Sun sets on Live at Lakeview’s fifth summer season

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Robbie Wheeler Jr. plays ukulele as Chris Sanchez sings “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Rob Sr. and Joel Gruneich are in the background. Lavish Green headlined Live at Lakeview’s finale.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Tim Parsons

It was an ohana reunion for Live at Lakeview’s season finale.

In Hawaiian culture, ohana means family in the largest sense of the word — family, friends and community. More than 2,000 members of the South Lake Tahoe family gathered at Lakeview Commons Thursday night for the final free musical celebration of the summer. Old friends reconvened and new friends were made.

Lavish Green, South Shore’s best known and well loved band, and the Wesley Orsolic Band, one of Tahoe’s finest unkown bands, provided the magical tunes in a concert that marked the 51st free show on the beach.

“You are ohana,” Lavish frontman and trumpeter Chris Sanchez told the crowd several times as the rock ‘n’ ska players spilled out familiar tunes.

More than 20 years ago, Bay Area high school buddies Sanchez and Rob Wheeler made the trek to Lake Tahoe as ski bums. They met Joel Gruneich, a townie, and formed Lavish Green, first performing at a house party a few blocks away from Lakeview.

Thursday night, Robbie Wheeler Jr. joined the band onstage as second trumpet, giving Sanchez a “Minute” to sing a song by that title, and on ukulele while the frontman sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” as the sun set behind Mount Tallac. Denver Pullin, a family friend, also backed up on trumpet and Seth Hall provided some serious saxophone chops while drummer Danny Barnes kept the beat.

Wesley Orsolic, who was born in Croatia and studied at the Berkelee School of Music in Boston, also made South Lake Tahoe his home. He connected with locals Liz Briscoe on drums and Lowell Wilson on keyboards to make music, a fusion of funk and jazz. They recently added Reno’s Ruben Thompsen on bass.

Unless you’re a “Barton Baby,” (the youngest of which are headed back to school next week), everyone in Tahoe is a transplant from somewhere else. But it’s still all in the family. Ohana.

Related story: Heading into the Live at Lakeview finale. LINK

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Live at Lakeview organizer Rob Giustina is flanked by Sara and Airick.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Todd Offenbacher and daughter Olive, 4.

Todd Offenbacher and daughter Olive, 4.

Tahoe Onstage

South Lake Tahoe’s Wesley Orsolic Band makes its Live at Lakeview debut.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Ross Orlando photographs Lavish Green’s Joel Gruneich.

Lavish 2Lavish 5Lavish 3Lavish 1

About Randy Hashagen

Tahoe Onstage copy chief Randy Hashagen, a former Bay Area journalist, walked away from his career to become a crazy cab driver. He's still barnstorming, but his wing-walking days are over. Lately, he has been watching the world flow through Lake Tahoe since 2012.

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