Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race

The Straits, with some original members of Dire Straits, play at MontBleu tonight.

Casinos: Former Dire Straits members play Tahoe’s MontBleu

Published: Friday, Mar. 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

Evidently, it was the discovery of South-African guitarist Terence Reis that made the Straits a reality.

The story goes like this: A few years ago, Alan Clark, former keyboardist for Dire Straits, went to listen to Reis play after hearing about his skills. Word was that Reis had the ability to play as brilliantly as original Dire Straits member Mark Knopfler.

Clark and former Dire Straits saxophonist Clark White had been talking about forming a new band – this one simply called the Straits. Their previous group had gone through several convulsions since its arena-packing heyday in the ’80s – the almost too-usual cycle of disbanding, reuniting, then disbanding – but both Clark and White felt the stage calling once again.

The Straits played a charity concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall in May 2011, benefiting U.K. youth cricket and other sports. Playing many Dire Straits classics, the band struck a chord with an appreciative audience and decided to stay together. They are now on a 25-city tour and will appear tonight at the MontBleu.

Unfortunately for fans at this concert, drummer Steve Ferrone will not appear, off fulfilling a commitment with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Bassist Michael Feat, guitarist Adam Phillips and keyboardist Jamie Squire, however, are scheduled to play with Clark, White and Reis.

Knopfler has reportedly expressed no interest to rejoining the party, but by all reports, Reis is up to the task of jamming to Dire Straits tunes such as “Tunnel of Love,” “Lady Writer” and “Sultans of Swing.” There’s also, of course, the stadium anthem “Walk of Life.” (9 p.m.; $35; Ticketmaster)

G. Love is going to be busy this weekend. Along with band Special Sauce, he’ll hit the Grand Sierra tonight and Thunder Valley on Saturday. Love’s current tour is a celebration of the 20th anniversary of his self-titled debut album, which featured “Cold Beverage,” the single that went into heavy rotation on MTV and nearly propelled his first album to No. 1. Since then, Love (born Garrett Dutton III) has specialized in mixing genres – he calls his music hip-hop blues. Ethan Tucker and Jelly Bread open the shows. (Grand Sierra: 9 p.m.; $27.50, $33; grandsierraresort.com. Thunder Valley: 8:30 p.m.; $24.50, $34.50; thundervalleyresort.com)

Many smiles at Harveys Lake Tahoe as they announced the addition of Lady Gaga to the summer outdoor concert series. Tickets go on sale today for “Lady Gaga’s artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball” on Aug. 2. ($89.50; $135.50; $225; Ticketmaster and apeconcerts.com) Also added: Sarah McLachlan, June 24 ($39.50, $59.50, $89.50); Carrie Underwood, July 18 ($89.50, $135.50, $175.50); Boston and the Doobie Brothers Aug. 3 ($49.50, $69.50, $89.50, $125.50); and The Eagles on Aug. 30 ($99.50, $175.50, $255.50).

After a two-year run at Lake Tahoe’s Horizon, “Illusion Fusion,” starring magician Alex Ramon, has its last show Monday. (899-683-8266)

Read more articles by Mel Shields

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