Room to residencies at lounges and clubs at Wynn, the Palms, the Hard Rock, Cosmopolitan and Bellagio—says those parties could pop up in large or small venues, with just about anyone playing. “I have so many DJs and artists and musicians who call me on a regular basis like, ‘Where do we go? Where do we play?’ I have very big plans ... the large-scale would be really, really large names playing really intimate shows. There’s so much dead space out here.” Hopefully not for long.

Pop-Up with Brittany Rose, Cameron Calloway, CoCo Jenkins, Rico DeLargo, DJ88, Crykit, Seany Mac. November 15, 9 p.m., $10, $5 locals. Ghostbar, 702-942-6832.

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Brock is an award-winning writer who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently leads entertainment ...

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