Cool island reggae vibes and more wafted over the outdoors venue at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa on a warm Lake Tahoe Friday evening. So much dancing and singing along with the four bands. Fun. Fun. Fun.
Every band on this bill delivered great performances, as if checking in from paradise.
Katastro was the opener and although most folks in Tahoe were seeing them for the first time, they did have fans singing with their tunes. A solid performance from the four-piece band hailing from Phoenix, Arizona. Tiffany Tio, my partner in photography, was inspired to go buy a CD during their last song. We both really enjoyed them. The crowd liked them as well. Attendees were still piling into the venue, but Katastro gave the audience a great set.
Fortunate Youth was up next and this band has a very healthy following. The Youth were happy to be a part of the lineup even though they have been headliners themselves. What struck me the most was how almost every member changed instruments and played them well. They had Pepper come out and join them for a song, pumping up the crowd.
Pepper has been the salt of the earth — and the reggae-rock scene — for some time now and the power trio from Hawaii continues to grow and get better. Pepper and Iration at Lake Tahoe — who would miss this?! The gents give a high energy performance for more than an hour, as co-headliners of the Live from Paradise tour. They had members from each band join them onstage. Great to see the family vibe and love shared.
And then came Iration, ready to drop a “Time Bomb” on the crowd. I have seen this band most times it comes through the area, and this night they blew me away. The reggae-rock evangelists gave the crowd their all and said they added extra song to the set list just for Tahoe.
These guys have a big following, especially in this neck of the woods. The place was packed by the time Iration went on and you could barely walk through. At one point, the lights went out and the band kept playing — folks were turning on their cell phones to light up the stage. It was illuminating.
They covered Tom Petty’s “Last Dance with Mary Jane,” having the horns playing the hook in the chorus. It was a great take on the classic song. Another time people held up their cell phones — this time being asked — was for the acoustic performance of “Fallin.’ ” It was a great night, all told, Live from Paradise.
— Pheonix Gruneich