Strange Weather is back in the basin after its first tour, throwing down a Halloween bash with fellow South Shore band Groovebox. (For a review of this show, click HERE)
The rock quartet recently returned from a leg of eight shows in Southern California, including performances in San Diego, Santa Monica, Hollywood and Bakersfield, then returning for a final show in San Francisco.
“It was freaking awesome,” frontman Vinny Berry said. “Five sweaty dudes, we had an ’86 Toyota Dolphin, courtesy of Mr. Ted Kennedy.”
Kennedy is the general manager of Base Camp Pizza, Azul Latin Kitchen and California Burger, in South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Village, where the members of Strange Weather each work or play live music. The group made sure to test the vintage vehicle before the trip south.
“We took it up Keller (Avenue), it went about 5 miles an hour,” Berry said. “Then we took a support vehicle just in case, so we took Johnny’s car as well, to kind of lighten the load on the Dolphin.”
Strange Weather brought along South Shore pal and solo musician Mike Smith to help out and open a few shows.
“We actually played this place called Molly Malone’s, and the guy before us was a solo guy, and he didn’t show up,” Berry said. “So I went up to the promoter and went ‘well, I got a guy that can play,’ and he went ‘sure, get him up there.’ He wound up opening a few of our gigs.”
Bassist Todd Christensen enjoyed the trip across the board.
“Just having a lot of fun with the boys, playing bass on top of a 1986 four cylinder RV, eating some good food, going to the beach, first time swimming in the Pacific Ocean,” he said.
“Pacific Beach and Bakersfield were good-built in audiences for us,” Berry said. “I mean, we had some friends come out, but it was a good built-in audience, so we had a lot of people there to rock for.”
When one scheduled show failed to produce much of an audience, Strange Weather seized the opportunity to roll some video.
“We did a warehouse in downtown L.A. that was super cool, it’s called Restless Studios,” Berry said. “No one really showed up, so we wound up filming some quasi music videos and stuff like that, taking our time playing a song a couple times.”
Returning with a sizable amount of media in tow, the band is planning to produce a video chronicling its first road trip.
“We’re going to do a little edit of the whole trip with little funny banter in between, funny stuff,” Berry said. “Then we’ll try to do some music videos where we take some of our recorded stuff and kind of splice it together with a bunch of live shows.
For Christensen, shows in San Diego and Bakersfield were some of the highlights of the trip.
“The standout gig was 710 in San Diego, it just blew the roof off,” he said.
Unfortunately, the lanky bassist felt that his bandmates were rather too quick to leave the venue, especially given the thronging crowd after the show.
“These assholes made me leave and go to Fat Sub,” he said. “They took sandwiches over chicks, because they’re married, and have girlfriends. It’s not fair.”
Strange Weather already is lining up a return trip, planning on heading south again, but with more promotion and an expanded territory this go around.
“Hopefully January we’re going to get back on the road,” Berry said. “I really want to do a desert thing since it’ll be January, maybe do a Vegas, Palm Desert, Arizona, Phoenix run, that kind of thing.
“We’re planning some places that we’re going to blow up next time we go there and really, really pump up the marketing and stuff like that.”
The rock group is celebrating its return to Lake Tahoe this weekend, joining drummer Jon Gardner’s other band, Groovebox, for its annual Halloween show at South Lake Tahoe’s American Legion.
“It sells every year, so we’re really excited about that one,” Berry said.
“We’ve got an awesome group costume that we’re planning on,” Christensen said.
The group is also looking forward to releasing its first recording, a series of tracks recorded at Play Your Own Music in Carson City.
“We were down there mixing with Vince last week and it was sounding great already,” Berry said. “We’re just making little tweaks.”
Strange Weather hopes to have the album available in early November.
- Groovebox with Strange Weather
When: 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31
Where: American Legion, South Lake Tahoe
Tickets: $10 bracelets, available at Tahoe Hemp Company, Tahoe Rock & Ride