by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Is it me or has the number of touring indie bands coming through Omaha dropped over the past year? Just take a look at the calendars of the primary clubs around town and you’ll notice that their schedules are dominated by hip-hop, pop, jam bands and off-night fillers (like trivia nights). Twas a time when you could count on at least one amazing touring indie band per week playing somewhere around town. Is indie dying? Maybe, but only in Omaha.
There’s more indie bands putting out quality music today than ever before. In fact, I’d venture to say 2015 has been one of the better years in recent memory for quality indie rock releases. So why does it seem like we’re seeing fewer of these bands playing in Omaha? Or, more precisely: Are there fewer indie bands touring, or are fewer indie bands touring through Omaha?
It could be a situation where fewer bands these days can afford huge tours that take them cross-country. And bands that can tour may be picking their gigs more carefully. Instead of playing in smaller markets like Omaha, they’re putting their efforts into playing festivals (like Maha, which is bigger than ever) and hoping fans travel to see them.
Or maybe Slowdown and 1% are refocusing their booking toward more popular genres. Let’s face it, indie is a narrow niche that seems to be shrinking all the time.
If this were a few years ago, I’d be more miffed about the lack of shows. But these days because of work, etc., I rarely go to rock shows during the week. I’m satisfied if we get one or two quality touring indie bands in town per month. This month it’s Sufjan Stevens at The Orpheum Oct. 28 and Waxahatchee at TWR Oct. 20. Next month it’s Low at Reverb (Nov. 12). That leaves the weekends for locals, and O’Leaver’s.
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Speaking of fabulous O’Leaver’s, they’ve got a big local show tonight when the mighty Bloodcow takes the stage. Joining them are Nanahara and Hand Painted Police Car. $5, 9:30 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 © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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