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.


Eric Bachmann (Archers of Loaf, Crooked Fingers) May 27 at Ming Toy Gallery…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 10:40 am May 9, 2024
Eric Bachmann will perform at Ming Toy Gallery, May 27, 2024.

By Tim McMahan,

So that’s the concert announcement – Eric Bachmann will perform at Ming Toy Gallery, 6066 Maple St., on May 27, Memorial Day. Tickets are on sale here only (and will not be available at the door). 

There’s a story behind this show.

Bachmann is on an Undertow Tour. Undertow helps artists book nationwide tours performed in fans’ living rooms. They’ve been doing it since 2009 with artists including Will Johnson, Damian Jurado, Owen, Lady Lamb, even Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. 

It works like this: Fans offer their living rooms for the performance and Undertow handles ticket sales and promotion. Typically, except for a zip code the house’s location isn’t revealed until a ticket is purchased “to protect privacy.”

Anyway, last year an Undertow show was hosted in a local brewery’s “tasting room.” I didn’t know Undertow allowed shows in anything but living rooms, and thought “Well, gosh, we could host Undertow shows at our Benson art gallery.” 

I sent the gallery’s specifics to Undertow, and here we are. 

Bachmann is something of an indie legend. In the early ‘90s he fronted the seminal indie rock band Archers of Loaf, whose albums include 1993’s Icky Mettle and ’95’s Vee Vee, both released on Alias but later rereleased, along with the rest of the Archers of Loaf catalog, on Merge Records. 

In 2000, following Archers’ break up, Bachmann formed Crooked Fingers backed by a rotating cast of musicians. WARM Records released the first couple albums — the same label that released Azure Ray’s first couple albums, which, btw, also featured guest appearances by Bachmann. Merge has released most of Crooked Fingers’ catalog.

While all that was happening, Bachmann recorded solo records, including 2006’s To the Races, released on our very own Saddle Creek Records. (Interestingly, Saddle Creek Records used to house its offices in the gallery space where this concert is being held, years before the label moved to its current No-Do location.)

Most recently, Bachmann has toured with a reunited Archers of Loaf. The band released its first full-length in 25 years, Reason in Decline, in 2022. 

And now Bachmann is on another solo tour, which will bring him to Omaha and to our gallery.

We’re pretty excited about hosting this, our first show ever. If it works out, we’re hoping to host more Undertow shows. This is an intimate performance – only 40 tickets will be available (and it looks like 14 have already sold). Tickets are $25, and only available via online purchase here. Doors at 7:15, the show begins at 8 p.m. with no opening act. 

I’ll write more about this show and why we’re doing shows at the gallery as we get closer to the concert date. I’m also trying to swing an interview with Bachmann for a Lazy-i blog entry. In the meantime, buy a ticket before they’re gone!

The opening night of comic book artist Bob Hall’s art show at Ming Toy Gallery May 3.

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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.