Big Eyed Fish

Big Eyed Fish | Hard Rock Casino | Vinyl

My friend Chris is in an exhausting number of bands.  He might be the musical equivalent of me.  Every time I turn around, he’s posting a show he’s playing somewhere in the Northern CA area.  In addition to often playing solo, he’s also in my favorite Northern CA band Dad’s LPs, who will be playing Tahoe twice this summer.  Dad’s LPs are a super fun energetic rock/pop outfit and you can catch them Saturday, June 20th in the Heavenly Village at 5:00 PM or at Live at Lakeview on Thursday, July 30th.

In addition to Dad’s LPs, Chris is also the frontman for Big Eyed Fish, a Northern CA Dave Matthews Tribute Band.  Chris and his DMB troupe were recently in Tahoe to play at the new music venue Vinyl, inside our recently opened Hard Rock Resort and Casino.  As a side note, Vinyl features live music almost every night of the week and it’s often free!  To say that Chris is a Dave Matthews fan would be an understatement.  DMB is his self-professed most favorite band in the world and I’m actually a huge Dave fan myself, so when he asked me to come down to the show and snap some photos for their marketing efforts, I was thrilled to accommodate the request.  It was a joy to be able to capture him playing the (extremely difficult) songs of his music idol.

In addition to Dad’s LPs and Big Eyed Fish, Chris also plays with The Diva Kings.   You can catch the Diva Kings next at Redwood Winery in Plymouth, CA on August 8th.

Big Eyed FishBig Eyed FishBig Eyed FishBig Eyed FishBig Eyed FishBig Eyed FishBig Eyed FishBig Eyed FishBig Eyed FishBig Eyed FishBig Eyed Fish

Janelle Monae

SXSW Photographer | SXSW Sneak Peek

Remember that time that I went to see Alt-J and Phoenix and Joan Jett surprised the crowd by showing up and playing a set and I said it was the best night of my life?  I think this one may have topped it.

Janelle Monae is a verified Bad Ass with capital letters.  Story and more photos to come when I get home!

GaryClarkJR-2120

Tahoe Concert Photographer | Gary Clark JR

I’ve been a huge fan of Gary Clark JR every since we stumbled upon him at Voodoo Music Festival a few years ago in New Orleans.   Clark’s blend of bluesy fuzzy guitar mixed with smooth vocals is simply amazing.  I’m surprised I hadn’t ever come across him while living in Austin, as he was born and raised there, honing his musical chops in iconic locations like Antone’s.  His recent album Black and Blu is an absolute delight and I highly recommend it.

Clark came through Tahoe South a few months (okay 6) ago while on tour opening for Dave Matthews Band.   It was nice to have a bit of my hometown in my [new] hometown.

_DSC7791

SXSW 2014 Preview

I’m back in Texas to photograph for SXSW for the 2nd year in a row.  I know what’s coming for me: loads of amazing new music, beer, and very little sleep.  It’s an awesome time and it all starts this Saturday.

I’ve been attempting to prepare myself by drinking a lot and pre-listening to the SXSW “Four on the Floor” Preview Lists.  Here are a couple of acts I discovered on there that I’m super excited to see:

  • I became super obsessed with Juliette Ashby’s voice the moment I heard the first song.  Her blend of R&B, Reggae and Neo-Soul isn’t something I would have ever pegged myself for being attracted to, but I’m hooked.

  • The Mighty Oaks may be confused since they are playing Americana-Folk but hail from Berlin, Germany but I’m not confused about how awesome their music is.

  • Ski Lodge: pop fun for a bluebird powder day.  Right up my alley.

  • Pompeya is a pop blend of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

  • Shakey Graves has been making headlines outside of his hometown of Austin, TX: headlines loud enough that his reputation precedes him and he’s now on my must-see list for the week.

  • Elle King mades waves last year at SXSW but I unfortunately missed catching one of her shows.  I will not make the same mistake again this year!

DMB.Harveys-5346

Tahoe Concert Photographer | Dave Matthews Band

When I was in high school, my good friend James bequeathed to me a copy of Dave Matthews Band‘s first studio album.   Under the Table and Dreaming completely changed the way I listened to music.  I was a typical music listener for a teen: radio obsessed and repetitive.  With my introduction to this album, I was ushered into a world of complexities and layers like I hadn’t heard before.  It was my start of musical appreciation.   Under the Table and Dreaming remains, to this day, one of my favorite albums of all time, book-ended by Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Ryan Adam’s Gold, and LCD Soundsystem’s self-titled debut.

After that, I spent a good portion of my high school summers touring DMB shows, from city to city, where every night they would play completely different sets and completely different songs, all the while managing to sound like an orchestra was on stage.  I can say with 100% confidence that I have seen more DMB concerts than any other band in the short history of my life.

I loved their shows and while I hadn’t seen one in over ten years, the moment Dave started playing and tapping his toes, I was transported back in time.  I had briefly doubted if the DMB I heralded in my head after all this time would live up to the musical memories of my nostalgic mind and instantaneously this idea was proved totally baseless.

Dave Matthews Band was an impeccable gorgeous spirited show when I was young and he is the same today.  While no album of his may live up to the aggressive complicated ambitiousness of Under the Table and Dreaming, his catalog of music remains impressive, varied and filled with everything crowd pleasing jingles to southern rock ballads.

After this experience, I’m not sure if any band I photograph for the rest of my life will live up to Dave Matthews Band.  The unparalleled excitement I felt in that photo pit was fueled by awe and devotion.

Dave Matthews was and clearly still remains the King of my Satellite Castle.  I may not purchase all his music anymore, but he proved his place on a pedestal in my musical library.

Thank you Tahoe South for the opportunity to photograph my musical legend.

_DSC4596

Tahoe Concert Photography | Brad Paisley, Lee Brice & Chris Young

Woah.  Did Brad Paisley ever throw me for a loop.  The stage, which is always the same massive set up at the Harvey’s Outdoor Amphitheater, was completely and totally different for this show.  Where there is normally a nice long photo pit, there was none.  Where there normally is a nice long walk way, there was none.  Where there is normally wide open dance floor, there was a long semi circular stage extension with a walking path into the crowd and no way to cross back and forth quickly from one side of the stage to the other.  The end result: pick a side of the stage and hope for the best.

I didn’t take my wide angle this time which I immediately regretted, even though it’s usually not fast enough for concerts, the lights were exceedingly bright on this show and it would have worked.

I picked the wrong side of the stage for Paisley but managed to get one shot that I’m proud of.

_DSC4596

Here’s a few others from the evening that include opening bands Lee Brice and Chris Young.  You can check out all of my photos from the night over at the Tahoe South Flickr Page.

Sara Dancing

Live at Lakeview: Week 8 Wrap-Up

Live at Lakeview: Week 8

The lake was on fire this week with Lavish Green.

Tahoe’s favorite local band reunited and the party was a welcome respite, if not constant reminder, of the smoke that has filled the Tahoe Basin.  A little smoke can’t keep Tahoe down though and the crowds still came out to dance and celebrate.  Sadly, I wasn’t in attendance as I was slinging spandex in Texas at the Hotter than Hell 100 and running half marathons, but I’ll tell you all about that in another post.

This week brings the last week of Live at Lakeview with Arden Park Roots, a killer rock/reggae band out of Sacramento, and The Island of Black and White, a rock, reggae and soul outfit that calls the hills of El Dorado home.   I recently saw Arden Park Roots play a show at Steamers and they had everyone up and dancing, even the kiddos, with both original music and their super fun reggae influenced covers of some of my favorite 90’s songs.  Smokey or not, this is a show not to be missed!

Sadly, this is the last Live at Lakeview show for the summer.  Please ride your bike and utilize the free bike valet or find plenty of parking at the SLT Parks and Recreation Department on Rufus Allen Blvd.  The proceeds of all sales of alcohol from the beer garden support the series and I encourage you to either imbibe in the garden or make a donation in one of the donation boxes around the Commons Area on the night you attend.  As always, Live at Lakeview is a free community event.  Please be aware of the following city ordinances in Lakeview Commons Park: no dogs, no outside alcohol and no smoking.

Can’t make the event?  Never fear!  Thanks to the support of Tahoe Production House and Stage It Live Video Cast, you can watch the live stream from home every Thursday night!  For more information on how to watch the live stream of the weekly Live at Lakeview Events, head to the official website.

You can see all the photos from weeks 1-7 at Live at Lakeview via this link.  You can find my weekly wrap ups, photos and previews of the concerts here on Tahoe South.

What you missed in this summer’s Live at Lakeview Series:

Week 1: 4 Piece Puzzle and Jelly Bread

Week 2: Tracorum and American Jubilee

Week 3: Naive Melodies and Ashley Kepler

Week 4: Lonesome Locomotive and Achilles Wheel

Week 5: Vokab Company Gets Rained Out

Week 6: One Track Mind and 40 Watt Hype

Week 7: Congress