Crown to add more jewels: concert hall expanding

Crown Room
The Crystal Bay Casino was packed for moe. In June, even more fans will be able to attend shows in the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room.

The Crown Room will soon be even greater.

Sixteen booth seats and a satellite bar on the other side of the room will be removed, expanding the Crystal Bay Casino’s larger music venue. With room for 120 additional concertgoers, the capacity will be 750.

Casino Manager Bill Wood said with a larger room, the promoter can attract higher-profile bands. He added negotiations already are under way for some big shows in August.

New Zealand reggae band Katchafire headlined the final concert May 29 with booth seats in the Crown Room. Jackie Greene, who has sold out the venue several times, will play for 750 there for the first time on June 14. Three days later, it will be the Funky Meters, a New Orleans band that includes Art “Papa Funk” Neville and George Porter Jr., two legendary pioneers in funk.

The North Shore dates back to the early 1930s when it was called the Ta-Neva-Ho, later to become Crystal Bay Casino Roger and Elise Norman purchased and renovated the property in 2003.

Shortly afterward, a musical triumvirate was assembled: Wood, promoter Brent Harding of Devildog Productions and sound engineer Blake Beeman. The Lounge Bar, which had a capacity of almost 250, presented live music, including well-known artists such as Gatemouth Brown, John Cleary, the Avett Brothers, Dickey Betts, Todd Snyder, Buddy Miles, Leon Russell, Christopher Cross and Pinetop Perkins. One of the locals who frequented shows there was Incline Village resident Mike Love of the Beach Boys.

The Crown Room formerly housed a bowling alley. After that, it was a restaurant. Love suggested it be converted into a music venue. What is now the Bistro Elise adjacent to the Crown Room was half of the restaurant’s expansive kitchen.

After the center booths were removed in December 2004, the Crown Room became a concert hall. The booths on the right side of the room were removed a few years later. The Lounge Bar was enclosed and renamed the Red Room, which now has a capacity of 100.

The Crown Room has presented numerous acts just before they broke out nationally, such as Gary Clark Jr., Trampled By Turtles, Trombone Shorty, Devil Makes Three and Joe Bonamassa. And, of course, the venue has had  numerous big-time acts such as Dr. John, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Derek Trucks, the Neville Brothers, Drive-By Truckers, Medeski Martin & Wood, Blues Traveler, Blue Oyster Cult, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Los Lonely Boys, Elvin Bishop, Ryan Bingham, Todd Rundgren, The Wreckers, Trampled by Turtles, G Love, Railroad Earth, Matisyahu, Larry Carlton, Eric Johnson, Edgar and Johnny Winter, Robben Ford, the North Mississippi Allstars, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Arc Angels. More musical jewels will be coming soon.

“The room capacity will increase to 750 allowing us to bid on some bands we previously had little chance of securing,” Wood said. “It has already made a difference with some shows that we are 99 percent sure we have in August. I realize that a few folks will be upset, but from a practical standpoint having 16 revenue-producing booth seats did not make sense when we were sold out. Being able to increase our cap by 120 just opens so many more doors.”

  • Crown Room ticketed shows
    with capacity 750
    June 14 – Jackie Greene and Hans Eberbach
    June 17 – The Funky Meters
    June 19 – Donavon Frankenreiter and Tom Curren
    June 25 – Trampled By Turtles
    July 2 – Zepparella
    July 16 – Tainted Love
    July 27 – Steel Pulse
    Aug. 11 – Galactic
    Sept. 4 – Dumpstaphunk
    Sept. 15 – The John Kadlecik Band
    Galactic in Tahoe Onstage

    Tahoe Onstage
    Enjoying a booth seat at the Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room is the Tahoe Onstage crew, from left, Larry Sabo, Kurt Johnson, Tim Parsons, Joan Pilar, Josh Sweigert and Garrett Bethmann.

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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