Jack White coming to Baxter Arena, and what about that (proposed) La Vista venue…?

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:49 pm January 16, 2018

Jack White’s headed to Baxter Arena…

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ll tell you right up front — I’m not a big Jack White or White Stripes fan. Just never really dug their music, though I get the attraction. They’re sort of a mainstream garage rock act; to me, White always sounded like he was aping Led Zeppelin (though nowhere near as much as Greta Van Fleet).

What’s interesting about today’s announcement that White has been booked to play Omaha April 23 is where the show is being held: Baxter Arena. I think the Baxter has hosted music in the past, but nothing like this.

I personally love Baxter Arena. The facility is right-sized, perfect for the UNO hockey program and a huge upgrade to the craptacular CenturyLink Center — one of the worst places I’ve seen a rock concert (Fleetwood Mac, Springsteen, The Who, three strikes you’re out). I wondered when it opened if Baxter could become a viable alternative to the old Civic Auditorium and CB’s Mid-America Center for bigly concerts like this. Baxter has a capacity of 7,898, according to Wiki (Vs. CenturyLink’s massive 17, 560 capacity). It’s in a great location, a modern facility with great sight lines. But I have no idea how a rock band will sound in there.

This brings up the recent news of a possible new venue in La Vista run by the guys who run One Percent Productions and KC’s Mammoth Inc.

From the OWH article:

The hope would be for the indoor club to seat about 2,000 and the amphitheater to seat about 4,500. While there are other indoor venues that seat around that many people, there are no other places in the area that pair that size of an indoor space with a sizable outdoor amphitheater. Also, many existing venues of that size in town are hard to get acts into because they book up so fast,...”

The proposed amphitheater would seat around 4,500, according to the article, which also said the new venue would allow Omaha to compete for shows it hasn’t been able to compete for in the past, like “Lauryn Hill, Arcade Fire, David Byrne and LCD Soundsystem — all artists that have skipped Omaha at some point because there wasn’t a venue that met their needs…

While Arcade Fire has been reportedly playing to half-full arenas, you would still think a 2,000-capacity venue would be way too small. Same goes for LCD Soundsystem. David Byrne played at the Holland Center back in 2008, and didn’t sell it out (which to me, seems a more likely reason for passing over Omaha this time ’round).

Regardless, the La Vista project is exciting news and could provide another venue for the kind of acts booked at the 3,500-capacity Stir Cove. That is, if it happens. The article said the indoor club is estimated to cost about $15 million, and would be privately funded by the booking companies and another investor, while the amphitheater would be funded by the City of La Vista, and “La Vista spokesman Mitch Beaumont said the city hasn’t committed to anything yet and has no cost estimate for an amphitheater.” Hmmm….

I’m sure all parties involved will be keeping an eye on how well the Jack White show sells (or doesn’t sell)…

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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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


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