Live Review: The Lupines/Leafblower/Dog Party; Digital Leather, The Life and Times tonight…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:47 pm July 31, 2017

Leafblower at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2017.

by Tim McMahan,

The O’Leaver’s Sunday Social is as good an excuse as you’ll find to get blasted, eat good food and listen to some fine music on a lazy summer afternoon. That’s exactly what happened yesterday at The Club where a trio of bands played to a hot, packed room.

Dog Party at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2017.

First up was Dog Party, a Sacramento two-piece consisting of sisters Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles that played some groovy up-tempo pop-punk as you’d expect from a band that opened for Green Day on their 2016 North American Tour and has four albums out on Burger and Asian Man Records. I typically don’t like guitar-drums two-piece acts (White Mystery is an exception) because they tend to sound hollow and/or flat, but these sisters had a well-rounded sound. Fun!

Leafblower was a necessary contrast to all that pop-punk. A power trio that combines fuzz metal with noise punk, they’ve never sounded better, with both Danny Maxwell and Craig Fort yelling at their primal best. Great guitar and bass interplay, I was reminded of mid-’90s noise punk outfits like Cactus Nerve Thang and Culture Fire combined with Sabbath.

With a flair for the theatrical, the trio came out in matching sleeveless jumpsuits with their band logo screen-printed on back, and cranked up their fourth member — a large, old-dude mannequin/dummy maned Tim holding a leaf blower that spewed plumes of stage smoke. Yard work was never this fun.

The Lupines at O’Leaver’s, July 30, 2017.

Finally The Lupines came on at around 8 p.m. playing their usual fine set of bone-breaking punk-Americana — the kind of rock you’d hear want to hear blaring from our Plymouth Charger’s AM on a road trip across Nebraska circa 1967. Frontman John Ziegler pointed out this was not their official CD release show, nonethelesss, the band’s tasty new album, Mountain of Love, was available for purchase (So when’s the real deal, gentlemen?).

If you listen to the album, you’ll notice plenty of real piano keyboards, which, alas, were not performed live for one obvious reason — Ziegler plays keyboards and guitar on the record. The band would have to bring on another member to allow Ziegler to get behind a piano. That said, I’d love to hear these songs with the full compliment of instruments performed live — dare to dream.

Sunday Socials at O’Leaver’s are all-afternoon events. They begin at 4 with free food (this week, fine smoked pork-butt sandwiches courtesy of Smoke Buds). The music was suppose to start at 5, but didn’t get rolling until 6, giving the crowd even more time to imbibe, which I did out in the beer garden where DJ Tyrone Storm spun the good stuff. Good times indeed.

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Two shows on a Monday night? Why not.

Over at Pageturners Lounge (which I keep hearing referred to as PTL) Digital Leather performs tonight as a digital-only two-piece. Not sure who’s joining Shawn Foree behind the consoles, but will tell you it’s worth it just to hear songs off the new album, Pink Thunder. Something called 2:46 Club also is on the bill. These free shows start at 9.

Also tonight. KC band The Life and Times plays at Reverb Lounge. These guys have been touring through Omaha for more than a decade. This past spring the band released their fifth LP for digital download, titled The Life and Times, on Slimstyle Records. Opening is the double-bass attack of Relax, It’s Science. $12, 9 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — 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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