Live Review: Roger Daltrey, Inhaler; The Goalie’s Anxiety… Bokr Tov, B.B. Sledge tonight… 

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 12:23 pm July 1, 2024
Surprisingly sparse crowd for Roger Daltrey at the annual Memorial Park concert June 28, 2024.

by Tim McMahan,

On one hand, I was surprised at the light turn-out for the Roger Daltrey/Inhaler free concert at Memorial Park Friday night. On the other hand, I had to wonder how many people under the age of 30 know who Roger Daltrey is and was. 

To underscore the latter perception, Omaha Magazine posted a video on social media wherein one of their “reporters” asked random kids if they knew Daltrey’s music. You can imagine the results.  Add to that week-long weather forecasts that warned of thunderstorms (the weather was beautiful, btw), and I guess I can see why the attendance was lower than I expected. 

Inhaler at the annual Memorial Park concert, June 28, 2024.

It’s a shame, because Friday’s concert was somewhat awesome and maybe the best Memorial Park show I’ve attended. Opening act Inhaler featured Bono-from-U2’s son, Elijah Hewson, on lead vocals and guitar and was a solid band. It’s unfair to compare Inhaler to U2 I know, but it’s impossible not to. Hewson’s voice is a doppelgänger of his old man’s, but their pop-alt-rock music was a far cry from the power and energy heard on albums Bono was making when he was Elijah’s age. Ah, but those were different times. 

Inhaler’s slick, formulaic approach to songwriting will either mean their music will remain unforgettable or, considering the pedigree and the power of Universal (their label), that they’ll be superstars. I wish the Omaha Magazine folks would have asked the same kids if they knew who Inhaler was. 

Right at 8:30, on came Roger Daltrey and his band. The last time I heard him sing live was years ago when The Who played at CHI Center (or whatever it was called at the time). Back then, Daltrey was clearly under the weather – or so we were told – and his voice was a rasping, ragged ghost of its former self. 

Roger Daltrey performing in Memorial Park, Omaha, June 28, 2024.

That wasn’t the case Friday night. At age 80, Daltrey can still hit (most) of the high notes and is smart enough not to try when he knows he can’t. I was astonished at how well he sang.  

The setlist was a great collection of classic Who songs and appropriate covers, opening with a cover of Pete Townshend’s “Let My Love Open the Door,” which Daltrey said The Who should have recorded. Lots of old Who songs followed, including “Substitute,” “Squeeze Box” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” alongside a rarity like “Tattoo.” Daltrey did an a cappella rendition of the first few lines of “Love, Reign O’Er Me” just to sort of prove to the crowd that he could, and after the first chorus said, “That’s enough of that.” 

The band, which included guitarist Simon Townshend (Pete’s son, who sang leads on “Going Mobile”), was solid, replacing pulsing organ and synths lines on songs like “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and set closer “Baba O’Riley” with violin and accordion, to great effect. 

As the set ran toward 10 p.m., Daltrey said they had time for one short one, and so they ripped into “The Kids Are Alright.” A few seconds into the song, Daltrey said from stage, “They’re telling us we have to stop. They’re giving us the hook,” but despite this, the band played to the end. I don’t know if they were being directed by a curfew or the start time for the disasterous fireworks display, which came on immediately after Roger said goodnight.  

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Tonight at The Slowdown, Philly band The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick headlines. The six-member band has a real throwback sound to ’00s indie, almost like early K Records chamber-pop bands (or our very own Slumber Party Records’ acts). Also on the bill are local indie bands Bokr Tov and B.B. Sledge. 8 p.m. $15. 

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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.


Roger Daltrey and Bono Jr. in the park; Bug Heaven Friday; Healer, Lightning Stills Saturday… 

Roger Daltrey of The Who plays tonight in Memorial Park.

by Tim McMahan,

Roger Daltrey of The Who is scheduled to perform in Memorial Park this evening.

Apparently Daltrey doesn’t like it when people look up his past set lists to see what he’ll be playing at his concerts. That said, here’s a link to his setlist played at Meadow Brook Amphitheater in Rochester Hills, MI, June 25. It reads like “The Who’s Greatest Hits,” minus anything from Tommy. I expect “Baba O’Riley” will be the night’s epic closer. 

For some, Daltrey’s opening band, Inhaler, is why they’ll be at the park. The Dublin band is fronted by Elijah Hewson, Bono’s son. who sings just like dear old dad. Their latest LP, Cuts and Bruises, was released last year on Universal. As a U2 fan, I’m looking forward to seeing these guys, though I’m also a long-time fan of The Who. 

I’m not a fan of the recent weather, however, and the National Weather Service has put Omaha in the “Slight Risk” category for severe weather to strike sometime between 4 and 11 p.m. – i.e., when the concert is supposed to be happen. Channel 7 is saying the storms should be over by showtime. Fingers crossed.

Inhaler is scheduled to come on at 6:45. Daltrey comes on at 8:30. Fireworks at 10. Park at UNO and walk over. Look for the guy in the Lazy-i baseball shirt.

So what else is happening this weekend?

Tonight at The Sydney in Benson Bug Heaven headlines a bill that includes a couple bands I’ve not heard before – Old Wolves and Russell Wolf. $10, 8 p.m. (but seeing as this is The Sydney, count on a later start time). 

And then Saturday, there’s a big metal show at The Waiting Room called The Great American Metal BBQ. Tucked in among all the metal bands is Healer. Dan Brennan, who fronts Healer, said this will be a solo set for Healer as his bandmate, Johnny Svatos, can’t make the show. 

You may not be aware that Svatos’ music store, Ground Floor Guitar (GFG), was robbed again last week, with two thieves stealing two valuable consignment guitars as well as Svatos’ car. GFG is closed until they figure out a business model wherein they can secure their stuff from thieves. A GoFundMe was set up last week that raised over $10,000 for GFG and Svatos.

As part of the fundraising effort, Brennan will be selling Healer mech and GFG merch at Saturday’s show, with all proceeds going to GFG. Dan will also be taking donations via Venmo since the GFM is now closed. 

Seeing Dan’s solo set and supporting GFG is reason enough to drop by the metal BBQ. Also on the bill are The Tale Untold, Catsclaw, Conflicts, Zach Adkins and Bloodwork. Healer (Brennan) will go on sometime around 7:30. Tickets are $15.

Also Saturday night, the country and western band born out of a punk band – Lightning Stills – opens for Denver country/folk band Clay Street Unit at The Slowdown. $12, 8 p.m. Yee-haw!

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend. 

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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.