Los Lonely Boys bring mountain town to new heights

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstate

From left, Henry, Ringo and Jojo rock the South Shore Room on May 21.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Tim Parsons

Los Lonely Boys played to a packed house at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe on Saturday, May 21, tearing up the stage as these three brothers are known to do, and thrilling the audience with their signature brand of Texican rock ‘n’ roll — from badass to brooding, from sexy to soulful.

Henry (guitar), Jojo (bass), and Ringo (drums) Garza put their passionate musicianship on display for a house full of devout fans. If you haven’t seen these guys live, you most certainly should. Henry’s high-energy, virtuosic blues-rock guitar is simply excellent. Laid over Jojo’s thumping, playful bass and Ringo’s rocking backbeat and driven by a combination of Texas blues and Latin flavor, it makes for some seriously enjoyable music.

This was the liveliest crowd I have seen at a show in quite some time. Numerous fans were so boisterous and so excited that I must assume that they were either massive Los Lonely Boys fans, had imbibed a little too much, or were from Texas (or all of the above). A trio of gals sitting in front of us was having the time of their lives, screaming out to Henry at seemingly every guitar solo or interlude. One enthusiastic fellow by the right-hand bar was highly animated, playing air guitar extensively, and calling out and pointing to the band members. I attend scores of performances around Tahoe each year, and the energy of this audience stood out dramatically.

The joyous crowd was offset, strangely (and briefly, mercifully), by an older man who squeezed through our row about 20 minutes into the show, taking the seat to my right. I’m not sure whether he had had too much merlot, or was just grumpy in general, but he griped about the band incessantly for four or five minutes, mocking the members and complaining to his wife. Thankfully, he got up and left shortly thereafter. It was odd.

The rock trio played a wide variety of their tunes, with fans singing along constantly. From the slow mellow beat of “Blame it on Love” to the psychedelic crunch of “16 Monkeys,” Los Lonely Boys, with Henry and Jojo’s signature vocal harmonies, sounded fantastic as blue, purple, red, and yellow lights swirled over a massive backdrop of the band’s logo, three white silhouettes.

The group’s shows are shot through with passion and synergy, with lots of positive vibes between the band and the crowd. Whether it’s a searing, wailing wah-wah driven guitar solo from Henry, or an explosive, thundering drum solo from Ringo, Los Lonely Boys performances are full of intense and admirable musicianship.

“One of the things I’ve always wanted to do at a concert, I’m going to do right now,” Henry jokingly called out to the audience at one point. “Freeeeee Biiiiiiiiiiiiird!”

Los Lonely Boys closed out the set with fan favorite “Heaven,” thanking the exuberant crowd profusely before launching into the bright and upbeat notes of the Grammy-winning tune.

“Y’all are too kind; you’re going to make a dark man blush, kind of weird,” Jojo Garza told the cheering fans.

This is the third time we’ve been lucky enough to see Los Lonely Boys here at the lake; it was an excellent show, and left me reflecting, as always, on the phenomenal variety of musical acts that come through our little mountain town.

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Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstate

From left, Henry, Ringo and Jojo rock the South Shore Room on May 21.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Tim Parsons

About Josh Sweigert

Josh grew up on the California coast with a deep appreciation for bluegrass and string band music as well as the great outdoors. A guitarist and singer, he plays solo acoustic gigs in South Lake Tahoe.

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