Last Chair Music Festival
Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe
Jan 4-5, Jan 11-12, 2013
Since the birth of the WNYC Music Festival in 1939, gatherings of this sort have been a thrilling way to showcase musical talent.
Although technology has helped to evolve the basic format, the original objectives of that first music festival still abide at the core of events like these:
-Provide a sounding board for young, talented musicians
-Grant a hearing and performance to any upcoming artists
-Promote the cause of live music, which enhances appreciation and understanding of the artist and their trade
-Increase public interest and appreciation of live shows
For nearly a century, our sleepy mountain home has been a world-renowned destination for travelers who enjoy the juxtaposition of extreme activities and beautiful solitude. With a recent influx of local and transplanted musical talent, it’s only natural that the Lake Tahoe basin now boasts events bringing us some of the most desirable music producers and artists in the world. With South Lake Tahoe still basking in the afterglow of the SnowGlobe Music Festival, north shore’s Squaw Valley Resort recently hosted an event of their own.
The Last Chair Music Festival brought an eclectic mix of everything from some of the hottest dj sets, to live bands. As a unique twist, the festival layout consisted of all performers playing on one stage, ensuring that there was no overlap of music Guests were able to see entire sets of their favorite artists without the usual festival pressure of racing off to another stage to catch another act. Spreading the event out over two weekends was another wise strategy, preventing resort visitors from getting burnt out or experiencing festival overload.
Being used to traveling for hours (sometimes days) just to see a show made us really stoked to have musicians of this caliber play at one of our favorite local resorts. With Squaw Valley offering a lift ticket and show ticket package, the resort offered festival-goers a solid day filled with sunshine, epic snow conditions, good vibes, and amazing music.
Mother nature granted us with a recent storm that welcomed Squaw Valley visitors with multiple feet of fresh snow. The excitement of a crisp blue bird pow day sparked the energy of the evening festivities.
Opening up the event was local favorite Andrew Posada, aka Gurbtron, who warmed up the crowd all four nights with an energetic mix of hip hop, moombahton, and trap beats as the room began to fill each night.
Night one kicked off 2013 for Pretty Lights Music’s Michal Menert who kept the energy going with his unique sound that blends vintage sampling and hard hitting beats. Ending the evening was a Passion Pit dj set that left us anticipating the next three nights of the festival.
Night two held a completely different energy as Gurbtron opened up for seasoned funk band, Lettuce. Thrilling the crowd with songs ranging from rock and funk to jazzy psychedelic, Lettuce showcased their talent brilliantly. Rounding out the evening with NitGrit was a good way to satisfy the late night crowd that craved a grimier bass sound.
After the success of the first weekend, Tahoe was buzzing with anticipation for weekend two. As Gurbtron opened up with yet another energetic, movement inducing set, he set the mood for the animated Foster The People dj’s who kept the crowd moving with their fun, techno laced beats. Next was Brooklyn based producer Eliot Lipp, who’s fusion of soul, break beats, analog synth, and everything in between melts effortlessly into a unique sound that keeps you excited to hear what’s next. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to talk with Eliot before he flew out west. You can check out that interview here: Eliot Lipp
The final evening of the Last Chair Festival finally brought the crowd that blew us away.
The sold out show left many disappointed as they got turned away at the door. Joining Gurbtron this evening was respected local producer Shane Suffriti, who welcomed the wall to wall dancing throng with a mellow set and primed them for Burning Man favorite Random Rab.
Respectfully referred to as “The Master of Emotion”, Rab’s intelligently crafted melodic beats inspired and uplifted, leaving everyone feeling refreshed and enlightened. Emancipator kept that vibe going with silky melodies and captivating violin accompaniment.
By the time Bonobo took the stage, the crowd was ready for him to start dropping his complex, layered bass lines.
Overall, the festival culminated in a gathering that I have never experienced in North Lake Tahoe, proving to me once again that our community can be a great location for events like these. Thank you to Squaw Valley for hosting an event that successfully blended our love of music and the snow lifestyle that we are immersed in, and thank you to the community for supporting this festival. See you all at the next show!