“One good thing about music: When it hits you feel no pain.” Bob Marley offered that wisdom.
Tonight, Lake Tahoe reggae fans can catch one last show by Jon Wayne and the Pain, a Minneapolis-based band that appreciates “positive humans, radical idealists and generous souls.” After playing with South Lake’s Weapon on Saturday night at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon, Wayne and the Pain will head to North Shore for a performance at Moe’s Original BBQ. And that’s after a road trip from Friday’s show in Salt Lake City.
But the Minnesota contingent is feeling no pain.
“If Lee Scratch Perry and Deadmau5 died, went to heaven and recorded an album with Bradley Nowell and Jerry Garcia, they’d end up with something like Jon Wayne and the Pain’s full-length album ‘Surrender.’ In addition to the trio’s signature sound of roots-infused reggae/rock, their latest release adds a bold fusion of Jam and EDM into the fold,” the band’s Facebook page notes.
In short, “Live Reggaetronic Dub on Tour!” Something for everyone.
Jon Wayne, backed by bandmates Chuckie Torgerson, Teeto Miller and Weston Schick, relays a serious message on Facebook, too: “In late 2008, I needed help. I was addicted to drugs and alcohol and was homeless, begging for money on the streets of South Minneapolis. After repeated attempts to get sober and multiple relapses, my life and music career were in turmoil. I had nowhere to turn and was quite literally on the face of death.”
He credits a call to MusiCares, a Los Angeles organization that helps struggling musicians pay for drug and alcohol treatment, for saving his life.
Pain has been sober for seven years. Ironically, he talked about it while seated at the bar (drinking water) at the South Lake Tahoe saloon. “My sobriety does not count on the people I see or the places I go.” Although playing more than 100 shows a year, life is good now, Pain said. He and his fiancée Jordan plan to get married next summer.
“One More Trip” is a song featured on Jon Wayne and the Pain’s album “Live at the District.” The band dished out a rocking, 20-minute rendition Saturday night in South Lake.
“One more trip up to the flatlands, where the Red River flows and you can’t get a tan — where the people that you meet on the street aren’t afraid to shake your hand.” Road trips led out West, where “if you’re looking for a Compton address … best wear a bulletproof vest… Long Beach, Hollywood, up to Crystal Bay…”
And then the thanks: “To all the people that keep me sane. To the love I found when I was full of pain … (you) helped me realize home is where I finally am.”
A performance by Jon Wayne and the Pain at MontBleu inspired Lake Tahoe musicians Todd Christensen (bass) and Billy Blurton (guitar/vocals) to form a reggae band, Weapon. They are joined by drummer Casey Smith. The three opened Saturday night’s show.
The name Weapon may sound like a hardcore metal band, but Christensen explained last year that “we use love as our weapon – music is our weapon.”
“We are more alternative, a little heavier, faster (than a typical reggae band),” Christensen told Tahoe Onstage last year before a show with reggae great Pato Banton. On Saturday, the Pain’s Weston Schick broke out the sax to help Weapon close its set with a smoking cover of “2 a.m.,” a Slightly Stoopid tune.
It’s been a busy week — Weapon performed at “Live at Lakeview” on Thursday, and Christensen plays bass in a new hard-rock band, Strange Weather, that slammed it at Whiskey Dick’s last Sunday.
But tonight, for all those involved, the great thing about the music is that when it hits, they will feel no pain.
- Tonight (July 26), 8 p.m. Jon Wayne and the Pain, Moe’s Original BBQ, 120 Grove St., Tahoe City.