by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
The only aspect of Benson Days in which I partook in was the beer garden/band stage. Instead of the usual setting on Military Ave just outside of Jake’s, the stage was set up on 62nd St., right in front of the old “building and loan” and just east of Jane’s. It’s a good location, with park benches and plenty of trees and just enough space for Jake’s booze tent. The fact that it was so much smaller than the Military Ave. stage area was a plus in that it brought the crowd closer together.
Another plus: The smaller space made for better sound. I have no idea who was in charge of that aspect of the show, or for that matter, who booked the day stage, but both did a good job. I got there late in the day, just in time to see Dumb Beach plug in and tear it up with their gritty, brutal style of garage rock. The band formerly known as Peace of Shit has pushed its way toward the top of my list, as sort of an Omaha all-star collection of garage rock glitterati led by Austin Ulmer.
They were followed by Simon Joyner and the Ghosts. Joyner has surrounded himself with his own all-star cast, among them old reliable Mike Friedman on pedal steel and Omaha legend Dave Goldberg on keys. The group was rounded out by a fiddle player, a bassist and a guy on kettle drum/snare. The result was raucous yet tuneful versions of songs like set opener “Vertigo” and “If I Left Tomorrow,” both from Simon’s latest album Ghosts.
As the set wore on we wandered out of the beer garden looking for food, but by 7 or so, Maple Street had become a blocked-off ghost town. I guess you had to get there early to get in on food booths…or maybe there weren’t any. I noticed a food truck parked nearby, but it was closed. We ended up (as always) at Pizza Shoppe, which I’m happy to report has really turned it around service-wise. Was a time when it would take a half hour just to get your order in; these days PS has the best food service in Benson, and their pizza’s pretty good, too.
That’s it for my weekend. This pestilence that I mentioned last Friday continues to have me in its grip, which meant no night shows last weekend…
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That same pestilence will likely keep me away form O’Leaver’s tonight where Pleasure Adapter and Touch People will be hosting their tour send-off. And guess what: It’s free. Show starts at 9:30.
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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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