Josh Sweigert
jsweigert@tahoedailytribune.com

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May 8, 2013
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Locals appreciation party returns, now at MontBleu

Shoulder season got you down in the dumps? Late Nite Productions and Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa have the remedy, teaming up to host the second annual Locals Appreciation Party Sunday.

“I started it last year at Mo’s Place,” Late Nite Productions owner Billy Drewitz told Lake Tahoe Action. “I do a lot of shows, I probably do 30 to 40 shows a year, and I just wanted to do something for everybody that supports me throughout the year, so I put together this free concert.”

Drewitz decided to move this year’s event to MontBleu’s Blu Nightclub, in part to increase the audience capacity to 700, he said. Tahoe Blue Vodka is sponsoring the party and will offer drink specials all night.

Santa Cruz band Thrive headlines the show Sunday. Described by Drewitz as an “up and coming” reggae-rock group, Thrive is Aaron Borowitz (guitar, vocals), Kenneth Rogers (drums, vocals), Andrew Forgy (bass), Matt Masih (keyboards, vocals) and Scott Schipper (saxophone).

The band started out as a three-piece band in Sonoma, Calif., in 2008, Borowitz told Lake Tahoe Action. He, Rogers and Forgy recorded a 12-song demo album in a friend’s garage, and immediately received an enthusiastic response.

“We put out the demo and people liked what we were doing right off the bat so we kept going, and eventually the band got bigger,” Borowitz said.

The band added Masih and Schipper on keys and saxophone respectively, and began touring around the Western U.S.

Thrive released its third album, “Relentless,” May 7. The record represents an expansion of the group’s sound, Borowitz said.

“We definitely tinkered around with more diversity on this album,” he said. “We did a song that was acoustic and didn’t have any amount of reggae influence in it at all. And then we did a song called “Invisible” that was more of a rock vibe.”

Band members’ diverse musical tastes are the driving force behind this new direction.

“Everybody in the band likes different stuff,” Borowitz said. “One of us likes rock, one of us likes hip-hop, one of us like soul, so we added all that stuff in and combined it with reggae as a backbone.

“Relentless” is available for download on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Hard copies will also be available at Thrive concerts, Borowitz said.

South Lake Tahoe reggae band Weapon will also take the stage Sunday night, along with Bukue-One, disc jockey for Del the Funky Homosapien.

“He’ll be spinning everything across the board, from old school hip-hop to reggae dance hall and everything in between,” Drewitz said.

Admission is free, with a first-come, first-served policy. Free tickets guaranteeing entry are available at Beach Hut Deli, Mad About Music and MontBleu concierge in South Lake Tahoe.

The free admission is one way Drewitz shows his appreciation for local music supporters.

“We do it during the offseason, when locals don’t have a whole lot of money in their pocket,” he said.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated May 10, 2013 02:42PM Published May 8, 2013 02:58PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.