Live Review: R.Ring, InDreama; UUVVWWZ, Dim Light, Solid Goldberg tonight; Digital Leather Saturday; Liars Sunday…
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Most of the 50 (maybe) who were on hand for last night’s R.Ring show at The Waiting Room stood right next to the stage throughout a performance that felt as intimate as a house show. It helped that Kelley Deal, half of R.Ring with guitarist/vocalist Mike Montgomery of Ampline, was as unpretentious and approachable as any other member of the local music scene. In fact, she spent most of time playing pool while the opening bands burned up the stage.
Deal looked and sounded no different than the last time I saw her perform in Omaha more than a decade ago as a member of The Breeders, opening for Nirvana at Aksarben Coliseum. Her new band carries on the sonic themes that The Breeders were known for back in the day, albeit as a two-piece with no rhythm section. And for the most part, I didn’t miss it, though I wondered what some of the songs would sound like built on top of a solid rock foundation. Deal did a good job filling in the spaces with her frenetic guitar drenched in effects and delay, along with her voice, which shimmered between straightforward beauty to shrill energy to whispered ghostly hush.
Opener InDreama launched their set with a shotgun-blast rock song before shifting into full acid-trip mode. This band is starkly different than frontman Nik Fackler’s other project, the dance-synth-freakout known as Icky Blossoms, but is just as good in its own way. They were at their best in full trance mode, with bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Dereck Higgins channeling whatever mystic spirit guides him and this band to their sonic netherworld. They ended with “Reprogram,” the song that appears on the Icky/Touch People/Conduits/InDreama split from last year. Every time I hear it live, Fackler and Co. take the song to different places, creating ambient landscapes that are easy to get lost in. I found myself tapping out a beat toward the end of the song before I noticed that drummer Craig D had already quit playing — the rhythm deeply locked into my head. Hypnotic and Floydian. If there’s a gripe, it’s that their set was too short. InDreama needs more material, and then needs to head back into the studio.
Sandwiched between R.Ring and InDreama was Atlanta (by way of Omaha) band Hollow Stars and a sort of homecoming performance for Coyote Bones’ David Matysiak. Maybe it was all their green floor lights or just the vibe following InDreama, but something about Hollow Stars reminded me of Bauhaus — their minor-key rock grooves also had something to do with it. Their sound felt distinctively gothy, enhanced by frontman Colin Mee’s mono-tonal vocals. They closed with a song fueled by a staccato guitar riff that absolutely blazed.
All in all, a terrific night of music.
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There’s a full docket of shows slated for this weekend:
Tonight at the Waiting Room it’s the Lynden Lyme Benefit. Lynden’s got Lyme Disease and money generated from this benefit show will help cover some of the expenses associated with its treatment. I have no idea who Lynden is, but I do know she has some super-talented friends, all of whom are performing tonight: UUVVWWZ, Dim Light, Solid Goldberg and Dads. $7, early 7 p.m. start time.
NE Pop Fest continues tonight at The Barley Street with Thunder Power (Omaha), Saara Norris (Germany/Finland), Well Aimed Arrows (Omaha), Claire and the Crowded Stage (Kansas City), Appropriate Grammar (Kansas City) and Field Club (Omaha). $7, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday night, Digital Leather returns to fabulous O’Leavers with Worried Mothers and an act with one of the best band names I’ve heard in recent memory: Serenghetto. $5, 9:30 p.m.
All Young Girls Are Machine Guns headlines a show at Slowdown Jr. Saturday night with Edge of Arbor, Sarah Donner and Tara Vaughan. $7, 9 p.m.
And the NE Pop Festival continues Saturday and ends Sunday at The Barley Street Tavern. See full schedule here.
Finally Sunday night Liars plays at The Waiting Room with Cadence Weapon. $13 adv/$15 DOS. 9 p.m.
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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.