Live at Lakeview closes out with Tahoe flavors

Tahoe Onstage
South Lake Tahoe’s Wesley Orsolic Band headlines the Live at Lakeview finale.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Summer at Tahoe this year seemed as short as a walk from the Lakeview Commons steps across the beach and into the lake.

Live at Lakeview’s sixth season, which for the first time featured Lake Tahoe filled to the rim, ends Thursday with its tradition of presenting local bands. Miki Rae and Robbie Dub hit the stage at 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by the Wesley Orsolic Band.

Miki Rae and Robbie Dub are the next generation of Lavish Green, the popular South Shore band that played the first five Live at Lakeview seasons. Singer Miki is a 17-year-old senior at Douglas High School and Robbie “Dub” Wheeler, 16, is a junior who plays ukulele, guitar and cajon. The duo will be accompanied by Lavish Green members Rob Wheeler Sr., a bass player, and saxophonist Seth Hall. Lifelong South Shore resident and musician E.J. Hixenbaugh will play drums.

“Miki has been writing songs for four years,” Rob Sr. said before rehearsal on Tuesday. “When Robbie joined, his ukulele gave the music an island vibe.”

The duo has played at the Nevada Museum of Tahoe Art in Reno, a winery in Livermore and, as it will Thursday after opening Live at Lakeview, Tahoe Ale WorX.

Tahoe Onstage
At the 2016 Live at Lakeview, Robbie Wheeler Jr. plays ukulele as Chris Sanchez sings “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Rob Sr. and Joel Gruneich are in the background.
Tim Parsons / Live at Lakeview

Robbie Jr. was destined to be a musician.

“He was a late arrival,” Wheeler Sr. said.” (His mother) stood next to the subwoofer at Niro’s in the old Caesars Tahoe hoping that would shake him out. I was burping Robbie to the sound of Lavish Green.”

Headliner The Wesley Orsolic Band opened last year’s Live at Lakeview finale. Earlier this summer, it released a mostly instrumental album, “Front Seats,” a fusion of blues, jazz and funk.

“Man, we’re ready to kick some butt,” Orsolic said. “We are very excited about this show.”

Orsolic chooses his notes wisely.

“I try to think and feel what I’m going to do next,” he said. “With my phrasing I try to play a story with meaningful notes. You can learn these licks and pile them up and impress people for a second, but it’s boring after a while. I like to work with the skeleton of a song with the harmonies and rhythm to back you up, but don’t play it the same way so it’s fresh every time.”

The Wesley Orsolic Band is a Forte Awards nominee for Best R&B/Funk/Soul Band.

Lowell Wilson plays keyboards, Reuben Thompson plays bass and Liz Broscoe plays drums.

Orsolic compared Broscoe’s musicianship to that of Steve Gadd, a 1984 Modern Drummer Hall of Fame inductee.

“I’ve played with many drummers around Europe and here in the United States,” Orsolic said. “A lot have great technique but their groove suffers. Liz’s style serves the song. She has the best groove. She has an ability that is rare to find. She can do anything but she chooses not to if it’s not necessary. She won’t overload a song.”

Held at Lakeview Commons in South Lake Tahoe, Live at Lakeview was highlighted this summer by the Scott Pemberton Band, Afrolicious, Diego’s Umbrella and Lutan Fyah & The Riddim Rebels.

Miki Rae is a 17-year-old singer-songwriter

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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