by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
What to say about The Waiting Room’s recent upgrades? Well, the LED-powered stage lighting looked brighter. The stage and the floor in front of it seemed bigger with the addition of new walls that led backstage and the elimination of those huge black drapes. The sound was as good as ever — I didn’t notice a change, but then again, my focus last night was on a three-piece folk band and not a full blown rock show.
That band was LVC Underground — the trio of Greg Loftis, Bret Vovk and Nick Carl with a fourth person filling in on guitar (who would lose his guitar after one of the amps blew halfway through the set). The focus was on the three balladeers seated across the stage, passing an electric guitar between them as they shared leads during the six-song set — each one singing lead on two songs while the other two provided some fine, fine harmonies.
The style shifted from lead to lead. Vovk’s songs had the same lilt heard on his solo work. Carl’s songs were the twangiest of the bunch and the most low-key (and most romantic), while Loftis provided the rock flair, which was heaviest on the set closer. As a whole, their laid-back style recalled CSNY, Will Johnson, very early Eagles and/or Jackson Browne and a touch of Wilco. Every song had something going for it, and the trio sounded like old pros rather than a band of friends who have playing together only for a short time.
Credit the songwriting, which was simple, straight-forward but with dense layers of harmony and sparse accompaniment that at times included Vovk on tom drum and tambourine. Carl and Vovk are among the most under-appreciated talents in the Omaha scene, flying under the radar (Carl has no recordings that I know of) whether by choice or by circumstance, while Loftis continues to nurture his urban legend status. Hopefully this trio will finish a record before Loftis takes flight once again, to points unknown.
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The Waiting Room’s $3 showcases continue tonight, this time sponsored by New Belgium Brewing and featuring blues man Kris Lager covering the Beastie Boys. Opening is Touch People (a.k.a. Darren Keen, formerly of The Show Is the Rainbow). Keen recently made all three Touch People albums available for free download on Soundcloud. It’s some weird, groovy shit. Check it out here. Show starts at 9.
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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 © 2013 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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