Saturday night’s Sokol Underground show was the first live music outing for me in a couple weeks. In fact, the last band I saw was Virgasound back before Christmas at O’Leaver’s. The funny thing about O’Leaver’s — despite the sound system, it really is a great place to see live music because it’s so damn small (that can also be a drawback, depending on who’s playing). If you pull in 40 people, the place seems packed and edgy. Well, there was probably only 50 or 60 people at Saturday night’s show at Sokol, and as you might have guessed, it seemed rather empty — that’s the disadvantage for upstart bands that play there that aren’t supporting big-draw national or Creek bands. The advantage, however, is the venue’s premium sound system. And Virgasound took full advantage of it. They never sounded better… or louder. Probably because it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been to a show, but man, they sure seemed loud. I’ve written about these guys a number of times (for example), so I’m not going to go into too many details, other than to say the stage spacing and the sparce crowd seemed to have had an impact on the energy coming from the band. Cocky frontman Chris Esterbrooks told me afterward that he cracked his guitar before the set, which dampened his mood (He even said so a few times from the stage). Regardless, they sounded as good as ever, and proved once again that they’re one of the best live bands in Omaha.
Next came The Third Men. Like I’ve said before, these guys are the epitomy of ’90s sunshine So. Cal indie rock reminiscent of bands like Matthew Sweet and The Feelies — in fact, I wish they’d add a Feelies cover to their arsenal. Instead, they added a cover of The Kinks’ “Victoria” as an encore (apparently replacing crowd favorite, Wings’ “Jet,” which a small group of girls were screaming for at the end of their set). The Third Men is the type of band that you could imagine playing in the background of an early (good) Jonathan Demme film, the perfect feel-good wedding band for a very hip couple. Seek them out. You won’t regret it.
No idea on shows this week other than Lifeafterlaserdisque Wednesday at Sokol Underground and Jason Anderson this coming Saturday — look for an Anderson interview online Wednesday. If you know of any other gigs going on this week, drop me a line.
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