From scorching heat to a lightning storm to pouring rain, Mother Nature threw just about everything she could muster at the Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival on July 27th. Although this event had more speed-bumps than most, the bands, staff, and paid sold-out audience 6,000 responded to each mishap with understanding and respect.
At one point during Don Carlos’ set, the grounds even had to be evacuated so the severe lightning storm could pass. After about an hour, the crowd was allowed to re-enter and the reggae legend picked up his set where he left off, enthralling the audience and warming them up for co-headliner Matisyahu.
The enigmatic artist was energetic and the crowd erupted in a fit of celebration when the rain began to pour down in the middle of his set. The rain continued and Matisyahu’s band took full advantage of the added excitement, playing fan favorites “King Without a Crown” and “One Day.” As concertgoers invented their own rain dances and embraced each other in the spirit of the day, the sun began to set adding a cinematic, almost magical element to the festival.
Iration was the last headliner to take the stage, as people continued to arrive. The air was still warm and the crowd still euphoric as Iration graciously thanked them for staying until the end of what proved to be a trying day. The alt-reggae group played songs spanning its whole catalogue from the breakout album “Time Bomb” to its upcoming album “Hotting Up” but the pinnacle of their set came during their cover of the Bob Marley classic “Is This Love” as the crowd sang along for almost every word.
Other highlights of the festival included San Diego-based Vokab Kompany, whose co-founder, Robbie Gallo, aka Rob Hurt, is a 1998 South Lake Tahoe graduate. Dressed in matching yellow shirts, the band’s set featured songs off of their upcoming album “Good Kompany” and started off the festival with a bang to a small but lively hometown crowd.
The Green, Fortunate Youth, and The Expendables also took the stage and kept the people of Tahoe moving all day long.
This wasn’t the smoothest grand-opening that the Hard Rock Casino and Resort could have wished for its outside stage but their staff handled every hurdle with poise. The Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival marked the first show of the BaseJam Outdoor Summer Concert Series and if June 27 was any indication, this series will be one big party after another so make sure to get your tickets now. The next installment is the inaugural Lake Tahoe Bluegrass Festival on July 11.
Tickets available at: http://hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com/basejam-summer-2015-outdoor-concert-series/