_DSC2989

Countdown to Snowglobe: Act Like a Local

Snowglobe Music Festival is returning to Tahoe for it’s third year and it’s not too late to join in on the fun.  Three day passes and single day tickets are still on sale.   If you haven’t made your plans yet, here are my recommendations to make the most of your Tahoe South experience.

STAY

  • $$$ The Stardust Lodge is always a favorite recommendation of mine, not just for it’s quirky lovable retro sign: it’s striking distance from the casinos, but it’s not a casino itself, allowing guests the value and location of staying in our nightlife corridor, but not sleeping with it.
  • $$$ Basecamp Hotel in Tahoe South is a new boutique hotel built for exploring the incredible lakes, trails, and mountains in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Located in the heart of the casino corridor, it’s a short 5 minute walk to the lake and an even shorter 4 minute walk to the Heavenly Gondola. Their 50 stylish rooms are designed for adventure and relaxation seekers alike, with the amenities and style of a modern resort, but at more affordable motel or inn-like prices.   At the time of this posting they still had one room left!
  • $$ Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa still has a handful of rooms left for you to ring in the New Year.   It is the official location for the Snowglobe Afterparties as well as the drop off and pick up location for the Snowglobe Shuttle, which will make your visit to Tahoe South and to Snowglobe a breeze.
  • $$ The Park Tahoe Inn is a fantastic choice if you are bringing fido along. It’s one of Tahoe South’s premier pet friendly accommodations.  The Inn is walking distance from the Heavenly Gondola, one block from Nevada casinos and two blocks from Lake Tahoe and offers the best in amenities, including Tempur-Pedic Beds and two outside terraces with fire-pits.

EAT

  • The Keys Cafe is my go-to to-go breakfast joint: their breakfast burritos and sandwiches are to die for, they have quality coffee, and an extensive menu of inventive smoothies (to rehydrate you after a late night of too much fun) or one of their fresh hot soups made daily (to keep you warm).  For those of you with a sweet tooth, make sure you try one of their Swedish Snowballs, a family recipe brought out just for this event.  On Hwy 50 at Keys Blvd.
  • Simple Bliss Vegan Cafe in the Swiss Chalet Village is open daily from 6 AM to 4 PM, and is Tahoe’s only vegan restaurant, offering locally grown organic produce.  Hwy 50 and Sierra Blvd.
  • Sprouts Natural Food Cafe near Lakeview Commons on Harrison Ave offers organic, delicious and affordable food and juices. The Classic Burrito and the A.T.O.M. Bagel are my personal favorites. Don’t forget to bring cash because your plastic won’t work here!

Basecamp Pizza has great service, fun and lively atmosphere and the best pizza in Tahoe South.

  • Basecamp Pizza in the Heavenly Village has a pie that will please every palette and a variety of beers on tap.   If it’s sunny and warm, sit on the patio and enjoy a meal or play a game of cornhole while you wait!  The

PLAY

Wait, you don’t like skiing?  If Snowglobe brought you to Tahoe but shredding it up on the mountain isn’t on your list of must-do’s, here are some alternative ways to spend your day in Tahoe South if you managed to actually wake up at a decent hour feeling marginally sparky.

  • Snowmobiling is available from a number of different vendors and your options include both self-guided tours and scenic back country adventures.
  • Zip Tahoe offers Tahoe’s only canopy zip line tour and is located at Kirkwood Mountain Resort.
  • Snowshoe rentals are available on site at most of our most popular and scenic snowshoe areas. You may also rent snowshoes at most of the local ski and snowboard rental shops in town.
  • Shop like a local at Gaialicious, a global gifts boutique, which offers an eclectic fusion of gifts, clothing, body care products, music and books. The store supports fair trade and eco friendly products and offers the widest selection of goods from local Tahoe artisans of any other shop in town. 987 Tallac Ave at Harrison Avenue.

Ring in the New Year with friends in Tahoe South!

SURVIVING THE FEST

  • DO NOT DRIVE to the festival.  There is NO PARKING on site.  There is NO PARKING in the adjacent neighborhood.  You must purchase a shuttle pass and take a shuttle from the various locations around South Lake Tahoe or call a cab. The shuttle will be running exclusively from MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa to the fest this year.

  • Dress warm. No seriously. This isn’t the Black Rock Desert and we aren’t at burning man.  Snowsuits optional.  If you must wear a ridiculous skirt, make sure you put some polypropylene base layers under those tights.  Buy those super cheap disposable hand and toe warmers at the grocery store.  You’ll be the only person there with warm toes and you won’t regret it.
  • Drink water. You’re from sea level? Drink three times as much water as you think you need. Those of us who live at altitude love to watch those of you from sea level get tipsy on one beer. It happens.
  • Look around you. Holy snow covered peaks Batman!  It’s gorgeous in Tahoe and you’re at an outdoor music fest with thousands of excited people to ring in the New Year.  You made a wise choice my friend. Haven’t bought your ticket yet?  Better snap that three day pass up quick like!  It will sell out and you’ll be left out in the cold with no music.  Instead of in the cold with music.  See what I did there.

_DSC1724

Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry | Tahoe Concert Photography

Prior to this concert I had no idea who Rascal Flatts or The Band Perry was.

Don’t worry, I was certainly admonished by many for this.  My mother apparently really likes to Jazzersize to them and obviously everyone in Texas knows who they are but since I’ve not really been in Texas for 8 years now, I somehow missed the boat on this one.

Kimberly Perry of the Band Perry knows how to work her stage.

The Band Perry is this little super group of siblings whose smartest move in the world may have been to brand themselves a “country band.”  Kimberly, the eldest, is a mere 30 but looks 10 years younger.  Her brothers, Reid and Neil are merely 25 and 23.  How one family ends up with such a powerhouse of pop stars under one roof perplexes me.  The kids apparently cut their chops performing in rodeos as children, with brother’s Neil and Reid opening for Kimberly’s solo act.

Reid is responsible for bass guitar and background vocals.

  The star of the band is certainly Kimberly, who struts, dances and makes use of the entire stage as if she were a performer who’d been doing this for three times as long.  Her voice is powerful and her stage presence is fantastic.  It may not be my kind of music, but it is certainly an entertaining show.  These kids aren’t country per say…unless you want to call it “radio country.”  They are essentially a pop band who have managed to market themselves to their advantage in the country realm and they are doing a very good job of it.  Their show is big, bold and befitting of any major pop outfit.

Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry

Rascal Flatts is an American country group comprsed of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney.  They are backed by a five piece band, confusingly hidden way in the back of of the elaborate set.  From The Band Perry to Rascal Flatts, this entire show was BIG BIG BIG: big screens, big lights, big production all around on both band’s accounts.

Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts.

I didn’t stay for the entire show, mostly because I was starving, but what I did see of it was pretty entertaining, and not just from the band.  The concert goers, clad with big hair that reminds me of home, high waisted shorts and cowboy boots, were just as much of a sight to behold as the shows.

Joe Don Rooney.

You can see all my photos from The Band Perry’s set via this link and from the Rascal Flatts’ set via this link to the Tahoe South Concert Photos on Flickr to see my photos from all of this summer’s concerts all summer long.

_DSC1852

From L to R: Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox, and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts.

_DSC2604

Live at Lakeview: Week 5 Wrap-Up

Live at Lakeview: Week 5

It rained on my parade!

Not really, but sort of.

I had one of the most perfect days off planned: I was going to get up leisurely, drink coffee, edit some photos and write some blog posts, go run 11 miles, gorge myself on pizza at the Tahoe Chamber of Commerce Member Lunch at Basecamp Pizza in the Heavenly Village, get my toes done as a post long run treat at my favorite nail salon Perfectly Polished, and then head to the beach to do some recreating and listen to amazing tunes from Vokab Kompany for Live at Lakeview.  Does that not sound like the most perfect day ever?!?

I was sitting in the nail salon when out of nowhere, completely unbeknownst to all of us since the weather report called for no such thing as rain, the heavens opened up and it started pouring.  The bride sitting across from me made a face and was doing a very good job of not panicking.  I told her that it was good luck for it to rain on her wedding day.  I don’t think she believed me.  Regardless, I was stoked to hear that her photographer was my wedding photography idol in Tahoe: Brandi Schlagel of Indigo Photography.

So, Live at Lakeview was rained out.  I’m pretty sure the bride’s wedding was not, however.  Her wedding was scheduled for 6 she said and the skies definitely parted for her ceremony.

_DSC2604

Instead, the Girls Drinking Club ended up at the Fresh Ketch happy hour, which happens Monday-Friday from 3 to 6 PM and offers $2 oysters and $5 glasses of house wine.

The Live at Lakeview party was moved to Tep’s Villa Roma but I was a bit worn out from the past two weeks so I decided to call it a night with a bottle of wine, my computer and the first season of Game of Thrones.  I know.  I am REALLY behind the times you guys.  That’s how crazy my life is.

Live at Lakeview is back on next week with The Polyrhythmics who will be serving up their awesome blend of modern afro-beat and syncopated, horn-driven funk.

Check out free music here in Tahoe South every Thursday from 4:30-8:30 PM at Lakeview Commons from June 20th-August 29th.  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 1-4 at Live at Lakeview via this link.  You can find my weekly wrap ups, photos and previews of the next concert all summer long here and 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

1077267_557095211003805_1511024327_o

Atmosphere and Slightly Stoopid | Tahoe Concert Photography

Last week the Kickin’ Up Dust Summer Tour came through Tahoe.  While I’m not a huge fan of the headliner, Slightly Stoopid, I am a huge fan of Atmosphere.  Atmosphere is an American hip-hop group from Minneapolis comprised of Sean Daley, otherwise known as Slug, and DJ/Producer Anthony “Ant” Davis.

Slightly Stoopid hails from San Diego, CA and have self described their music as a “fusion of folk, rock, reggae and blues with hip-hop, funk, metal and punk.”  They def brought the crowd with them: the Montbleu Outdoor Events Center was more packed and chaotic than I have ever seen it before.

The Slightly Stoopid set was the hardest concert I’ve ever shot: the lights at the front of the stage were super dim and the boys wore ball caps, which kept most of their face in complete darkness.   I did the best with what I had!

You can see all the photos from the Atmosphere set via this link and from the Slightly Stoopid set via this link.  As always, head over to the Visit Tahoe South Facebook page to keep on top of my photos from the entire summer concert series at both Montbleu and Harvey’s, all summer long!

_DSC0521

B-52s and KC and the Sunshine Band | Tahoe Concert Photography

Photographing the B-52’s and KC and the Sunshine Band was one of the more exciting things I’ve ever done in my life.  So colorful!  So dance-filled!  So energetic!

_DSC0900

The B-52’s just celebrated their 35 anniversary as a band.  Can you believe that?  Kate is older than my mother and let me tell you, she is still rockin’ the love shack.  While it took a little while for Fred to loosen up on stage, by the end of the set he was movin’ and a groovin’ with the best of them.  I haven’t danced that much since my birthday party!

_DSC0798The Montbleu Outdoor Events Center was the perfect venue for their show as well.  I’m loving their set up: a huge grass filled lawn with plenty of room for all the patrons to dance and move about (no chairs!) and even better, Lagunitas on tap!

_DSC0443

Although KC hasn’t aged quite as gracefully as Kate and Fred, KC and the Sunshine Band was still a killer show.  He was wonderfully self-deprecating, joking that once upon a time he was “today’s Justin Beiber.”  He had a full band backing him and 4 gorgeous ladies who kept the dance moves going through multiple costume changes.  It was the perfect warm-up for the B-52s: one song in and the entire audience was already shakin’ their groove thang.

_DSC0434

You can see all my photos from the B-52s set via this link and from KC and the Sunshine band via this link.  All of my photos from this summer’s outdoor concert series at both Montbleu and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe will be posted up on the Visit Lake Tahoe South page on facebook so head there to like them so you’ll get first looks!

KC Montage

Live at Lakeview: Week 4 Wrap-Up

Live at Lakeview: Week 4

Sara Dancing

Achilles Wheel and Lonesome Locomotive took to the stage this past week with melodies of American folk, blues and rock.  I unfortunately couldn’t stay for the entire event because I had to run down to Montbleu to photograph another concert there but from the looks of volunteer photographer Larry Sabo’s photos, it was a feet-stompin’ good time as always.

_DSC1221

Paul Kamm, part of headliner Achilles Wheel, took to the stage last Thursday night for another amazing Live at Lakeview!

I am SUPER excited about this week’s bands!  Headliner Vokab Kompany is no stranger to Tahoe and these MCs from San Diego have built up quite a following here with their special blend of electronic, hip-hop, soul and funk.  Their super dynamic sound has garnered them the title of “best hip-hop group” at the San Diego Music Awards for three years in a row now.

_DSC1199

There’s no better night to post up on the beach of Lake Tahoe with your friends than on Thursdays!!

Check out free music here in Tahoe South every Thursday from 4:30-8:30 PM at Lakeview Commons from June 20th-August 29th.  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.  They have asked me to remind their patrons this week of the city ordinances in Lakeview Commons Park: no dogs, no outside alcohol and no smoking.

Openers Lonesome Locomotive had the crowd grooving early in the afternoon last Thursday.

Openers Lonesome Locomotive had the crowd grooving early in the afternoon last Thursday.

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.

_DSC1226

Jonny Mojo of Achilles Wheel.

You can see all the photos from weeks 1-4 at Live at Lakeview via this link.  You can find my weekly wrap ups, photos and previews of the next concert all summer long here and 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

_DSC1724

Tahoe Concert Photography | Preview

I know I’ve been like this a lot this week but…

WOAH.

Shooting The Band Perry and Rascal Flatts last night was WAY intense.

It was definitely the biggest show I’ve been able to shoot and it was the first time I’ve ever felt limited by my equipment.  We were only allowed to shoot two songs for Rascal Flatts (you’re normally allowed to shoot the first three songs as a concert photographer) and then we were escorted in and out.  It was pretty wild and having only prime lenses rather than my dream 24-70 mm set up made the shorter time restriction hard to deal with.

I’m not super jazzed on the photos I got, but they’ll do.  Here’s a sneak peek of The Band Perry to tide you over until next week.

_DSC1724

Neil, Kimberly and Reid Perry of The Band Perry rocked out the Harvey’s Outdoor Amphitheater last night while opening for the Rascal Flatts.

_DSC8584

Tahoe Concert Photography | 2nd Annual Montbleu Reggae Fest

I thought that I hated reggae but I never turn down an opportunity to shoot a show.

Passafire plays with no relief from the sun in the middle of the day at the Montbleu Reggae Fest.

After an entire day at the 2nd Annual Montbleu Reggae fest I can emphatically say that I do not hate reggae, but I still hate bluegrass.

The crowd gets pumped for Alpha Blondy.

The best part about a reggae fest is that everyone is so mellow and chilled out that even when you run into them, they apologize, even though they’ve done nothing.

Alpha Blondy has been recording music since 1982. He sings in French and English.

During the heat wave that was happening apparently all over the country last week, Tahoe was reaching record temps and we all thought we were melting.  I made it a point to skip a few of the openers because I didn’t think I would make it all day long in the heat and the sun.  Full disclosure: if it’s over 83 in Tahoe, I think that I’m dying.

The ladies of Alpha Blondy heat up the crowd.

I was surprised at how much brass was included in the bands and you know I’m a sucker for brass of any kind.

Hellman Escorcia of SOJA on one of my favorite instruments!

The headliners, SOJA, are from Arlington, VA and had amazing energy.  I really enjoyed their show (I will admit my surprise).   They’ve been playing as a band since 1997 and you can tell from their stage presence.

Jacob Hemphill, lead guitar and vocals of SOJA.

Overall, I had SUCH a blast at the Reggae Fest.  Double bonus: The Yum Truck was on sight to feed me street corn and tacos AND Montbleu was serving Lagunitas Ale on draft!

Trevor Young of SOJA on guitar.

You can check out all my photos from the day via this link or over at the Tahoe South Facebook Page.

 

_DSC3776

Race the Lake of the Sky: Tahoe SUP Fest

Last year, Lakeview Commons hosted Tahoe’s first ever international SUP competition.  The event featured two days of individual races and team relay events under the gorgeous blue skys of Lake Tahoe.  This year, Race the Lake of the Sky returns with numerous events, including instructional clinics by world class paddlers Candace Appleby and Anthony Vela, as well as various race events including short course, long distance, team relay, grom races and the new SUP Cross Sprint course!  You can demo paddle boards from a variety of companies and there will be vendors, food booths, and music on site.

Race the Lake of the Sky takes over Lakeview Commons this year on June 29-30, 2013

I attended and can say with confidence that even if you aren’t a SUP’er, you’ll enjoy sitting in the sun and watching the festivities.  It’s a great way to spend time on the beach with your family and enjoy the gorgeous views that Lake Tahoe has to offer.

Stand Up Paddle Board relay racers take to Lake Tahoe in this two day event.

More information on the event can be found via their facebook page and website.

Read my write-up of last year’s Race the Lake of the Sky here.

Race the Lake of the Sky will be held on June 29-30, 2013 at Lakeview Commons at the Corner of Hwy 50 and Lakeview Ave.  There is limited street parking available on site but tons of parking just across the street at the SLT Parks and Recreation Department on Rufus Allen Blvd.

Damion Estrada and his trophy from the 2012 Race the Lake of the Sky.

_DSC3979

Live at Lakeview 2013!

“Good music, good vibes, good times!”

_DSC3884

Live at Lakeview, my favorite Tahoe South Summer Event returns this week and I am ecstatic.  I can’t wait to listen to great music, eat and drink, and watch the sun go down with the rest of my community.  This year, On Course Events hopes to create a series that is more interactive, has a bigger bike valet, more vendors, and a “festival feel.”   Also included in the event this summer is food vendors, which is fantastic!

Live at Lakeview is still looking for volunteers to keep the season rolling smoothly and the Lakeview Commons area spick and span.  One lucky volunteer will win a Riviera Standup Paddle Board (donated by South Tahoe SUP).  Available volunteer opportunities include Beach Cleanup Crew, which will meet Monday and Friday mornings, the Vibe Squad, Event Crew, Security and Photographers and Videographers. If you would like to help Live at Lakeview this summer, you may contact them directly at Liveatlakeview@gmail.com or head over to their facebook page.

Live at Lakeview kicks off this Thursday, June 20th at 4:30 PM with Jelly Bread and 4 Piece Puzzle.  I’m not stranger to 4 Piece Puzzle, which happens to be fronted by some friends of mine.

4 Piece Puzzle is rocks out with groove, funk, and soul. They know how to have a good time!

Jelly Bread, voted “Tahoe’s Band of the Year” but the Lake Tahoe Action in 2012, plays a blend of funk, soul and America.  While I’ve heard the buzz about them, I haven’t yet had the good fortune of seeing them live.   Jelly Bread, fronted by award-winning songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and lap steel player, Dave Berry, along side songwriter, vocalist and beast of a drummer, Cliff Porter, has had a busy year, touring the Western US and opening for the likes of Dumpstaphunk, Rusted Root, JJ Grey and Mofro and more.

Jelly Bread’s brand of funk and soul is thoroughly steeped in a Rock-Americana style and has been described as “musically delicious.”

As always, Live at Lakeview is a free community event.  Check out free music here at Tahoe South every Thursday from 4:30-8:30 PM at Lakeview Commons from June 20th-August 29th.

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.

You can find my weekly wrap ups, photos and previews of the next concert all summer long here and on Tahoe South.