by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Though one of the most tepid line-ups ever for a Memorial Park concert, tonight’s Bank of the West concert may draw one of largest crowds. Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray, Uncle Kracker, Smash Mouth — not a single act here of interest, but these four bands have sold millions of records and define modern rock to the army of soccer moms and not-so-hip dads that populate greater Omaha. If it’s not rained out, expect the usual 50k+ mob.
When I lived on J.E. George Blvd., the annual slobfest was something to dread as that street was a main northern thoroughfare to the park. A constant parade of cooler-toting yahoos walked past our house beginning just after lunchtime. Snarled traffic made coming and going difficult. We were held hostage in our own home. We now live about three blocks west of J.E. George, and while fewer people junk up the streets, traffic is still a hassle. It’s all just part of the fun that goes with living near the park.
As for the music, I’ve always thought Blues Traveler was an abomination. The gargantuan John Popper was lauded for his harmonica prowess, whereas I was amazed he could make an awful song that much worse with his grating atonal bleeps. I assume Mark McGrath is still in Sugar Ray. I think more people know him from Celebrity Apprentice or Wife Swap than his music. I get Smash Mouth and Spin Doctors mixed up. And I admit I’ve never heard an Uncle Kracker song before, though according to Wiki its evolved from rap-rock to country-rock.
As I type this at home, they’re doing sound check in the park, and it sounds like Popper (Pooper?) and Co. are playing their shitty music in my basement.
So what’s really going on musicwise this weekend?
Well tonight at The Waiting Room it’s the reintroduction of Oquoa. The band has gone through a few line-up changes, and according to this Hear Nebraska story, tonight’s show will be the last for JJ Idt, who’s moving to Portland, whereas the band has added Patrick Newberry (Cursive) and Jim Schroeder (UUVVWWZ). They’ll be playing songs off their new 8-song album, check out a track below via Soundcloud. Opening is Son, Ambulance and the Luke Polipnick Trio. $7, 9 p.m.
Also tonight in Benson, the Sweatshop Gallery is hosting a six-band bill that includes Lincoln’s Life Is Cool and The Decatures. $5, 8 p.m. More info here.
Over at The Barley Street Tavern tonight, The Brigadiers and Goon Saloon are among the bands on a 5-band bill. $5, 8:30 p.m. More info here.
What’s with all these multi-band shows in Benson tonight? I don’t know but I refuse to acknowledge Benson Fourth Friday.
Meanwhile, over at fabulous O’Leaver’s, Shreveport band Ghost Foot headlines with instrumental act A Great Disturbance. $5, 9:30 p.m.
Tomorrow night (Saturday) we’re all headed down to The Slowdown for The Felice Brothers. Opening is Nashville singer/songwriter Robert Ellis. $15, 9 p.m.
That’s what I got. If I missed anything, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.
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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 © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.