The concert was billed as Orgone versus Monophonics but it was definitely not a competition. Never have two bands been more in sync. Orgone’s dynamic lead singer, Adryon de Leon, promised three hours of “the best music on earth.” Both bands delivered in a big way.
Keyboardist Dan Hastie and guitarist Sergio Rios started Orgone in the early 1990s as a boardwalk band in Southern California with a passion for raw soul music. The Monophonics were formed in 2005 in San Francisco playing funk music and psychedelic soul. Both bands rocked the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room with incredible energy. Their music features powerful horn sections and great vocals.
Orgone took the stage first with Rios playing dazzling guitar licks that mesmerized the full house. Sergio is so expressive onstage and extremely talented. Then de Leon’s bold voice just takes over and you are drawn into the unique sound. When Adryon hits those high notes, she could probably shatter glass. It was impossible to sit still and everyone was dancing to the heart pounding rhythms. Monophonics guitarist Ian McDonald joined them for a couple of upbeat songs. Then Kelly Finnigan jumped onstage and belted out some amazing vocals with de Leon.
After 75 minutes of blistering soul and funk from Orgone, the Monophonics took the stage. The bands shared the same sound system, drum set and keyboards so there was no break in the great music. Drummer Austin Bohlman and bass player Myles O’Mahony laid down the foundation with Ryan Scott on trumpet and Nadav Nirenberg on trombone. Finnigan’s powerful vocals were the perfect complement to McDonald’s guitar. Sergio Rios soon joined them for some outrageous dual lead guitar tunes. Next up was special guest vocalist Ben L’Oncle all the way from Paris, France.
It was a major party that lasted past midnight. The Crown Room was overflowing with positive energy and great vibes. The stage was full for the final 30 minutes as both bands performed together. The four horn players meshed flawlessly and the vocals were in perfect harmony. It was truly one of the best shows of the year.
– Author-photographer Conrad Buedel is a Tahoe Onstage contributor who lives in Minden, Nev.