Since their debut in the Crystal Bay Club’s Red Room last May, jam band The Higgs have been hard at work in Southern California to prepare for an opportunity. Monday, they’ll return to the shores of Lake Tahoe on their Ready To Launch Tour, opening for Spafford.
The band formed in 2012 as The Higgs Boson. With the exception of guitarist and vocalist John Lovero, it has undergone a complete overhaul, including shortening the name. The current lineup includes drummer Garrett Morris, bassist David Barsky and keyboardist Jesse August Jennings.
How bands come together is often a serendipitous story, and this one oddly enough has a Craigslist twist. “Yeah, were were essentially formed on Craigslist.” said a chuckling Lovero. “But I hope this is the lineup, that we don’t ever have to go back to Craigslist.”
Since changing from a trio to a quartet by adding Jennings, The Higgs have been honing their sound and writing new material. “The last year has been like hitting the reset button,” Lovero said. “We’ve been working really hard in the practice room and playing as many gigs as possible.
“We’ve had some great experiences onstage recently, having Melvin Seals sit in with us and playing with Jason Hann of The String Cheese Incident.”
The Higgs take influence from rock and jazz and acknowledge that they’re happy to be associated with the jam-band scene. But it’s really about creating dance music that takes their fans on an adventure at their shows. Lovero sees the five dates opening for Spafford as a great chance to connect with some new fans.
“I feel like it’s actually perfectly timed,” he said. “We’ve known those guys for a while — we’re in a really good spot and have the groove going and it’s just a phenomenal opportunity.”
Part of the effort the band has put in is a focus on rebranding and being more proactive in its use of social media. Their first chance to test that new commitment was Wednesday night at Belly Up in Solana Beach, and taking cues from hosts Spafford, who let their fans have access to everything from shows to rehearsals, they streamed their set via Facebook.
“Sometimes it’s tough, but it’s really important in this day and age when it comes to bands and musicians, so we’ve been trying to stay as current as possible with all the social media.”
Lovero recalled not only the band’s first visit to Crystal Bay last year, but also his first ever encounter with the area. “Honestly, the thing that resonated the most was how cool the people and the vibe there was.” Lovero said. “It’s kind of a dream of an area. We are so stoked to get up there.”
– Michael Smyth
Related story: Spafford jams everything into its rare opportunity.
Opener: The Higgs
When: 9 p.m. Monday, March 5
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room
Tickets: $17 in advance or $20 on the day of the show
Red Room after-party: Yak Attack