When I interviewed Robb Nansel and Jason Kulbel last Friday for this story about Slowdown, they mentioned that while their countdown clock on their website shows the opening day to be June 8, that they were planning a “quiet opening” on Thursday (last night) “but that’s not for publication.” The idea was to get the bar rolling before “getting hit by a train” of business the following day. Then yesterday word leaked out that Bright Eyes might play for the “quiet opening.” Well, so much for the silence. Rumors spread quickly on the Internet. I swung down to Slowdown last night at around 10, figuring I’d stop in for a quick Rolling Rock before I head out to The Waiting Room for the No Blood Orphan show. I drove by the building along 14th street, saw the line to get in and the crowds of people standing around inside and kept right on driving, not in the mood for a mob scene which I figured I’d be experiencing Friday and Saturday night down there anyway. Omahype.com has brief a write-up about last night’s BE show, with pictures (here).
I got to The Waiting Room just in time to catch the last song of Landing on the Moon’s set (which sounded great, btw). There were maybe 60 people there; some thought the attendance was hurt by the Slowdown show. In fact, Artsy Golfer didn’t play as scheduled. Instead, Jake Bellows and Ryan Fox performed a duo-guitar soundscape standing on the floor in front of the stage. Then came No Blood Orphan performing songs off their new CD, Robertson Park (see yesterday’s review). Pretty awesome. So you have a great CD, a great live band, why not hit the road, guys? When I talked to the band last year, serious touring wasn’t in the cards, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be for this CD, either, but you never know.
So tonight is the “real” grand opening of The Slowdown, and I have a friendly wager with one of the musicians performing tonight that the show will sell out (I think it will; he doesn’t). If they can cram the place for a “quiet opening,” I have to believe the official ribbon-cutting will be just as crazy, especially with a six-band line-up that includes Capgun Coup, Flowers Forever, Now Archimedes!, Art in Manila, Domestica and Little Brazil, all for just $2. Performances begin at 7, according to The Slowdown site. Parking could be a question mark, as the lot was filled last night.
Tomorrow night’s Slowdown schedule looks just as robust, with Mal Madrigal, The Terminals, Ladyfinger, Bear Country and Neva Dinova. Show starts at 8 and again costs only $2.
Don’t feel like a mob scene? Slowdown isn’t the only game in town this weekend. The Waiting Room is hosting BrakeBrakesBrakes tonight with Pela & Electric Soft Parade. 9 p.m., $10. Tomorrow night you have Scott Severin and his band at The Saddle Creek Bar with Matt Whipkey, Sarah Benck and Thousand Houses, $5, 9 p.m., while TWR has The Mercurys with John Henry Band, 9 p.m., $7; and Local H is playing at Sokol Underground with The Goddamn Rights; $10/$12, 9 p.m. Sunday at TWR is The High Strung with Kyle Harvey, $8, 9 p.m.
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