Live music is returning to O’Leaver’s (finally)…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 7:49 am December 1, 2021
O'Leaver's is under new management, and they're a bunch of martyrs.
O’Leaver’s announced its first two shows since the Before Times.

by Tim McMahan,

I’ve always said, we’ll know we’re on the back side of this pandemic when O’Leaver’s starts hosting shows again. Well, guess what…

O’Leaver’s first show back will be Dec. 11 featuring an Omaha supergroup comprised of Jerry Hug (Ritual Device, Porn Music), Dan McCarthy (McCarthy Trenching) and three members of Ladyfinger — Chris Machmuller, Jamie Massey and Pat Oakes. For this one-off show, they’ll be playing (get this) covers of Bob Seger songs. The free show will start at 10 p.m.

The next show at O’Leaver’s will be New Year’s Eve and features Smutthole Burpers, a Butthole Surfers cover band with Dave Schildman (Natural States), Colby Jenkins (Bokr Tov), and Anna Schmidt (Boner Killerz). This one also is free, starts at 9 p.m. and also has karaoke thrown in.

Craig Dee, a part-owner who books shows at O’Leaver’s, said the reason the club waited so long to reopen was due to the August 7 flooding that submerged the venue’s basement as well as damaged the main floor. The entire basement had to be torn out and rebuilt. While it wasn’t the first time O’Leaver’s has been flooded (It’s located on flood-prone Saddle Creek) Craig said, “That was the worst we’ve seen.”

But that wasn’t the only reason they waited. “The other music venues in town rely on bands more than we do,” Craig said. “Reverb, Sydney, Slowdown, etc., need those live bands.”

The last show I saw at O’Leaver’s was Perfect Form on Jan. 31, 2020. O’Leaver’s closed due to COVID in March 2020, along with most other small live-music venues. The next time I stepped foot in the club was to get a cheeseburger from their newly opened kitchen. It’s also when I noticed they’d installed booths where the stage had been. Well, the booths have been removed and the stage is back, but the kitchen is still there and open til midnight on weekends and 11 p.m. weeknights.

Time will tell if O’Leaver’s returns to regular booking. “We most likely won’t be as band heavy as before,” Craig said. “Doesn’t seem like as many touring bands coming through.” Time will tell, but regardless, it’s great to see them hosting shows again.

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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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