Live at Lakeview’s birthday on the Lavish Green

Lavish Green is Live at Lakeview. Photo by Phoenix Gruneich
Lavish Green is Live at Lakeview. Photo by Phoenix Gruneich

Nineteen years and two blocks down the road, Lavish Green keeps rocking.

South Lake Tahoe’s endearing and enduring band played its first show July 3 on Alameda Boulevard. Exactly 19 years to the day later, it performs at Live at Lakeview in the park now called Lakeview Commons at El Dorado Beach.

When Lavish Green played that first house party, the nearby beach area was a tumbling hillside. Nevertheless, the view was spectacular. Then and now, Lavish Green also can see something special on the horizon.

Three of the original members remain, Chris Sanchez, Robbie Wheeler and Joel Gruneich. It’s fourth drummer debuts at Lakeview. Mike Bennett, who has an impressive band resume, has moved from New Hampshire to join the quartet. Saxophonist Seth Hall returns as a full-time member, as well.

Live at Lakeview organizer Rob Giustina, Lavish Green’s original lead singer, will join the band onstage. Jeremy Usher also will be back with the band for the special anniversary show.

“The fans have been so loyal last 19 years,” Sanchez said. “They stuck by us through thick and thin. Generally, we want to give big love to everybody in South Lake.”

Sanchez said he remembers some of today’s fans coming to shows with their parents when they were children.

Lavish Green has released five full-length albums and two EPs. It has five more recorded songs, two which have released as singles. A new record is in the future, along with several upcoming shows.

A 2013 Live at Lakeview show was the first for Lavish Green in 16 months. During the hiatus, Sanchez tended bar in a Maui sushi restaurant.

The band is back now, looking ahead. Sanchez, who said his mother will be in attendance for the first Lavish show she’s seen in six years, compared his band’s longevity to a strong family’s.

“Communication, first and foremost, is the key,” he said. “Any problem you ever have, you have to communicate it openly and freely. That’s how you can get to the bottom of any problem. Lavish is the perfect example of a family. Families go through trials and tribulations, too. We have been close all these years. It’s been great.”

Great, too, was the turnout for last week’s opening Live at Lakeview with Peter Joseph Burtt and the King Tide VIDEO and Liquid Kactus VIDEO. An estimated 1,200 to 1,500 were in attendance. The police were there, as well, and are serious about enforcing the no-drinking, smoking or dogs ordinance. There is, however, a beer garden.

Live at Lakeview spokeswoman Leslie Schultz said, “The entire community came out to celebrate the return of summer at the first Live at Lakeview concert of the season. We’re thrilled to have such incredible support and look forward to spending every Thursday at the beach with our guests and family.”

Tahoe Onstage posts videos of each Live at Lakeview show.

Taking Root, VIDEO which includes another longtime South Shore musician, drummer E.J. Hixenbaugh, opens Thursday’s show at 4:30 p.m. Lavish Green takes the stage at 6:15 p.m.

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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