‘Belle of the West’ Samantha Fish hops out at Crystal Bay

Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

Samantha Fish plays for a packed Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room on Aug. 30, 2018.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

Samantha Fish paid a headlining visit to the freshly remodeled Crown Room at Crystal Bay Club Casino on Thursday night, kicking off the big Labor Day holiday weekend a day early.

Featuring tunes from her last two records, “Chills and Fever” and most recently “Belle Of The West,” Fish glided through the first half of the set with pretty standard renditions. She and her band have been touring hard in 2018 and she clearly saved her energy for the back end of the show.  Donning an acoustic guitar for “Need You More” and “Jim Lee” she busted off some effect- free, pure blues riffs before returning to her electric axe, really picking up the pace and also delivering solos.

Clad in black bustier, sparkly stretch pants and stilletos, the elegant Samantha Fish even went down in a heap when a stagehand tried to untangle a cord onstage behind her. Quickly returning to her feet, and laughing, she delighted the crowd by referring to herself as a “mother-fucking figure skater” on the crowded Crown Room stage. Undeterred, she ripped through some of her strongest work on “Either Way I Lose,” “Nearer To You,” and “Bitch On The Run” to close the main set. She then  donned her trademark cigar-box guitar for a blistering encore of slide work on “Crow Jane.”

Samantha Fish has hit a nice stride and earned every bit of success with hard work. If you missed her on Thursday, she’ll be at The Strawberry Music Fest just over the hill this weekend.

— Michael Smyth

Related story: Samantha Fish says why she loves live music.

Editor’s note: It’s thrilling to witness an artist break out. Samantha Fish is transcending the blues and has a growing legion of devout fans, including Harry “Boogie Ignitor” Lofin, who is attended his 100th show. Images of Fish’s second performance at the Crystal Bay Casino, on Aug. 30, were captured by Tahoe Onstage photographers Michael Smyth, Kurt Johnson and Larry Sabo.

Tahoe Onstage

Harry Loflin is following Samantha Fish on tour. The CBC concert was his 100th show.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Samantha Fish set list Crystal Bay 08302018

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage photographers Michael Smyth, left, Kurt Johnson and Larry Sabo.

Tahoe Onstage

About Michael Smyth

Michael Smyth moved to Reno in 2007 after living more than 40 years in the Bay Area. In addition to going to live shows, he enjoys golf, skiing and fly-fishing. Check out his website www.bombilations.com


  1. I don’t know what she did in Crystal Bay .She absolutely killed in Cloverdale Fri night . Two sets , awesome band . Kick ass drummer , keyboards , bassist . This girl can play the living crap out of the guitar .

  2. Saw her April 2017 at Birchmere and she and her band put on an awesome show. She has some pipes and can really jam on guitar. Great show to see!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Share This