Brad Paisley kicks off summer concert series; Aerosmith is next

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Brad Paisley transcends country music with his superb guitar work. Above, he performs at Tahoe in 2013. Paisley is back June. 11.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Lake Tahoe’s summers are famous for blue skies and water and this year it will include Browne and Paisley.

The 11-show Lake Tahoe Summer Concert Series at Harveys Outdoor Arena opens Thursday, June 11 with Brad Paisley.

Paisley, who last appeared here in 2013, will follow onstage Justin Moore and Mickey Guyton. He released the album “Moonshine in the Trunk” in 2014 and later this year will open for the Rolling Stones Nashville stop on its “Zip Code Tour.”

“Of all the country superstars, he’s the real musician among them,” said Director of Entertainment John Packer.


Steven Tyler and Aerosmith return to Harveys for the second straight year.
Jim Grant / Harrah’s and Harveys

Steven Tyler, who recently collaborated with Paisley, also is a fan.

While Tyler is working on a solo country album, he, of course, is best known as the front man for Aerosmith, which will appear at Tahoe July 3, its second concert at Harveys in as many years.

“That show knocked me out,” Packer said. “The energy in the show was amazing, with great presentation and I expect them to hit it out of the park again.”

Reno’s KOZZ radio personality Max Volume will open the show.

“Max must be on the moon,” Packer said.

While the weekend of the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament historically coincides with a country music concert, a group of Las Vegas rockers will perform July 18. “Imagine Dragons just took off a couple of years ago and now they are playing arenas and are one of the hottest alt rock, or new rock, bands,” Packer said. “NBC is pleased we are doing something a little different.”

Harveys outdoor concertgoers are known to arrive fashionably late, which is a mistake for those who could someday say, “I saw them when.” Up and comers Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban both opened at Tahoe shows.

Matt Nathanson will open for Train and The Fray on July 21.

“That’s a good package and I suggest people get there early to see the whole show,” Packer said.

Train will be on its “The Picasso at the Wheel Summer Tour.” The San Francisco-based Train also appeared in 2014 at Harveys, along with scores of orange and black-clad Giants fans. Train has appeared multiple times at AT&T Park and with the Giants winning a third World Series title, expect another festive gathering of like-minded Northern California music and sports fans at Lake Tahoe.

Elton John plays at Lake Tahoe on Aug. 8.

Elton John plays at Lake Tahoe on Aug. 8.

“On his “Big Revival Tour,” Kenny Cheney will be at Harveys for the third time. His shows are always high-energy and sold out.

“He does that country Jimmy Buffett thing with ocean breezes,” Packer said.

Jackson Browne will meet Tahoe blue during a year he spends traveling around the world. The singer-songwriter will perform at Aug. 7. Before making it to the Sierra Nevada, Browne will make a worldwide tour which began March 9 in Nagoya, Japan and continues through July 6 in Madrid, Spain before returning to the United States. He has a new album, “Standing in the Breach.”

“A lot of people don’t realize that all the songs that he wrote for other people as well as himself,” Packer said. “He wrote ‘Take It Easy’ (with Glenn Frey). He was there from the beginning of the whole country rock thing with Poco and the (Flying Burrito Brothers) and the Eagles.”

The Eagles and Elton John received two of the highest purses in the concert series, Packer said.

Sir Elton, 68,will be back on Aug. 8. There is only one band lineup change since the show five years ago. Matt Bissonette has replaced Bob Birch on bass. The other members are Nigel Olsson on drums, part of Elton’s original three-piece band, as well as musical director Davey Johnstone (who first recorded with Elton in 1971 and joined the band in a year later) on guitar, John Mahon on percussion, and Kim Bullard on keyboards.

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Miles Doughty of Slightly Stoopid
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Three California reggae bands will appear on Aug. 13: Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads and Stick Figure. Slightly Stoopid made the request to return to Harveys. The 6:30 p.m. start is the earliest of the series.

One of country music’s fastest climbing artists, Dierks Bentley, will appear Aug. 23 on the most crowded bill of summer with Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith. Bentley received seven Country Music Award nominations, the most of any male artist.

The summer series is not complete without an appearance by Sammy Hagar, and “the Circle” will not be unbroken in 2015. Appearing Sept. 5, it will be Sammy Hagar and the Circle featuring Vic Johnson, Michael Anthony and Jason Bonham, who last summer played a moving, rocking and rolling tribute to his father, John Bonham, the drummer of Led Zeppelin.

Johnson is the former lead guitarist of the Bus Boys.

“Vic’s a really nice guy,” Hager said “He’s mellow but when he gets on stage, he blazes. Sammy’s smart enough to get the best guitarists he can find to play his songs.”

The series concludes Wednesday, Sept. 9 with the Dave Matthews Band, which was the first show announced last winter. The Dave Matthews Band will play an acoustic and an electric set.

“It’s going to be all the Dave Matthews you could ever hope for,” Packer said. “We’d been trying to get the Dave Matthews Band since the beginning of the series in 2002. Now we get him twice in three years. He has a huge collection of hit songs and his band is also terrific.”

Vic cell phone.

A fan with a cell phone captures Vic Johnson’s image as he plays a solo. Tim Parsons Tahoe Onstage image

When the Seattle-based band performed at Harveys in 2013 it had a surprise guest appearance by Roger Smith, a former South Lake Tahoe resident. Smith, who plays keyboards for Tower of Power, appeared on Matthews’ CD “Away From The Word.”  The 2013 concert at Tahoe sold out quickly.

This year Dave Matthews, Elton John, Aerosmith and Brad Paisley already are “virtual” sellouts, meaning only a handful of tickets will open up for sale again on the day of the show.

  • Lake Tahoe Summer Concert Series
    Harveys Outdoor Arena

  • June 11 (6:30 p.m.) Brad Paisley (openers: Justin Moore / Mickey Guyton) $69.50 to $135.50*
  • July 3 (7 p.m.) Aerosmith (opener: Max Volume Band $89.50 to $235.50* 
  • July 18 (8:30 p.m.) Imagine Dragons $89.50 to $179.50*
  • July 21 (7 p.m.) Train, The Fray, Matt Nathanson $49.50 to $99.50* 
  • July 22 (8 p.m.) Kenny Chesney (opener: Chase Rice) $79.50 to $149.50*
  • Aug. 7 (8 p.m.) Jackson Browne $39.50 to $89.50* 
  • Aug. 8 (8 p.m.) An Evening with Elton John $99.50 to $255.50*
  • Aug. 13 (6:30 p.m.) Slightly Stoopid (openers: Dirty Heads, Stick Figure) $37.50 
  • Aug. 23 (6:30 p.m.) Dierks Bentley (openers: Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae, Canaan Smith) $59.50 to $99.50*
  • Sept. 5 (7:30 p.m.) Sammy Hagar and the Circle featuring Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham & Vic Johnson $69.50* and $75* (door)
  • Sept. 9 (7 p.m.) Dave Matthews Band $85* 
  • Slightly Stoopid, Sammy Hagar and Dave Matthews are GA shows with limited bleacher seating available. Bleacher seating for Dave Matthews is reserved at the same price as GA.
  • *    Prices listed include Nevada Live Entertainment Tax (LET).  Ticketmaster fees will be applied. Tickets sold only thru Ticketmaster Outlets, or

    Train returns to Lake Tahoe this summer.
    Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

    Dave Matthews

    Dave Matthews Tim Parsons/Tahoe Onstage

About 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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