Live Review: Sun June, Wild Pink at Reverb…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , — @ 11:51 am March 25, 2024

Sun June at Reverb Lounge, March 22, 2024.

By Tim McMahan,

What to say about last Friday night’s Sun June/Wild Pink show at Reverb Lounge? When the official 8 p.m. start time rolled around, only about 25 people were in the crowd. It’s safe to say after this and last week’s hour-late start at The Sydney, that we are officially back to pre-Covid-19 (late) start times. 

The venues’ former punctuality was likely due to self-imposed curfews to get people in and out as quickly as possible to control human contact/virus spread. But now that Covid has become a distant memory (to most people), shows are starting 30 minutes to an hour late again. Which is fine, as long as they’re consistent — no one wants to show up assuming a late start only to discover they missed the opener because the venue (or artist) decided to be punctual. That said, let’s not get back in the other pre-Covid habit of headliners taking the stage at midnight and wrapping up after 1 a.m…

Wild Pink at Reverb Lounge, March 22, 2024.

So, Wild Pink didn’t go on until a little past 8:30 – just long enough to double the crowd size. Playing as a four-piece, Wild Pink tore through a set of dense, gorgeous, mid-tempo indie rock songs led by singer/songwriter/guitarist John Ross that reminded me of Strand of Oaks or a more tuneful (better) version of The National. They sounded very much like what’s heard on their just-released EP, Strawberry Eraser (Fire Talk Records), but without that recording’s haunting Destroyer-esque saxophone parts. 

Beyond the first-rate rhythm section, the band’s secret weapon is lead guitarist Mike Brenner, who switched between pedal steel and standard electric guitar throughout the night. It was a dreamy, well-performed set that went end-to-end with few breaks and no chatter between songs – a contrast to what was to come.

Sun June – typically a five-piece and a collaboration between front-woman Laura Colwell and guitarist/co-songwriter Stephen Salisbury — played as a four-piece with drummer Sarah Schultz and lead guitarist Michael Bain. I’m not sure who was on bass, and to be honest with you, I have no idea what Stephen Salisbury looks like or if he’s even still in the band. I reached out to Run for Cover Records via Instagram to determine the band’s current touring line-up to no avail.

Regardless, who we saw Friday night was pretty terrific. Colwell suffered some initial technical difficulties which she trouble-shooted as being caused by her glass of white wine perched atop her guitar amp. After the first trepidatious number it was smooth sailing, with the band playing songs from their most recent album, 2023’s Bad Dream Jaguar. If you think Colwell has a whispery voice on her records, it’s nothing compared to the faint, soto voce in which she began her set. 

She didn’t hit her stride until about halfway through, with solid renditions of “Texas” and “Mixed Bag” that showcased her voice and clever songwriting. “Texas” is a personal favorite, and had I enough cash I would have bought one of their T-shirts with the song’s lyric, “Texas, you keep breaking my heart.” 

Live, Sun June’s music is more energetic and less somber than on recording. Throughout the set, four or five members of the crowd sang along with Colwell, one person demonstrably so. The band brought everything back down for their final song, a stirring rendition of album standout “John Prine,” so quiet in fact, that the thump-thump-thump from whoever was playing in The Waiting Room could be heard bleeding through the back of the stage, which Colwell acknowledged with a smile, saying “Hey, you can hear them next door.” You sure can, Laura. 

. 0 0 0 .

And that’s it for touring indie shows in Omaha for the balance of the month. The next show on my radar is a couple Lawrence bands, Blanky and Virgo, making a trip to Reverb Lounge April 3 (with The Dirts and Garst)…

* * *

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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.