Live Review: La Luz, The Whiffs; American Aquarium, The New Trust tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:45 pm May 29, 2018

The Whiffs at O’Leaver’s, May 28, 2018.

by Tim McMahan,

As much as I love O’Leaver’s, it does have its limits. Last night’s super-packed La Luz show is one example. When you have that many people crammed up by the band, with people literally sitting on top of the railing, anyone behind that mass of humanity isn’t going to see anything except people’s backs because O’Leaver’s doesn’t have a raised stage (or a stage of any kind).

I made the mistake of hanging outside in the beer garden too long between sets, so when I came back inside, my favorite “spot” (which is along the side, peeking through the “windows”) was already taken, leaving me to hang out by the sound board for most of the La Luz set. They sounded great, playing a modernized version of mid-tempo doo-wop/surf rock.

La Luz from in back of the room at O’Leaver’s, May 28, 2018.

What can I say? The show would have been a blast held outside or in a larger venue (like The Winchester, but I’m told live shows there is a year away). It was still fun. I ended up listening to the last half of the set outside on the old front patio, where I watched one of the band members crowd surf to the bar, take a shot and disappear back over the crowd to the stage — been a long time since I’ve seen crowd surfing at O’Leaver’s.

Luckily there were fewer people in the club when The Whiffs were on stage. The KC four-piece plays power-pop rock reminiscent of bands on the old Titan Records label of the ’70s — acts like The Boys and Gems — bands that would go on to influence national acts like The Knack. Check out the collection: Titan, It’s All Pop on Numero (and on Spotify).

The Whiffs have that same energy, though their sound is slightly harder, rougher but no less fun, rife with three-part harmonies and some killer guitar solos. Check out their album on Bandcamp for some summer fun.

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It’s a busy week for shows…

Tonight New West band American Aquarium plays at The Waiting Room. The North Carolina act’s sound is a twangy Americana which has been compared to Lucero, Jason Isbell and Jeff Tweedy. Cory Branan opens at 8 p.m. $20.

Meanwhile, back at O’Leaver’s it’s The New Trust (ex-The Velvet Teen) with The Long Awaited and Cuddlebone. No price listed, but probably $5. 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 © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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