Back from Florida; Oberst hates playing in Omaha; Portugal. The Man. Tonight.

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:39 pm March 21, 2017

Wilder Sons at Fenway South Stadium, Fort Myers, FL, March 19, 2017.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I just got back in town from sunny Florida. What did I miss? Sounds like a bunch of you had a big ol’ time at the Corey Feldman Show.

I contemplated going to that one myself (had I not been in Florida) simply to see the return of Digital Leather, but even then, the $30 ticket price was too rich for my blood. Not so, it seems, for the hundreds who showed up last Saturday at Maloney’s on 72nd St., and while I’ve heard Feldman was a shit show, no one’s said boo about Digital Leather. Come on, people…

Sanibel Island Florida is exactly as it sounds — a sleepy beach community located south of Fort Myers populated mostly by rich retirees looking for a place to die. We picked it for that very reason — to get some beach time without the Spring Break idiocy, and that’s exactly what we got. Though we also enjoyed some spring baseball courtesy of the Minneapolis Twins and Boston Red Sox.

The above photo was taken outside of JetBlue Fenway South stadium and goes to prove that indie bands exist even in remote locations like South Florida. Wilder Sons played a mainstream version of indie pop reminiscent of Vampire Weekend and our very own Twinsmith. Hear for yourself. Unfortunately, spring MLB baseball is the wrong place for indie-style music, as the band played mostly to people walking by in garish Red Sox gear eating polish dogs and drinking aluminum bottles filled with Bud Light. At least the Twins won.

Anyway…

Last week Interview Magazine ran an interview with Conor Oberst where he confirmed what many said he mumbled during his last show at The Waiting Room — that he hates playing in Omaha.

From the interview:

INTERVIEW: I know you’re spending more time in your hometown Omaha these days. Do you like to play there?

OBERST: No. I hate playing in Omaha. Worst crowds, all your friends and family are there. It’s a fucking disaster. I hate it. My least favorite place to play is Omaha.

INTERVIEW: You grew up playing there. I would have thought you were inoculated to that.

OBERST: No, it’s the worst. They’re over me … they’re not listening. They’re just there because they sort of feel like they have to be there. It’s fun to get drunk and hang out, and whatever—it’s just a different thing. It’s like if I were to play at a backyard barbecue or something. Sounds great in theory, but it turns out your friends don’t really want to listen to you.

Some might take the above as a negative thing. I find it bracingly refreshing. He’s not saying he hates Omaha, he’s saying he hates playing here, and he’s right: Oberst shows aren’t like any other national traveling indie show — they’re more like family reunions or wedding receptions. A huge portion of the crowd grew up with Conor and has seen him perform dozens of times. Such a crowd is easily distracted.

Though I will say in Omaha’s defense, the last time he played here also was the 10 year anniversary of the venue he was playing at, and most of the crowd had been partying at Reverb Lounge for hours leading up to the concert — i.e., they were lit.

There have been respectful Oberst/Bright Eyes crowds in the past… I remember one at Sokol Underground where everyone sat on the floor in silence during the performance, as if watching a cult leader. I don’t think that’s the kind of audience Conor’s hoping for…

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Former indie act Portugal. The Man plays tonight at The Slowdown. Last time I saw them was back in 2009 at The Waiting Room wherein I said they belonged on a major label, and now they are, and as a result, they’ve lost their proggy edge somewhat. Well, what did you expect? HDBeenDope opens this 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $27.

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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 © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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