Tahoe-based promoter ‘keeps vibe alive’ | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe-based promoter ‘keeps vibe alive’

Aimi Xistra

Drewitz

Owning a promotion company is not all fun and games, but Late Nite Productions owner Billy Drewitz doesn’t seem to be complaining. After dedicating over 10 years of his life to throwing parties and concerts for others’ entertainment, Drewitz dedicates himself to consistently providing great music at great venues.

With a small beginning at a place called Brewin’ Beats in downtown Arcadia, Drewitz, also known as Late Nite Billy, has made a name for himself as a nationally known promoter. Shortly after Humboldt, Drewitz moved to South Lake Tahoe from Fremont with the help of a severance check received from previous employer Norm Day. “As a little kid I always wanted to move to Tahoe. My family took trips here and I grew to love it. I always knew some day I would move here,” Drewitz said.

After arriving in Tahoe, Drewitz began making waves. He joined Rick Bondi of the Tahoe Agency and they began throwing shows. Drewitz values the experience of working with an established promoter at an important point in his career. He views it as a paid internship and believes it led him to bigger and brighter things. Late Nite Productions is now on a national level. “It was a humble beginning that taught me how important local bands are,”he said. “Now I strive to recognize good bands and help them maximize their potential.”

It may not be a blue-collar day job, but running a promotion company is difficult and time demanding. When things go wrong it can be frustrating, but Drewitz has been around and knows how to handle pressure. Also, he doesn’t do it all alone, he receives a lot of help and support from his Production Assistant, and girlfriend, Leanne Rohner.

Those not familiar with Billy’s resume should know that one focus of his is to bring big names to small venues, like Eek-A-Mouse at Mulligans and Black Eyed Peas at Heavenly’s California Base Lodge. Most recently he hosted Lyrics Born and Pigeon John at the Greenroom in Reno and, before that, a sold-out, all-ages Hieroglyphics show at the New Oasis. Some of the over-21 crowd complains about the all-ages shows, but there is always a separate bar to get drinks. Drewitz enjoys throwing all-ages shows because there is a larger turnout. “I think more people adds to the vibe,”he said. “I’d rather go to a show with 1,300 screaming people than no one!”

In the future, Drewitz said he plans to continue “keepin’ the vibe alive,” and he is in negotiations with the Hard Rock Cafe to host a Saturday night concert series featuring cover and tribute bands.

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This Wednesday night, Late Nite Productions will present The Cali Comm 2005 Tour at Stoney’s in Reno. Making waves on the West Coast this tour, headlined by the Living Legends crew, has been known to be one of the most energy-filled hip-hop shows in the country.

The Living Legends crew is a family of independent hip-hop creators. From primary earth bases in L.A. and Oakland, the Legends extend worldwide and beyond. With an enormous fanbase, it’s no wonder the Legends are a setter of world-wide hip-hop trends. You know it makes no difference where they stay, because the universe revolves around them anyway. With multiple worldwide tours under their belts, Luckyiam, Sunspot Jones, Aesop, The Grouch, Murs and Eligh are show stoppers.

Joining the Legends will be Aceyalone, a household name in the Bay Area’s underground hip-hop scene and a founding member of Freestyle Fellowship. Aceyalone played an important role in the evolution of literate hip-hop on the West Coast during an era when hard-core gangster rap reigned. Following the dissolution of the group in the early ’90s, Aceyalone embarked on a solo career, allowing him to maintain his revered status. Being a pioneer to freestyle rapping, he formed an LA underground hip-hop collective called Project Blowed. Aceyalone has set the standards for sustaining a good reputation.

What would a hip-hop party be without a famous DJ? This tour doesn’t have to ask that question because DJ Peanut Butter Wolf will take the stage. Among the true talents in the late-’90s new school of old-school hip-hop, PBW began DJing as a teen and sold mixed tapes of his turntable work at his high school in San Jose. After the death of his partner, MC Charizma, PBW began issuing strictly instrumental work. With the foundation of his Stone’s Throw label, PBW began developing tracks recorded earlier with MC Charizma and released work by another Bay Area crew, Fanatik. Peanut Butter Wolf has earned respect by remaining strong while things around him cracked. His music is unique and provides a staple to the Bay Area sound.

Cali Comm 2005

When: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Stoney’s Music Hall, 71 South Wells Ave., Reno, NV

Who: All ages welcome.

How much: $25 on-line at http://www.TicketWeb.com