Live Review: Eric Bachmann at Ming Toy Gallery…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 11:38 am May 28, 2024
Eric Bachmann at Ming Toy Gallery, May 27, 2024.

by Tim McMahan,

The folks at Undertow (the living-room concert promotion company booked the show) said Eric Bachmann would arrive at our gallery at around 6:30 to begin his “load in,” but here we were at a quarter past 7 and still no Bachmann. About a half-dozen patrons had already arrived, three of them Undertow concert veterans who had brought small, fold-out chairs and a small foam-sided cooler, the stuff you see at the Memorial Park concerts. One of them asked where in the room Bachmann would be performing so he could set up his chair. 

I began to worry. Should I text my contact at Undertow? Ah, but my concern was unfounded, as there was Bachmann, his hulking, 6-foot-7 frame standing by the open back door looking like a fit over-the-road truck driver. He quickly specked out the narrow room and decided the best place to “set up” was in the middle along the wall. I helped hump in equipment and he chatted-up early arrivers while arranging his stuff.

A few guests looked mildly confused when they realized there were no chairs and had to either stand or sit on the oak floor, having not read the website’s instructions suggesting they bring a cushion to sit on. I felt sort of bad for the few who clearly looked uncomfortable — the audience’s mean age was probably around 35 — but what could I do? By 8 p.m. – the show’s official start time – everyone had arrived and everything was ready. 

A charming, funny southern gentleman (but without a twang), Bachmann proceeded to give a 90-minute performance that included songs from Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf catalogs as well as solo work and new material. If you had a favorite Bachmann song, he played it last night, taking requests from the crowd throughout the set. 

Without a PA, Bachmann’s rich, reedy voice was amazing, filling our small gallery while he switched from steel-stringed and nylon-stringed acoustic guitars and an electric keyboard. 

He filled in the blanks between tunes with stories about past performances, road life and what inspired certain songs, like the woman who pulled up alongside his white van in an SUV after a Vegas show who inspired new song “Spray Tan Speed Queen (in a German Car)” – a track no doubt destined to be on his next album. 

Afterward, many patrons thanked us for hosting, and Bachmann said he had a good time, loved the room, and thought it would be a great spot for other touring Undertow artists. So, this first attempt at hosting an Undertow show at Ming Toy Gallery was, for the most part, a success.

A few take-aways:

  • – The room is too small to host anything but acoustic shows.
  • – Comfortable crowd capacity for the gallery is 40.
  • – Some how, Undertow has to get the message to ticket buyers that we don’t provide seating and to bring a cushion or folding chair. But frankly, I don’t know how they could make the point more clear on their website

After this successful test run, we’ll continue to offer the gallery for future Undertow shows. While we don’t make a penny hosting them, they’re fun and they get new people into the gallery to see local art. And maybe most importantly, they provide an option for these touring musicians who no doubt are looking for ways to eek out a living doing what they love – a difficult task in this digital age…

Full House: Eric Bachmann at Ming Toy Gallery, May 27, 2024.

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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 © 2024 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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