It wasn’t about orchestras, symphonies or sheet music, but rather about putting on a great show for a new type of crowd. From the orchestra to a rock band, Sierra Nevada College Junior Caitlin Khoury takes her musical talents to The Alley in Sparks, Nev. where she performed with her musical crew Bandit.
Photos By: Will Burks
Khoury has played cello since she was 10-years-old and has contributed to the Pine Hill Waldorf School Orchestra, Greater Manchester Youth Symphony Orchestra, Keene Chamber Orchestra and Apple Hill International Chamber Music Association. More recently upon moving to South Lake Tahoe, she joined Carson City Symphony and Tahoe’s Symphony Orchestra, where she currently plays.
From the orchestra to a rock band, SNC Junior Caitlin Khoury takes her musical talents to The Alley in Sparks, Nev where she performed with her musical crew Bandit.
It was also a special occasion on this Saturday night as well because it was Khoury’s birthday. It seemed as if the “good times potential” was at an all time high.
Upon walking into The Alley it was difficult to get a read on the vibe of the venue. Unlike any Lake Tahoe Bar, where locals understand that there is a pretty even divide between mountain employees, ski bums, tourists and the regulars who never leave, The Alley seemed to have no regulars. However, they did have $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon tall cans.
Prior to the show, I asked a group of three women in their late 20’s if they come their often, they replied with a “hell no, but we are having fun.” From their mannerisms, I think the $2 Pabst had something to do with it.
As I was taking everything in, I noticed Bandit setting up for their performance. Through passing judgment based on their looks, you would be unable to guess what type of music was about to ring out from their instruments.
Stereotypes don’t work with this interesting and diverse group of musicians. With two guitars, saxophone and a cello, this band seemed prepared to play just about anything.
The bands Facebook page describes themselves as playing “country, rock, blues, indie, and hardcore with a mission to rock your face.”
Bandit led off with a ho down style song called Sweet Black Magic. I immediately felt as if I just parked my horse out front and swung the barn doors open. They brought the mood back down with a Bluesy country ballad called Ohh Las Vegas, “Aint no place for a poor boy like me.”
Bandit continued to switch up the energy level with a more upbeat song called Corn Liquor, where all the members got a chance to display their skills through traded solos. Corn Liquor turned into a musical showcase that the crowd seemed to enjoy.
Bandit is not just another garage band; the skills and talents of these musicians complement each other to form an original and well-rounded sound.
Their style of music promoted a natural tendency towards festive dancing, it wasn’t easy for the band or the crowd to stay still. The amount of fun the band was having did not correspond with the amount of space on the stage they had to work with.
With the exception of the lead guitarist, whose feet were in cement and fingers were doing the talking, and cellist Khoury who must sit down to play, the rest of the band made up for it by successfully exploring the little stage space they had to work with.
Bandit played what seemed to be two of the most popular songs on the set list, according to the crowd’s reaction. First, Oh So Low, which reminded me of a bluesy drinking song that you would hear in a movie and be so intrigued you would actually watch the credits to find out what its called and who sings it.
Bandit finished with the perfect finale for the show. They played Down at the Bar. It reminded me of the Dropkick Murphy’s if they were injected with a southern influence. It seemed as if all the genres played through the set were introduced in this one song at some point.
“You can hate country and love stuff like this,” said Ken Halten, a 24-year-old Sparks local covered in leather, piercings, and tattoos.
What makes Bandit special is their ability to constantly change the feeling and vibe of the show by jumping from genre to genre in a smooth and almost unnoticeable manner.One minute you’re in a cowboy filled saloon sipping on a pint and the next your head banging like an angry teenager. Most importantly, you’re left somewhat perplexed on how it even happened.
Also, The band seemed to impress a range of ages and personality types.
“I liked them, it was the first time I have heard them,” said Pat Hennessey a middle aged Tahoe local.
The same group of three women responded in unison with a Pabst Blue Ribbon slur, “Bandit is Fucking amazing.”
If you’re looking for an excuse to dance and let loose, Bandit gets the job done in an original and fun fashion.
Bandit will be performing at Mountain Vibe Music Gathering this coming July 2nd and 3rd. This is a 2-day music and camping event at Shinneyboo Creek Resort at the South Fork of the Yuba River in Tahoe National Forest.
Bandit @ The Alley
Genre- country, rock, blues, indie, and hardcore
Brandon Fox - Vocals/ Guitar
Jonny Reed – Guitar/ Vocals
Seth Hall – Sax
Caitlin Khoury – Cello
Fred Hell – Drums
Andrew Fowler- Guitar (solos)
Shrevin Campbell- Bass Guitar
Where- The Alley in Sparks, Nevada
Next Show- Mountain Vibe Musical Gathering 2011
-July 2nd and 3rd
-ShinneyBoo Creek Resort. South Fork Yuba River
-Tahoe National Forest
Find Tickets At: MountainVibeMusic.com
More Info @: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bandit/142279019164341
By Andrew Gauthier