Throughout the week I receive a number of invitations to see bands perform at the various clubs around this great city of ours. This week, all of them contained the phrase ‘If you’re not going to The Waiting Room this weekend…” Everyone thinks that the club’s grand opening will be the must-do event of the season. As talked about yesterday, on the bill for their opening night is Art in Manila (did anyone notice the evasive, back-in approach that I used to describe that band in yesterday’s article?), 4th of July (Adrianne Verhoeven of The Anniversary and Art in Manila) and Black Squirrels (ex-Darktown House Band). I can say with complete confidence that this is the largest crowd that Black Squirrels have performed in front of in their short, illustrious career (in fact, the OWH‘s pre-coverage of The Waiting Room’s opening seemed to focus primarily on the Squirrels rather than the bar).
The only thing that could dampen their opening night is the ol’ ‘I’m going to wait until the place slows down’ syndrome — i.e., people avoiding opening night because they figure it’ll be too packed or that they may not even be able to get in. All three bands have played in Omaha numerous times over the past year, so they’re not going to be the intrinsic draw. It’s the curiosity over the bar that will bring people in, but the fact is, the bar isn’t going anywhere. If all you want to see is its insides, you can always go there Monday night, or Tuesday, or Wednesday…
That said, I’ll be among those who will be attempting to cross the velvet rope. We’ve already made contingency plans if we notice a line of people stretched out along Maple St., standing in the rain waiting in The Waiting Room’s waiting line to get in. And speaking of plans, you might need to devise one for parking if you’re driving to the club. When I interviewed Leibowitz and Johnson last week, we talked about including a parking map with The Reader article, and I considered outlining all the parking options in the area. Then I thought ‘What, am I stupid?‘ It’s going to be hard enough for me to find parking as it is, I’m certainly not giving you any tips. The fact is, there aren’t many options beyond the public lot a couple blocks away. I foresee hundreds of people walking the sidewalks of Benson this evening from parking lots as far away as behind Mick’s. It would be a good night to have a hotdog cart parked along those sidewalks.
Anyway, the show begins at 9 p.m. and costs $7. Now, if you’re not going to The Waiting Room tonight there are other options, such as Kite Pilot, Razz the Kid and Or Does It Explode at The Saddle Creek Bar. Or Does It Explode is Robert Little and Matt Stamp from Mariannes, Tim from Latitude Longitude, and Pat D from RTO and Cactus Nerve Thang. $5, 9 p.m.
Down at Bemis Underground it’s the Black Shoe Bash and Dance Party with The Terminals, Brimstone Howl and Denver’s The Machine Gun Blues. Show starts at 9 p.m. and you’re asked to make a $5 donation at the door. Bemis Underground is the lower level of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, south of the Old Market at 724 S. 12th Street.
Ironically, Marc Leibowitz, co-owner of The Waiting Room, won’t even be at the club’s grand opening because he’ll have his hands full working The Take Action! Tour down at Sokol Auditorium. The benefit tour that focuses on issues surrounding suicide and depression includes bands The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Emery, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, A Static Lullaby, and Kaddisfly. Part of the proceeds from the tour supports Youth America Hotline! 1-877-YOUTHLINE. Show starts at 8 p.m. and is Sold Out.
If I missed anything, post it here. I’ll try to write an update online tomorrow morning about The Waiting Room (if I get in) and what’s in store for Saturday night.
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