by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
I’ll be writing in more detail about both Omaha Girls Rock and the Playing With Fire / Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings concerts in this week’s column (out on Thursday), but suffice to say both events were hugely successful.
I would guestimate that more than 200 people were on hand for OGR, a crowd that included not only proud, nervous parents, but also all the usual suspects that make up the Omaha indie music scene. All left the show with huge smiles on their faces (and for the organizers, a few tears). How can anyone not love this program? This was merely its inaugural year. You can find out more about OGR and make donations at the Omaha Girls Rock website. Get involved.
I guess you could say Stinson Park passed its Trial by Fire hosting the Playing With Fire concert Saturday night. I rode my bike to festivities at around 8:30 p.m and it was still muggy, hot, miserable. That could be why the numbers were what they were. If asked to guess, I’d say there was a little over 2,000 people in the park; but I’m hearing numbers as high as 7,000, which seems, well, unlikely. We’ll have to wait and see what the “official” numbers were. Regardless, there was plenty of room in Stinson to handle the crowd. The staging, the vendors, the security, all worked incredibly well.
As for sound and lighting, PWF organizers did a great job for what appeared to be a venue with some limitations (and time constraints). The sound was kind of… weird. It seemed like the further back from the stage I went, the louder it was (especially the high-end/snares, etc.). The best sound was right under the stage, where you’d expect it to be its loudest — but it wasn’t. Well, what do I know about sound engineering? Regardless, it was plenty loud, in fact, loud enough for the folks at nearby Pinhook Apartments to enjoy the show from their balconies with clarity.
My only comment about Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings — I felt lucky to be there, to be able to say I saw and heard this incredible band live and in person. If you don’t know what they’re about, check out there music (right now). Jones, age 55, performed with more energy than most R&B divas 1/3 her age — singing, dancing, grooving, pulling guys on stage to act as foils for her “you-better-do-me-right” rockers. I’ve never heard a band half as a good playing this style of R&B. Beyond that, you just had to be there.
There was talk from stage that this may not be the last Playing With Fire concert. Here’s hoping that’s the case.
More about both concerts Thursday…
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Speaking of concerts and festivals, the Red Sky Music Festival kicked off at noon today down at the TD Ameritrade ballpark and surrounding parking lots, whose surface temperature will likely exceed 130 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s already close to 100 right now. Tonight’s “headliner” is a Steve Perry-less version of Journey. You can see today’s schedule here. Good luck to those venturing out in this painful, miserable, intolerable heat.
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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 © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.