It’s hard to follow a pitch perfect cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but after the Novelists closed their Jan. 28 set at Crystal Bay Casino Wednesday night with a sing along version of the 1970s cult classic, Miner came on stage and cranked the energy up even higher.
A twirling group of devoted Novelist fans who made the drive up from Reno, were joined by a throng of foot stomping, floor shaking Miner devotees in the Crown Room. It was clear songs like “Carousel” off the band’s first album “Into the Morning” were fan favorites, but new, soon-to-be recorded songs like “Bonfire” were also well received.
Husband and wife Justin and Kate Miner’s soulful voices blended perfectly over the up-tempo finger picking of original indie folk tunes. Kate’s face radiated joy as she sang and grooved behind the keyboard alternating between playing the keys, mandolin, harmonica and tambourine. She made playing the combination of instruments seem effortless and the fun the couple has playing together was evident when they sang face to face.
Justin’s brother Jeremy got the crowd jumping when he plugged in his electric banjo, letting loose a long flurry of notes that worked the band into a frenzy. Drummer Tobias Urbanczyk and bassist Nicholas Spiller kept the rhythm moving charging onward like a freight train barreling toward a musical climax.
Justin said Lake Tahoe was a great place to wind down as they don’t have many upcoming dates scheduled. With a focus on recording a new album in Los Angeles which is geared toward live performance, it’s doubtless that when Miner returns to Tahoe again, they’ll have more new material and more fans. Music lovers who were lucky enough to see them for free this time around will almost certainly have to pay for the privilege when this band returns.