When Lavish Green throws a party, fans line up in the hotel lobby to get in.
On Friday night, more than 450 people turned out for a rock and roll show to remember, packing the Vinyl showroom at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. In fact, Lavish lovers on this Valentine’s Day weekend set a Vinyl record — 141 of them poured into the venue in the first five minutes after the doors opened at 9 p.m. More than 2 1/2 hours later, they were still in full party mode.
All grown up, Lavish Green has been rockin’ Lake Tahoe for 21 years. The Hard Rock show was a repeat performance, as the band celebrated its 20th anniversary there in July with buddies Fishbone. The hometown boys also closed out the Live at Lakeview summer concert series in August, a show attended by more than 2,000 people celebrating the City of South Lake Tahoe’s 50th birthday.
They’re legal now. Bandleader Chris Sanchez, fortysomething, joked that he started Lavish Green when he was 12. At 33 rpm, the band has been hunkered down in recent months, working on a new album with an expected summer release.
But Friday’s show was classic Lavish and many in the audience filled with longtime locals sang along to familiar tunes — a touch of reggae here, a bit of punk there and a whole lot of rock and roll.
Wearing a white top hat, Sanchez directed the crowd, joined by fellow founding members Joel Gruneich on guitar and Rob Wheeler on bass. Hard-driving drummer Danny Barnes, who joined the band in recent years, unleashed a 4-plus minute solo at one point, appropriately following one of Lavish’s signature songs, “At the Bar.”
Typically, Sanchez juggles his trumpet with duties as lead singer. For this show, he had some help. Seth Hall, a former full-time Lavish Green player, had his saxophone in high gear and newcomer Denver Dean Pullin chimed in with a second trumpet.
“This is the first time we’ve had three horns on stage,” Sanchez noted.
That gave him a minute to sing a song by that title without having to break away from vocals and jump on the trumpet. Some longtime friends jumped onstage, though, and provided backup vocals — Troy Hazelton of Planting Seeds on the reggae-flavored “Sassy” and Paul Hastey of Angerhead on the old-school-punk “First Degree.”
Throughout the night, old friends reconvened and new friends surfaced. It was Lavish.
Editor’s note: Keeping with the holiday theme, Lavish Green will perform March 19 on St. Paddy’s Day weekend at the 7800 Bar & Grill in Kirkwood, and a Cinco de Mayo show is in the works for Rojo’s in South Lake Tahoe.
- Lavish Green, Feb. 12, 2015
Vinyl showroom, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
- Fitz Jam
- Don’t Worry
- I Am
- All For You
- Just Another Day
- Mom Song
- Sassy (with Troy Hazelton on vocals)
- At the Bar / Danny Barnes drum solo
- First Degree (with Paul Hastey on vocals)
- March of the Elephants
Yellow Ledbetter (Pearl Jam cover)