Live Review: Digital Leather, Son, Ambulance; Nap Eyes review; The Bronx tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:50 pm April 9, 2018

Digital Leather at The Sydney, April 6, 2018.

by Tim McMahan,

For Friday night’s show at The Sydney, Digital Leather was configured as a trio with Shawn Foree in front playing synth and bass, Greg Elsasser on synths and long-time DL drummer Jeff Lambelet. If the plan was to get the crowd dancing, it was a winning combination, maybe the most danceable version of DL I’ve seen live.

Lambelet, one my favorite drummers, is a massive upgrade to the synth beats heard on Headache Heaven, DL’s latest, which sounds like a collection of bedroom-recorded demoes. With Lambelet, and Foree adding bass, along with Elsasser, the songs were fully-realized New Wave-esque dance tracks. Their set was helped along with a dense layer of smoke-machine haze cut through by lazer lights — I haven’t seen this much smoke and lazers since that last Talking Mountain concert.

It’s also worth noting that Friday night’s crowd was one of the largest I’ve seen at The Sydney for a rock show. The audience built up throughout the evening, starting with a gorgeous set by Son, Ambulance.

Son, Ambulance at The Sydney, April 6, 2018.

I’ve always thought Joe Knapp had an interesting voice, a sort of indie version of Elvis Costello, but as he gets older his voice only gets better and more in control. Good thing, too, because he’s fronting one of the best line-ups I’ve heard from Son, Ambulance over the years, including a sweet three-piece horn section and a rock-solid rhythm section swinging on a set of new material that’s begging to be recorded.

Her Flyaway Manner at The Sydney, April 6, 2018.

Lincoln’s Her Flyaway Manner owned the center slot Friday night. The trio headed by vocalist/guitarist Brendan McGinn crushed a set of angular post-punk rock that reminded me of Fugazi and an earlier age of Nebraska punk rock. All said, a terrific night of music brought together by between-set sets from DJ Tyrone Storm that had me tapping my Shazam app.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been in The Sydney, and was surprised to discover they’ve taken out all the back booths, effectively clearing out that music room giving it more space for rock shows and dance nights. Even the high-top tables were gone on Friday…

* * *

Q1 2018 CD reviews continue. Read them all here at The Reader website.

Nap Eyes, I’m Bad Now (2018, Jagjaguwar)

Nap Eyes, I’m Bad Now (Jagjaguwar) — This warm, melodic indie rock comes from an act out of Nova Scotia who played in Omaha last year opening for Fleet Foxes (a show I missed). They remind me of The Feelies, especially because lead vocalist Nigel Chapman’s drab, nasal delivery matches Feelies’ Glenn Mercer, though Nap Eyes lacks Feelies’ driving, relentless rhythms that rise and rise and explode. This just sort of lays there from song to song.

* * *

Tonight at The Waiting Room it’s The Bronx. The band is out supporting their new one, V, out last year on ATO. The record was produced by Rob Schnapf (Beck, FIDLAR, Elliott Smith) and has a very pro sheen to it. Still rocks hard. No Parents and No Thanks open. 8 p.m. $17.

* * *

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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment