by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Diversification is the key to survival when it comes to rock clubs or anything for that matter. The Waiting Room and Slowdown know this, which is why you see a variety of offerings in different genres and not just the indie meat-and-potatoes we might prefer.
The same can be said for O’Leaver’s. Friday night’s line-up was outside of the club’s usual leather-and-blood garage punk/indie that they’re known for. Instead, headliner Field Club is more of an alt band in the Lilith Fair vein, an easy stereotype considering the female vocalists and winsome folk rock a la 10,000 Maniacs. And as a result, the audience was a tad different than the usual O’Leaver’s crowd — cleaner, more collegiate, almost suburban, more like the folks you see out playing in the sand rather than on a post office Wanted poster.
I own In My Tribe, along with The Sundays’ debut and a couple early Indigo Girls albums, so I think I know what Field Club might have been going for on their new Best Friends EP. And for the most part, the sound is there. The live version, however, was a different animal. Vocally it was less restrained as frontwoman Andrea Purdy reached harder for an emotional sweet spot, helped by (presumably sister) Kara Purdy on harmonies. The extra effort at times pushed them over the edge. It’s a subtle thing and I can’t quite put my finger on it, but when female vocalists add too much flourish, too much accoutrement, their sound changes from college/indie to something reaching toward mainstream. Depending on your point of view, that can be either good or bad.
As a whole, the sound was uneven on the usually rock-sold O’Leaver’s stage. The tone of the lead guitar was piercing, while the bass was lost in the mix. Things were smoothed over by the end of the set, but it would be interesting to hear what this six-piece would sound like on a different stage.
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Looks like a quiet week show-wise. The Slowdown is hosting an Omaha Gives event Wednesday night that includes a set by Gordon. It’s a free show, but they’ll be badgering you for a donation (along with every other non-profit in Omaha that day).
And then it’s back to O’Leaver’s Friday for So-So Sailors…
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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.