Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe has long been revered as a summertime getaway. However, it is not only the perfect vacation spot that make this destination sought after, this year, the Lake Tahoe Is For Lovers music festival brings the essence of love to life with some new and some classic emo/punk bands. Artists this year included at the Lake Tahoe location were Jimmy Eat World, Yellowcard, Bayside, Anberlin, Hawthorne Heights, Plain White T’s, Mom Jeans. , Emery, Just Friends and Bug Bath. “Is For Lovers Festival” also made a point of incorporating local businesses, both via the food options on site but also featuring an adjacent marketplace and activities area showcasing local makers and creators.
Bug Bath, a local band from Reno, Nevade, they opened up the warm day with songs, “Dumb + in love” and “Obsessed” from their only current album, “(Bug Bath). Bay area band, Just Friends took to the stage next with high energy, female vocalist Brond’s shiny tights glittering against the swelltering sun. Playing their newest single, “Life I’m Living In”, and hits like “Fever” and “Stupid”, they got the party started, as the drinks started to fly out of peoples cups as they danced and rocked out.
Emery played hit songs like “Walls” from their 2004 album, “The Weak’s End”, lead singer, Toby Morrell singing his heart out to the crowd. Josh Head, keyboardist and screamo vocalist of the band, took the show by swinging his mic around, making wild facial expressions while hanging his tongue out and climbing into the crowd. He also showcased strong screamo vocals, yet quiet probably due to throwing his mic into the concrete a handful of time.
Mom Jeans. mostly played stuff from their newest album, “Sweet Tooth”, with hits like “Death Cup” and “What’s Up?”. The bassist, Sam Kless, put on a fun display for the crowd and photographers, strumming his bass dramatically and raising his arms into the air to get the crowd to clap to the beat. Inbetween songs, the lead singer asked if they could play us a song they have never been played in front of a crowd before that was named after their local county fair.
As soon as Tom Higgenson, the lead singer of Plain White T’s, strolled on stage, the crowd went wild. Girls screamed with joy as people pushed their way closer to the stage. At the strum of the first chord for “Our Time Now”, the crowd went quiet only to sing along to songs like “1, 2, 3, 4”, and their new single “Happy” and of course, “Hey There Delilah”.
Hawthorne Heights put on a high energy display, playing well known songs from their 2004 and 2006 albums like “Ohio is for Lovers”, at one point replacing Ohio with Tahoe that played out seamlessly, and one new single from 2022, “Dandelions”. While inbetween songs, the lead songer gave a speech on how this kind of music “isn’t a phase, it’s a lifestyle!”, as most of the crowd were people who grew up with these 20+ year old emo/punk bands.
Anberlin had a lot of energy, playing hit songs like “Feel Good Drag” and “Paperthin Hymn”, it was a perfect set to keep the crowd rocking and pumping with energy as the day finally began to cool off.
Bayside had a set that was longer then most of the bands, but no was complaining as they played songs like “Sick, Sick, Sick”, and their latest EP, “How To Ruin Everything” and ending with their hit song “Devotion and Desire” from their 2005 self titled album.
Yellowcard gave the crowd a special treat, as for the first time in all the years they have been performing, they played their hit 2003 album, “Ocean Avenue” from start to finish. Since the same named hit song from the album lands third on it, it was also their first time ever playing “Ocean Avenue” as their third song as it usually is their last or encore song. It was probably the best performance of the night with not only sick guitar solos but also breathtaking voilin solos thanks to Sean Mackin.
And of course last but most definitly not least, was the finalt act of the night, Jimmy Eat World. As the weather dropped down to a chilly 48 degrees, they put on a fiery performance with songs like “Pain”, “Bleed American” and bringing this entire night to a close with their hit song “The Middle”.