Diego’s Umbrella: Why I love it live

Diego's fiddler
Jason Kleinberg shreds the strings on his violin during the April 11 Diego’s Umbrella concert at the Crystal Bay Casino. Photo by Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage

Diego’s Umbrella onstage is hard to explain but easy to enjoy. The band members pose with Elvis-like regality, sound like “Fiddler on the Roof” and dance better than the Soggy Bottom Boys. Visceral gyrations in the audience aren’t as polished but just as pure. The gypsy rock band from San Francisco recently shared the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room with fun seekers who left with smiles and sweaty feet.

In a series of Tahoe Onstage columns, Ben Leon and Tyson Maulhardt of Diego’s Umbrella explain why they love live music.

It’s really important for people to get out and just blow off steam. Even if they hadn’t heard us before, by the end they are blowing off steam. A mass exodus of steam is what we are hoping for and everybody to go home happy.

Live music can make you laugh, make you cry, make you divorce your wife.

The most important thing is to enjoy the moment because that’s the beauty of live music. You are not hearing a DJ, it’s not prerecorded music. What you are hearing is live and I think being able to lose yourself and enjoy that specific moment might be awesome, it might be awful sometimes. Bands don’t always sync up perfectly the entire show. The imperfections bring a humanistic aspect to the whole thing.

People become participants as well. If we have a particularly great crowd, there’s this energy that goes back and forth and even words: We’ll end up talking to people. We just played Vancouver and it ended up almost being a halfway comedy show. We were talking to people and they were talking to us and it just ended up being a great time. It’s just this cool, interactive thing you don’t get listening to iTunes on your computer.

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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