Live Review: Indigo De Souza, The Slaps at Slowdown…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 7:16 am October 4, 2021

by Tim McMahan,

Indigo De Souza at The Slowdown Oct. 2, 2021.

A highlight of Indigo De Souza’s latest album, Any Shape You Take (2021, Saddle Creek) is the remarkable band who backs her, whose members are something of a mystery as they weren’t credited (online anyway). I don’t know if the folks that played with De Souza Saturday night at Slowdown were the ones on the album or not, but they sure were good.

Especially lead guitarist Dexter Webb, who played with a style reminiscent of Lindsey Buckingham, all quick-fills and amazing fingered adagios. I shot a photo of his guitar and texted it to the one of the city’s resident guitar experts and asked what kind of guitar it was. Mr. Whipkey’s response: “Vintage 12-string Ovation Breadwinner electric, maybe. That’s a rare-ass guitar if so.”

Webb, who must stand over six foot, towered over the rest of the band as he leaned into the fills and gaps (there were no solos, per se), a fluid, tonal counter-balance to De Souza’s more freeform vocals that were unashamedly honest and personal – which is a sloppy way of saying she was more concerned with emoting that staying on pitch.

The only other name I caught was drummer Avery Sullivan – I missed the bass player’s name, but he, too, was a virtuoso, his fingers flying across the frets, as De Souza crushed through a 75-minute set of songs from her last two albums in front of a decent-sized (150?) crowd of fans that filled the bowl in front of the stage.

You guys are so chill, you’re spooking me,” De Souza said halfway through the set. “It’s like playing in someone’s living room. Talk amongst yourselves.” This isn’t the first time I’ve heard Omaha crowds described this way, but you’ll have to go through the archives and find that review. I’m not sure what De Souza is used to, but she said the night before at Minneapolis’ First Avenue was “crazy.” I guess she’s never heard of “Nebraska Nice.”

The Slaps at The Slowdown, Oct. 2, 2021.

Opening act, Chicago’s The Slaps, played a tight set of indie rock that showcased their chops on songs whose style leaned close to early Vampire Weekend, though maybe not so clingy. If there’s a quibble to the night, it was that The Slaps precise mix was a ton better than De Souza’s, whose mix sounded crowded, dense, bordering on blown-out, but maybe that’s what she was going for.

A note about The Slowdown: This was my first show there since the pandemic. There are a few changes that may/may not have been in place before. The low tables have been replaced with high-tops, the booths replaced with low-tops — is a big improvement. The door guys were thorough with the vax requirement checking (show card and ID to match, which is the only way to go), and it only took a moment. Easy peasy. This should be a requirement at all clubs until we get past the Covid.

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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 © 2021 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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