Sucettes120917
Sucettes at Pet Shop Gallery Dec. 9, 2017.

Welcome to Lazy-i, an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news.

The focus is on the indie music scene. Yes, there’s a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area, but Lazy-i also offers interviews, stories and reviews about national indie bands.

Most of the feature stories and columns in Lazy-i will have previously been published in The Reader, Omaha’s monthly alternative newspaper.



Live Review: Bright Eyes and the new The Admiral Theater…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:46 am July 3, 2022
Bright Eyes at The Admiral Theater, July 2, 2022

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

As much as some things change, some things never change. Like finding parking around The Admiral f.k.a. Sokol Auditorium.

I didn’t get down there Saturday night for the Bright Eyes concert until well after 9 p.m. and was thrown into a time warp circa the early 2000s, driving the same back streets I did back then, looking for a parking space. I remembered my ol’ standby about three blocks southwest of the auditorium. Wasn’t there a church there before? And where did this high-rise condo/apartment building come from?

Neighbors were out on their stoops, getting ready to watch street fireworks. “You going to the show?” a young lady said while her husband chatted up a neighbor across the street, a baby in his arms.

“Sure am.” I said.

Well, have a good time!

Ah, that South Omaha charm, it never fades.

The building’s exterior hadn’t changed at all. Security was out front on the sidewalk checking IDs for drinkers, and someone asked to see my Vax card (few if any wore masks in the audience). Once inside, I emptied my pockets and lifted my seed cap to a guy holding a scanning wand, wondering how long the line must have been an hour earlier.

Once past the stairway and into the actual hall and you’re met with what feels like a new facility. The biggest updates on first glance were the fresh coat of paint (gilded gold along the balcony and the stage crown) and the gorgeous, new enormous bar in the north end of the building where the gym used to be (Note: no Rolling Rock. I settled for an $8 Stella tallboy).

Bright Eyes at The Admiral Theater, July 2, 2022

Bright Eyes already was on stage when I entered. So the big question: How did the room sound? I’m no audiophile, but it sounded more balanced and less boomy than I remembered. The PA speakers are now flown from the ceiling, and there’s an enormous new soundboard. It sounded as good as any large performance venue in Omaha, heard through my earplugs because the high volume.

The first thing I noticed missing from stage — Mike Mogis. Turns out he got COVID and missed the show — a real bummer.

Frontman Conor Oberst was his usual shambolic self, doing his new, weird solo dance during “Dance and Sing,” that looked forced and unnatural. You know what they say, dance like no one is looking. And that’s exactly what he did.

Showing high energy to the point of being jittery, Oberst’s voice was a bit frayed, especially on the more energetic numbers. He was backed by a small orchestra and a band that included MiWi La Lupa on multiple instruments, amazing drummer Jon Theodore (Queens of the Stone Age, ex-The Mars Volta), and Nate Walcott, who played the Paul Shaffer role as the pseudo bandleader giving cues from across the stage.

The 2022 version of Bright Eyes includes Oberst performing a number of songs with only microphone in hand — not behind a piano or a guitar. That freed him to do his wonky dancing and odd hand gestures, running to and fro across the stage. Oberst was at his best seated at a piano or playing guitar, more relaxed and more natural. In fact, as big and bombastic as this version of Bright Eyes is, I’d prefer to see the band stripped back down to Mike, Nate, Conor, MiWi and that drummer, just like the good ol’ days.

You can see the full set list below, which for the most part followed what he’s been playing on tour (with a couple order changes). The highlight was a modernized version of “Neely O’Hara” pushed forward by a very cool electric guitar counter melody. It was followed by a stripped-down version of “First Day of My Life” that had the crowd singing along.

I’ve been going to Bright Eyes concerts for 25 years, and this was one of the more downcast set lists I can remember — lots of slower, darker songs. On stage Oberst acknowledged his ongoing pessimism/sarcasm, and punctuated it with his usual between-song political rants, which we’ve all heard before and all agree with.

He strayed from politics only a few times. Once reminiscing about living in the apartment house on 40th and Farnam nicknamed the Jerk Store back in ’98 and ’99 (and where I first interviewed him while Joe Knapp practiced music somewhere upstairs). The other was toward the end of the set where he acknowledged the new Admiral. “I’ve played here a thousand times,” he said. “I wouldn’t call what I’m feeling ‘deja vu’ as much as ‘The Twilight Zone.’”

The band stuck to their usual three-song encore and then the lights went up and I could see the Admiral a bit better.

The Admiral Theater looking from the balcony toward the new bar area, July 2, 2022.

The floor was the same as I remembered, as was the chandelier. With everyone filing out the security guard let me see the balcony — maybe the biggest improvement of the entire remodel. It’s completely different, with a new built-out bar that runs along the building’s east wall and windows, and is amazing. It’s like a small club separated yet open to the balcony. The actual balcony wings were the same, though now you can see into the backstage area (maybe you always could?).

Gorgeous new Admiral balcony bar. Notice the windows in back, which are the building’s front windows. July 2, 2022.

Balcony tickets were $75 vs. the $45 general admission. Definitely worth the splurge for the right band. I’m not sure Bright Eyes fits the bill. That said, I’ve never been a fan of watching performances from the balcony. It’s too isolated, too separated from what’s going on down on the floor.

Which brings up one more big improvement at The Admiral. Friday’s show was crowded — probably a sell out. In years’ past, shows like that at Sokol Auditorium would have been a test to endure the heat and humidity. The Admiral’s HVAC did yeoman’s duty, keeping the place relatively cool and air well-circulated — which is even more important considering how COVID is beginning to spike again in Douglas County.

Jim Johnson and Marc Leibowitz — the masterminds behind the renovation — looked like a couple proud papas. They should be proud. They’ve created a jewel of a live performance space and saved a piece of Omaha history in the process. And they did it the old-fashioned way — as part of a team of investors who put their own money on the table along with their sweat and blood. That takes enormous courage after what this city — and this country — has been through. I have no doubt the gamble will pay off.

Check out their shiny new website. Looking at their calendar, I see more Admiral in my future. On my radar: Sunny Day Real Estate Sept. 14, Kurt Vile and the Violators Oct. 20 and Godspeed You! Black Emperor Nov. 4., which, by then, will mean trudging through snow drifts to get back to our car.

Here’s the setlist from the July 2 Bright Eyes show at The Admiral:

Dance and Sing
Lover I Don’t Have to Love
Bowl of Oranges
Mariana Trench
Old Soul Song (for the New World Order)
One and Done
Falling Out of Love at This Volume
No One Would Riot for Less
Haile Selassie
Persona non grata
Tilt-a-Whirl
Stairwell Song
Neely O’Hara
First Day of My Life
The Calendar Hung Itself
Comet Song

Encore:
Ladder Song
I Believe in Symmetry
One for You, One for Me

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Digital Leather, Liily tonight; Bright Eyes weekend (at The Admiral); O’Leaver’s “secret” show, Mike Schlesinger Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 2:42 pm July 1, 2022
Bright Eyes at Westfair Amphitheater, June 4, 2011. The band plays at The Admiral Saturday and Sunday nights.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The long wait is over this Saturday as The Admiral — f.k.a. Sokol Auditorium — finally opens its doors, and for Bright Eyes no less. This, after months of “construction delays” have forced at least a dozen shows to be rescheduled or moved to other venues. I have to believe the 1% guys (and the Mammoth folks and other investors) are relieved to finally be open for business.

So, strange story about Saturday night’s Bright Eyes show — earlier this week I announced that it was sold out, because it was marked “sold out” on the 1% website and on the etix site. Then suddenly a day or so ago, it’s no longer sold out. No idea what the deal was.

I also noticed that both Saturday and Sunday nights are “Masks required unless eating or drinking” shows, as well as No Vax No Entry. Maybe it was on there before and I didn’t notice it. So if you’re going this weekend, be vaxed or get tested and be able to prove it, and bring your mask (though for the life of me, I have no idea how they’ll enforce the mask mandate — just wear one anyway). Tickets are $45 or $75 for “Premiere Balcony” seats. I’m told the balcony is completely renovated, and the original plans were to have a separate bar in the balcony. Hurray for the Riff Raff kicks things off at 8 p.m.

OK, so what about tonight (Friday)?

Digital Leather is playing tonight at The Sydney as part of Drag Night at The Sydney. There’s two listings for this show — one says it’s an amateur drag night (Hit ‘em w/yr catwalk), and the other is DL’s listing (+ drag night), which says they go on at 11. $5. Grab your wig and heels and come on down.

Also tonight, the Slowdown is back at it after harvesting (millions?) of CWS dollars the past couple weekends. Well, the tents are gone and the bands are back. Tonight it’s LA alt-rock band Liily with Catcher and our very own Infinite Video. $18, 8 p.m.

Over at The Berkley, 1901 Leavenworth St., new local four-piece Indian Caves (Dan Krueger, Joe Ranne, Kyle Moeller and Leslie Wells) headlines tonight with Saltwater Sanctuary and ol’ favorites Midwest Dilemma (acoustic). $5. 8 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) there’s a sort of “secret show” at fabulous O’Leaver’s. The listing says Secret Serenade w/Cookie Mug. No idea who these bands really are, but the show is free so the only thing you’re risking is your time. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to have anything but a good time at O’Leaver’s. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Finally, Pageturners Lounge is hosing a folk-poet quartet called The Snarlin Yarns Saturday night. Opening is one of Omaha’s best kept music secrets, Mike Schlesinger. This is a free show and it starts at 8 p.m.

And that’s all I got for this long July 4 weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a bang-up time.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever added to Maha; Bartees Strange drops out…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:57 pm June 29, 2022
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever has been added to the 2022 Maha Festival line-up.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

The folks at the Maha Music Festival today announced a pretty drastic line-up change for their upcoming festival. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever has been added to the Saturday program. The Australian band scored big with their 2018 release, Hope Downs (Sub Pop), which made it on a lot of critic’s “best of” list. Their latest, Endless Rooms (2022, Sub Pop) is a return to form, garnering 7.3 on the Pitchfork meter.

Meanwhile, 4AD artist Bartees Strange has dropped off the Maha bill. I was looking forward to seeing Bartees and his band, as Farm to Table is one of the more surprising releases so far this year. But never fear, Bartees Strange has been rescheduled to play at The Slowdown Dec. 15.

So, a wash? Rolling Blackouts probably has a bigger following and might sell more tickets, whereas Bartees is more cutting edge and lesser-known. So, advantage Maha… probably. I have no idea how well festival tickets have been moving. We’re a month out and they have yet to sell out their limited VIP tickets, whereas Outlandia sold out all their VIP tickets some time ago. Apples and oranges I know, but still….

One other Maha schedule change – Saddle Creek Records act Indigo De Souza has been moved from Saturday to Friday night. See the full schedule here, and buy tickets while you’re at it.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: Megan Siebe at O’Leaver’s; new Neva Dinova (sort of); Bright Eyes Saturday sold out…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:52 pm June 27, 2022
Megan Siebe at O’Leaver’s, June 25, 2022.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You couldn’t have asked for a nicer evening for an outdoor show than Saturday night in O’Leaver’s beer garden where Megan Siebe performed with Nate Bergman. A small PA was set up along the west side of the garden, where Megan was joined by a sign-language interpreter for the one-person acoustic show where she played a number of songs off her most recent album, as well as one or two new ones. The crowd of only around 20, which included a couple local musician luminaries (considering the venue, you can guess who they were), loved every minute of it.

Nate Bergman at O’Leaver’s, June 25, 2022.

Bergman came up right after and performed an acoustic set. He’s got a big voice that reminded me of Van Morrison, and I wondered how the set would have sounded with a full band. No doubt, a rock explosion.

A couple more things… I had a cheeseburger and fries from the O’Leaver’s grill while waiting for music to start, and they were superb. I also had a churro at The Churro Spot that recently opened next to O’Leaver’s, and it was heavenly. Now I need to try their burritos! Maybe I will this weekend, when O’Leaver’s hosts a sort of mystery show inside the club.

. 0 0 0 .

Saddle Creek Records announced last week that it’s releasing Neva Dinova’s all-new Demos and C-Sides LP Aug. 19, along with reissues of the band’s 2008 album You May Already Be Dreaming, the 2001 self-titled LP and 2005’s The Hate Yourself Change.

The first track from the rarities collection, “Too Much Gone,” also dropped last week. Get your orders in for these limited vinyl releases here.

. 0 0 0 .

All things are pointing to those Bright Eyes gigs actually happening at the new Admiral Theater (former Sokol Auditorium) this weekend. The venue itself sounds like it’ll be ready. And so does the band. Bright Eyes apparently pulled off a killer set at the Greek Theater in LA last Thursday. And BE had an appearance on the James Corden show while in town, where the band performed a new version of “Falling Out of Love at This Volume.”

Saturday night’s Bright Eyes show is sold out, by the way…

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Nate Bergman, Megan Siebe, Problems Saturday; Motherfolk Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 2:09 pm June 24, 2022
Megan Siebe plays Saturday night at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A reminder: Tonight’s Helmet show at The Waiting Room is POSTPONED. I think COVID had something to do with it.

That was the only show tonight on my radar.

Saturday night, it’s back to fabulous O’Leaver’s for Nate Bergman and Megan Siebe. Based out to D.C., Bergman just got off the road with Cursive and Appleseed Cast. His new album, Metaphysical Change, was released by Velocity Records and has a real traditional rock sound. Omaha singer/songwriter Megan Siebe, who has worked with local heavy hitters including Cursive, Simon Joyner and Tim Kasher to name just three, has a new album out on Grapefruit Records called Swaying Steady that’s a real beaut! You get both artists for the low, low price of FREE. Starts early at 7 p.m.

Also Saturday night, electronic project Cult Play headlines at The Sydney in Benson. Joining Cult Play is Problems (a.k.a. Darren Keen of The Show is The Rainbow) and Money Marcs. $8, 10 p.m.

Sunday night, Cincinnati’s Motherfolk headlines at Reverb Lounge. Minneapolis band Durry opens at 8 p.m. $18.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Cat Piss Rides Again this Friday; Neko Case tonight at The Waiting Room…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 7:14 am June 23, 2022
Neko Case plays tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I was a bit under the weather yesterday and as a result, I didn’t update the blog yesterday, and as a result, I didn’t hype last night’s Cat Piss show at Reverb (or the Man Man show at The Waiting Room).

So, apologies to Cat Piss’ Sam Lipsett, who reached out specifically about this show. Wish I would have been there.

But, let it be known, Cat Piss is releasing their debut album, Cat Piss Rides Again, this Friday on Boise, Idaho label Mishap Records, and the two singles I’ve heard are like an homage to the ‘90s Nebraska punk sound (i.e., bands like Mousetrap, Cellophane Ceiling and Sideshow come to mind).

Cat Piss is Casey Plucinski on guitar/vocals, Nathan Wolf on drums/vocals and Lipsett on bass/vocals. The new album was recorded by Ben Brodin and mastered by Carl Saff. Get ready for this one.

. 0 0 0 .

Tonight is the big Neko Case show at The Waiting Room. This show was originally slated for the new Admiral Theater (the former Sokol Auditorium), but was moved due to construction delays pushing back the venue’s opening. If you follow The Admiral on Facebook than you’ve seen the recent photos that show the project is coming along, and all indications are that the theater will be open for the July 2-3 Bright Eyes shows.

Anyway, tonight’s show is being marketed as “An Evening with Neko Case” which I guess means there’s no opening act. The June 17 set list for Case’s Portland show indicates it’s going to include from her career-spanning retrospective album, Wild Creatures.

Head’s up, in addition to being a No Vax No Entry show, Neko is requesting that everyone wear a mask. I have no idea how masking will be enforced (or if it will), but bring one and wear it out of courtesy for the artist. 8 p.m. $41.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

David Dondero, Craig Dee tonight at Pageturners Lounge…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:09 pm June 21, 2022
Dave Dondero at The Concert for Equality, 7/31/10.
Dave Dondero at The Concert for Equality, 7/31/10. He plays tonight at Pagerurner’s Lounge.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Singer/songwriter David Dondero’s goes back to the early Saddle Creek Records days as he’s been cited by Conor Oberst as one of his primary influences, specifically referencing Dondero’s work with his ’90s-era band Sunbrain, which released albums on Grass Records (which released records from a number of Omaha bands, including Commander Venus, Mousetrap and Cactus Nerve Thang). Dondero’s latest release is 2020’s The Filter Bubble Blues. Joining him tonight at Pageturners Lounge is local legend Craig Dee on drums for a few numbers. This free show starts at 9 p.m.

Check out this vintage review of Dave playing The Junction back in 2002 with Matt Whipkey and Fizzle Like a Flood.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: David Nance, Nathan Ma and the Guitars; busy week of shows…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 7:15 am June 20, 2022
David Nance at Reverb Lounge, June 17, 2022.
David Nance at Reverb Lounge, June 17, 2022.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

T’was a busy weekend. If you’re looking for the review of the Whipkey/America concert, it was published yesterday, here.

The weekend kicked off with David Nance Band at Reverb Lounge… actually, Nance said he doesn’t want to use that name anymore. I’m not sure if he’s kidding or not, but (maybe) look out for a new band name sometime in the near future.

The gig celebrated the release of his new album, Pulverized & Slightly Peaced, which came out last Friday on Philly label Petty Bunco Records. That said, the performance went well beyond that album’s material, with Nance and Co. playing songs from a number of past records.

The set’s highlight was an amazing version of “Credit Line,” which appears in a more deconstructed, low-fi version on the new record. The version performed Friday night was absolutely killer, and is begging (or I’m begging) to be properly recorded and released. The heart of the sound was the band’s rhythm section, consisting of drummer Kevin Donahue and bassist Dereck Higgins, but the soul came from Nance trading punches with fellow guitarist Jim Schroeder.

Nathan Ma and the Guitars at Reverb Lounge, June 17, 2022.
Nathan Ma and the Guitars at Reverb Lounge, June 17, 2022.

Among the night’s openers was Nathan Ma and the Guitars. I’m a fan of Ma’s music, especially his recent singles (here’s hoping he’s pulling them together for a proper album).

Backed by a stellar ensemble that included Tom May on guitar, Jon Cobb on bass, Billy Lieberman on percussion and Colin Duckworth on pedal steel, Ma writes and sings music that lies somewhere between country barroom and ’60s baroque, Flying Burrito Brothers meets The Byrds, with multiple guitar lines weaving in and out of dreamy, mid-tempo melodies sung in Ma’s soft, sweet mew (which, at times, got lost in the mix).

Lieberman’s minimal percussion (mostly bongos) and Duckworth’s warm, layered pedal steel really set the tone, but when all the guitars got into a meticulous groove, it was mesmerizing.

This was one of the largest crowds I’ve seen at Reverb since the pandemic, btw…

. 0 0 0 .

It’s a busy week of touring shows, so get your Red Bull ready:

  • — it’s David Dondero and Craig Dee at Pageturners.
  • — Wednesday, Man Man at The Waiting Room.
  • — Thursday, Neko Case at The Waiting Room.
  • Friday, Helmet at The Waiting Room. This one has been postponed.

But then the weekend falls off a cliff….

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

Live Review: America, Matt Whipkey at The Holland Center…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:10 pm June 19, 2022
America at The Holland Performing Arts Center, June 18, 2022.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

What are you going to be doing at age 70? Would you be satisfied flying around he country to venues like The Holland Performing Arts Center (or Memorial Park, for that matter) playing songs you wrote 50 years ago to people who just want to hear the songs you wrote 50 years ago?

Sounds pretty good to me, though at what point do become more of a performer than an artist? The last studio album by America, who played at Holland Center Saturday night, was Lost & Found, released in 2015, and included tracks recorded as far back as 2000. And their Holland set included the album’s opening track, “Driving.”

But looking around at the audience made up mostly of fans who could have bought their ‘70s albums when they were first released, I wondered how many wanted to hear anything other than the hits.

And man, America has a lot of them. They kicked off the night with “Tin Man” from their ’74 album Holiday, which was followed by “You Can Do Magic” from their ’84 album View from the Ground (and their last big U.S. hit), and then my personal fave, “Daisy Jane,” from ’75’s Hearts.

Looking like a hip college professor, co-frontman Gerry Beckley, age 69, handled most of the vocals alongside Dewey Bunnell (the guy on the Horse with No Name, age 70), and both sounded in fine voice, backed in harmonies by three other latter-day traveling members. The third original core member of America, Dan Peek, passed away in 2011, but had left the band in ’77 never to return.

Surprisingly Beckley and Bunnell never mentioned their old compatriot, though he was seen in some of the vintage images shown on the big screen throughout the set. I guess when you play 100 shows a year for 52 years, mentioning an old band member every night would get redundant, though last night’s gig was likely the first time many in the audience have seen America perform.

The show is part of the 50 Year Anniversary Tour, no longer marking 50 years of America, but 50 years of their debut album, released in ’71. To celebrate, the band played three songs from the debut in succession, including their first hit, “I Need You.” If you’re my age, you’d recognize it immediately.

They were followed by one of their most popular hits, “Ventura Highway,” (no doubt the influence to “Theme from The Californians”). It’s FM gold, and the crowd went wild. Then came old sad sack “Lonely People,” which would be the last hit for awhile, as the band then played a number of songs I didn’t recognize. The crowd responded respectfully, waiting patiently for the next hit.

Instead, the got a cover of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” in honor of Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday, as well as a cover of “California Dreaming.” This is how you fill a 90-minute set, but let’s be honest, the crowd would have been just as happy to only hear the hits and those covers, which alone would encompass 11 songs — just the right length for a park festival, but maybe not long enough for a theater gig like this (though I would have happy).

In the end, the fans got what they wanted, as the set closed with anti-war song “Sandman” and mega-hit “Sister Golden Hair,” that got them on their feet. The band left their biggest hit of all, “Horse with No Name,” as the encore (of course).

Matt Whipkey at The Holland Performing Arts Center, June 18, 2022.

Opening the show was singer/songwriter local hero Matt Whipkey, who made the most of his just over 30-minute set. With acoustic guitar and accompanied on keyboards by longtime sideman Scott Gaeta, Whipkey charmed an audience of strangers with songs off his recent album, Hard, as well as a few chestnuts (such us my all-time fave of his, 2008’s “Separation,” which kicked off the set at 7 p.m. sharp).

You’d expect to see some nerves showing from a guy who typically plays to crowds of 100 or so at local bars, now standing in the spotlight in front of a few thousand. But Whipkey made it look like a walk in the park, getting the crowd laughing between songs, even making fun of the giant “Matt Whipkey” sign that blared behind him throughout the set.

Paraphrasing here, Whipkey quipped, “I love playing at O’Leaver’s, it’s one of my favorite places, but this is a little bit better,” with Gaeta quickly adding, “It smells better, too.”

The highlights included “Mayday” and “Overboard” from Hard, “Underwater” from the album of the same name, super-old song “17,” and his cover of “Drive My Car,” also dedicated to McCartney (afterward, I heard some guy behind me playing the Beatles’ version on his phone). It was a great way to kick off the evening, and another in a series of career highlights for Whipkey.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i

‘Top indie bands’ (in The Reader); David Nance Band, Nathan Ma tonight; Cactus Blossoms, Esther Rose, America, Matt Whipkey (at the Holland) Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:54 pm June 17, 2022
Dave Nance Group at The Waiting Room, Nov. 13, 2018. The band plays tonight at Reverb.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Before we get to the weekend, remember when I created this ‘Post-Pandemic Nebraska Indie Band List of 2022”? Well, The Reader’s “Music Issue” is on the newsstands now, and the list has made it into that esteemed publication, along with an explainer. I’ve also made a few adjustments to the list, and linked every band to their respective Bandcamp page (if they have one).

Go take a look! This is what replaced the Top 20 list this year, and why not? Because all these bands deserve to be in a Top 20 for surviving the pandemic…

. o o o .

Now, let’s get to the weekend…

Tonight at Reverb Lounge David Nance Band celebrates the release of their new album, Pulverized and Slightly Peaced. Recorded in early 2017, the album, available on vinyl, is a collection of home-recorded originals that were spit-shined to become the album Peaced & Slightly Pulverized, that was released a few years ago by Trouble in Mind Records.

From the Bandcamp description of the new album: “Conceived and recorded within a single work week, with our blue-collar Nance setting up all the microphones, playing all the instruments, and riding all the faders, Pulverized & Slightly Peaced contains all the elements that we at Petty Bunco admire in music: the tried and true Rn’R instruments lovingly misused to create a vital ragged sound dripping with personality and verve.”

So, an album of demoes? Outtakes? I actually don’t know because I’m only now listening to it this morning. The album includes a 20-minute version of “Amethyst,” which I assume will take up most of (if not all) of side 2. Check it out and order the record here. Performing with Nance and his band is the amazing Nathan Ma and the Guitars, and opener Kyle Jessen. 9 p.m., $10.

. 0 0 0 .

Also tonight, there’s a punk rock show at The Sydney with Nowhere, Living Conditions and a “Special Guest.” Who could it be? Go and find out! 10 p.m. $10.

Tomorrow night (Saturday), indie alt-country acts Cactus Blossoms headlines at Reverb Lounge with Esther Rose, another twanger whose music is released on respected indie label Father/Daughter Records. I got a strange feeling that this will be one of those shows where you say in a few years that you saw these bands on the tiny Reverb stage before they were big. $20, 8 p.m.

And here’s some bonus coverage: Local singer/songwriter Matt Whipkey will be opening for legacy FM radio freedom-rock band America at The Holland Performing Arts Center Saturday night. This is the first time Matt has played the Holland stage, where he’ll be accompanied by his old wingman Scott Gaeta for the performance.

When checking out this show, I tapped through America’s catalog on Spotify. I thought their only hit was “Horse with No Name,” but America actually has, like, a dozen hits, including one of my all-time FM radio faves, “Daisy Jane.” 7 p.m., tix range from $39 to $99.

That’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend!

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

Lazy-i