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BassCliff w/TWB at MontBleu Lake Tahoe, 11/24/18

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by BassCliff, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hello friends and neighbors!

    The TWB and I had a quick but fun trip up to Lake Tahoe over the Thanksgiving weekend playing at the MontBleu Resort, Casino, and Spa. While recovering from the turkey overdose we flew up to Sacramento and drove from there. My dear Mrs. BassCliff dropped John and I off at ONT where we found the biggest travel crowd I have ever seen at that airport. Even at this small airport there were tons of folks traveling on Saturday morning. The line wrapped all the way around the terminal just to go upstairs to get checked by the TSA.


    With the big crowds I was a little worried about making our plane on time but we had a chance to grab a cup of coffee before we boarded. There wasn't much to see as most of the central valley was covered with clouds.


    After meeting up with the rest of the rhythm section at Sacramento International Airport, TW traveled separately with Mrs. TW, we rented a big car and drove the 2.5 hours to Lake Tahoe. It was much cheaper than trying to fly into Reno or Tahoe. We arrived a couple days after a big storm passed through so the roads were clear, as was the weather, but there was lots of snow at altitude.


    It was a beautiful drive along Highway 50 from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe, especially after the freeway gave way to a two lane road through the mountains.


    We passed the summit at 7384 feet then dropped down into the Lake Tahoe basin. You can see the lake off in the distance.


    This is the California side of the town of Lake Tahoe. On the other side of that traffic light is Nevada.


    Two or three blocks past the stateline is our destination. Hey! What do I see on that marquis?


    We pull into the valet and, sure enough, TW has is face right out front.


    We all disembark, unload, and head to the front desk. Drummer Dave is glad to stretch his legs.


    Guitar Mike and Dave wait in line to check in. None of us have eaten all day so all we can talk about is how we're going to spend our per diem attached to our rooms.


    We found TW's face all over the place in the hotel and casino, even in the elevators.


    We dropped off our luggage in our rooms. They were nice. Mine was on the 10th floor.


    The bathroom was fabulous. That shower was bigger than a few stages I've played on.


    I had a stunning view of the lake and surrounding mountains from my window. Wow!


    After we dropped our luggage in our rooms we made our way to the showroom. It was nice, laid out in the classic Las Vagas showroom arrangement with tables and booths, no dance floor.


    It looks like the back line is all set up for us. We just have to plug in and make some noise. Here's the view from FOH.


    We made our way backstage. It's a huge stage.


    This is my rig for this evening, a nice GK 1001RB atop a fridge cab.


    That's Michael helping John to get his keys wired up. To Michael's left is Adam, the FOH guy. Behind John is Josh on the monitor board with Gerald, one of the stage crew. This stage had a large crew, another four or five guys that I did not get pictures of.


    This was Mike's rig for the evening. It's the biggest rig he's ever used, a couple of Deluxe amps.


    I'll be back in the next post with the sound check and food! Thanks for looking.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    SWRnut, MCF, jjk2007 and 50 others like this.
  2. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Here's the view from the monitor console. This stage was impressive, as was the crew.


    Here's the view from the drum riser. You can tell it's a classic Vegas showroom, right down to the disco ball. With this configuration it holds 1400. We sold just shy of 1000 tickets. It will be a good crowd.


    This is the stage right side of the PA. That's a huge side fill speaker. Plus four double subs and the hanging arrays.


    Dave gets his backline kit in order. He liked that Yamaha maple kit.


    As you all know, the bass player is done setting up in about 10 minutes. I wandered out front to get some more pictures of the room. Here I was standing in front of the bar on the right side of the room.


    They've closed the curtains and it looks better. But we have no stage decorations. It's just us. I guess we'd better be really entertaining because there's not much to look at. Here's a look across the room. When they expect a big crowd and remove the tables to place more chairs this room will seat about 2500.


    It looks like we are about ready to run a few tunes. Mike and TW seem happy about that.


    John was happy that all of his gear worked. He told Michael and Josh that this is the quickest he's been able to set up in a long time, because all the rental gear worked like is was supposed to.


    Dave reconfigured his kit. He likes a single rack tom and two floor toms, plus his metronome.


    I had to get a closer look at the sub array. Four dual 18" bins are pretty impressive.


    The stage seems a bit stark with no background, props, or accessories. It's just us hairy legged boys and our toys.


    "If you had not have fallen, I would not have found you...." TW gets his monitor mix set.


    Mike seemed way far away on the other side of the stage. He says he likes being out away from all the noise.


    I wait patiently while TW says "More me!"


    After I sound check I try my choreography to get warmed up.


    We complete our soundcheck and as we walk out of the room I take one more picture of the stage from the FOH.


    This is the box office and the stairs leading up to the showroom.


    Right at the end of the stairs is a Japanese restaurant called "Fortune" where they are having an all-you-can-eat sushi special. Dave and I decide that's what we're having for supper. Here is the Rainbow Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll, a couple of my favorites.


    After Dave and I had ordered a couple of our favorites we told our sushi chef Jeffrey that our meal was in his hands, surprise us, we trust you. Every dish just got better and better. Jeffrey shows off a creation he calls the Mt. Tallac, named after a local mountain peak.


    This is called the Volcano because it was a little bit spicy with wasabi mayo, surachi mustard, spicy tuna, masago, tuna, etc, plus a couple of pieces of white tail.


    Oh my! What a meal. I'll be back in the next post to finish up the gig. Thanks for looking!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    SWRnut, MCF, Mr_Moo and 51 others like this.
  3. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    After a meal like that, although I wasn't over-full, Dave and I decided to go for a nice brisk walk before the show. Here's the marquis out front.


    We walked all the way back to California (all three blocks) and took in the sights. This is more of a ski resort town and less like Las Vegas. We had about a thirty minute walk then headed back to our rooms to get ready for the show. On the way to the green rooms backstage and upstairs the hallway was covered with pictures of really big performers who have appeared here.


    I found TW in green room "A" just relaxing and getting in the zone.


    Dave was in green room "B" pretty much doing the same.


    We all got together in "B" for vocal warmup and talk about the show. Then I popped in to Spencer's office to say "Hi". Spencer was our guide and hospitality technician. She made sure we had everything we needed.


    From the stairs leading down from the green rooms the stage looked like this after the doors opened.


    We waited about five minutes after 8pm to start the show because folks were taking their time getting to their seats.


    Then we played the intro music and started the show. It was a very lively crowd. We couldn't see them very well because the room was so dark and the stage lights were so bright in our faces. But they let us know they were there. I didn't take too many pictures on stage because the show went so quickly but there is a long piano intro to "Always On My Mind" when I can snap a few.


    Mike and Dave get ready to come in on the first verse.


    I snagged a picture of John while TW was telling a joke. "If I had a dollar for every woman who thought I was unattractive, pretty soon I'd be quite attractive."


    After the show we did our usual meet-n-greet. This young lady didn't mind taking a picture with the bass player.


    We shook a lot of hands, heard a lot of compliments, thanked everyone profusely for coming to the show. They were really a fun and appreciative crowd. I hope we get to come back. When I got back on stage the crew had just about packed everything away. They waste no time and were well organized.


    We had a little afterparty in the green room. TW had friends and family come out tonight. This is TW's daughter. She looks just like her Mom, Mrs. TW.


    After the party the boys and I went downstairs and enjoyed a couple more adult beverages. We didn't party too hardy because we were "wheels up" at 7am the next morning. John, Mike, and I are loading up the Excursion right now while Dave visits the little drummer's room.


    As we drove out of town, down the mountain, on our way back to Sacramento we were greeted with a nice vista in the early morning sun.


    We beat the traffic heading down the mountain. I was a little worried because the exodus from a Las Vegas weekend can get pretty crowded but there is an eight lane freeway heading out of town. Leaving Lake Tahoe we have only a two lane mountain road. It seems most of the visitors to Lake Tahoe wait until checkout time at 11am to actually start leaving so we were well ahead of the curve. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time and had a pleasant flight back home. The next time the TWB will be out is on Jan. 6th and Jan. 9th, two different fly dates in the same week, both to the Sacramento area. We like that airport. Until then, please continue to share your gigs, whatever you got. I know that perhaps I "over share" and I hope you don't mind. But I love seeing all your gigs too.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    SWRnut, kittywithabanjo, MCF and 62 others like this.
  4. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Awesome looking gig Cliff, I just love it around there. I was there when I was a kid, stayed in a mom and pop cottage resort, of course that was the early 70's, I'm sure its all changed since then. I see home boy Johnny Lang will be there next week.

    Wife and I went through there back in 2011, it was a spectacular Autumn day and got lots of great pictures, even took route 50 down through Sacremento on our way to the coast
    nixdad, McG and BassCliff like this.
  5. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Daggone it!!!!!! I miss seeing you all when I lived in Vegas (working in another state), I miss you when I live up here 30 minutes from your gig (working in another state again). Someday...
    Kitsapbass, nixdad and BassCliff like this.
  6. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    Absolutely AWEsome, Cliff!! Thanks for posting...as often as you like, by the way! That stage lighting makes a big difference, eh? Tahoe is really beautiful, I've been there 4 or 5 times, and it's always magnificent.
    Tony In Philly, nixdad, McG and 2 others like this.
  7. I had friends who lived in Tahoe right after high school. I had some good adventures up there. And one time I was up near Chico and had to catch a flight in Sacramento and realized I was late. I think I drove about 90 between there and the airport down I-80. Surprisingly, I didn't get stopped.

    I'm glad you had a good gig up there. Only played one show? I'd think they'd have you for a couple of nights since you were there.
    nixdad and BassCliff like this.
  8. the_home

    the_home Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    Great report! Nice looking stage with LOTS of sound! Thanks for sharing, Cliff.
    nixdad and BassCliff like this.
  9. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    The phrase "living vicariously" so applies.

    - John
    JimK, mikewalker, nixdad and 3 others like this.
  10. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Great shots and a wonderful stage and casino. I absolutely love Sushi. It looked amazing. Thank you so much for posting once again.
    nixdad and BassCliff like this.
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I expected pics of the band engaging in a snowball fight or making snow angels at this elevation..... :D
    Holdsg, nixdad, Spidey2112 and 3 others like this.
  12. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hi guys!

    It's a beautiful area. A few years ago I rode my motorcycle around most of the lake. That water is so clear it doesn't look as deep as it really is.

    One of these days the stars will align. ;)

    I need to take Mrs. BassCliff there for a weekend or so. We don't ski so maybe in the fall.

    Yep, just one show. I'm hoping they'll have us back and, if there's enough interest, for more than one night. They offered to give us rooms for two nights but our schedule just didn't work out this time.

    Thank you. I'd heard the sound out front was really great. I figure the crew has been working this room for years with really famous acts so they know their stuff.

    Awww, everything looks better in the internet. ;) But we usually have our fun. :)

    You're welcome. This place was more down-home friendly than Las Vegas. The atmosphere wasn't pretentious and everyone was genuinely jovial and helpful.

    Ha! We were actually talking about building a snowman and putting Willie's hair on it. That would've been hilarious! :D

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    nixdad, kobass, Mike N and 5 others like this.
  13. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    I tip my hat to you sir. Awesome.
    nixdad, kobass, Wisebass and 3 others like this.
  14. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    That's pretty crisp and crisply pretty. Thanks for sharing more of the good times!
  15. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Nice fly gig Cliff, and sushi too.
  16. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    USA, Phoenix, AZ
    I remember flying into Sacramento Airport. I was surprised at how small it was. Sounds like an awesome gig!
  17. I really enjoy following your gig adventures. Please keep posting them, it's a treat to experience your fun through your photos and text.

    Thump on,

    nixdad, Son of Wobble and BassCliff like this.
  18. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Hi Cliff. Man, that was a first class gig all the way. :thumbsup: Makes the Big Shots type gigs a bit easier to take knowing these come along now and then. ;)

    Wow. I've never seen Ontario airport like that. Even Orange County airport here rarely has lines like that and it's a super busy place.

    Ha! it's about the size of the "stage" at Beatnick Bandito. :D

    Quite a room. I know how the True Willie Band gets crowds going. One that size must have been awesome. :)

    I that the daughter from the story about how TW got started? When they were walking into a concert and she told Roger to stand next to a Willie Nelson poster, and told him he looked just like Willie?
  19. G19Tony


    Apr 27, 2018
    Las Vegas, NV
    Nice gig, @BassCliff I had 5 days in Reno this past fall. I was able to take in a AAA ballgame. The weather was perfect. I'll be stealing TW's joke, btw. :roflmao: I'll be in ONT Wednesday afternoon for a quick overnight. Are you in the area?
    nixdad likes this.
  20. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Hi Grant,

    It's a different kind of fun between the two extremes. There's "show room" fun and there's "dive bar" fun.

    Yes, that's her, a very sweet gal.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    nixdad and McG like this.

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