Recreation, adventure and the Beastie Boys; it’s all here in South Lake (opinion) |

Recreation, adventure and the Beastie Boys; it’s all here in South Lake (opinion)

Rob Galloway
Tribune Publisher

South Lake Tahoe. The only place in the world that you can experience amazing outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, skiing or snowboarding during the day, throw down on some table games in the evening, and cap it off by going to a house party featuring live music by the Beastie Boys.

Wait. What?

Indeed. It happened. There’s even proof. YouTube it if you don’t believe me. It sounds like something out of a folk tale, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t.

Twenty years ago after the Sierra-at-Tahoe Boarding for Breast Cancer show, the Beastie Boys, who headlined the show as “Quasar,” were rumored to be playing live at a house party in South Lake Tahoe at the base of Heavenly. The house, which had not been a stranger to house parties, had never seen the amount of people that showed up that night.

In the living room, instruments had been set up with a couch as the lone barrier between the band and the crowd, who didn’t seem to know if the rumors of the iconic East Coast band playing here were true — until it happened. The power trio took to the “stage” and ripped through an all-punk rock performance that turned the living room into a mosh pit. Their music inspired people to hang from chandeliers like wild monkeys and stage dive into the loaded room from the loft above. Windows were busted out and the outside deck was rumored to have collapsed by the end of the night.

How’s that for a South Tahoe experience? Well, everything but the house destruction sounds like it was one for the ages.

Why am I bringing up a story from 20 years ago? That’s a quintessential South Lake experience. Lake Tahoe has always provided unique experiences that everyone who lives here or visits can lay claim to.

I recently sat in a presentation where Mayor Pro Tem Austin Sass shared a story about a past marketing campaign for Lake Tahoe. The moral of that story, and the message of the marketing campaign, was that it should always be about the lake. He’s right. As long as that big, beautiful, blue lake sits in the basin, people want to be here. It has a magnetic energy that locals who have lived here for years will tell you it’s why they stayed.

The Fourth of July weekend is the biggest of the summer. Our population grows by leaps and bounds as visitors and locals flock the events that surround the lake and hope to capture some of this energy. We are truly lucky to have this experience available at our fingertips.

Whether it’s checking out the new Adventure Park at Heavenly, bombing down the bike trail at Camp Richardson, or catching a nighttime show at the Loft, find your blue experience this holiday weekend.

It sounds like I’m writing a marketing pitch, doesn’t it? I did toy with other ideas like “how do you blue,” “experience the blue,” and “show me your blue,” but I decided I was putting too much thought into one element of this story. I know I’m digressing, but the fact of the matter is I am giving you a marketing pitch — to a degree. Not so much in the true sense of marketing, but more of a South-Lake-Tahoe-is-cool-and-there’s-lots-to-experience-so-do-it approach.

There’s definitely a great vibe that is coursing through the city right now. It’s a fun time to be here and what better way to celebrate than watch some explosions in the sky and celebrate our country’s independence with a cocktail or two — just be safe. You never know when you might be at a house party and the deck collapses. You will need your wits about you should you find yourself in that predicament.

I want to give a special thanks to Scott Zorn, who provided his first-hand experience on the Beastie Boys show.

Publisher Rob Galloway can be reached at or 530-542-8046.

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