Live Review: Petfest (Marcey Yates, David Nance, Thirst Things First, No Thanks)…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — @ 2:14 pm August 15, 2022
Petfest 2022 was held this past Saturday, Aug. 13, behind the Petshop Gallery

by Tim McMahan,

So by all accounts, Outlandia was a success. The festival lucked out with the weather, as Friday night and Saturday ended up being not only tolerable, but pleasant. All the photos I’ve seen from the festival showed lots of folks having a good time. I have no official word on the attendance though it looked pretty decent for a first-year festival with stellar headliners that appeal to mostly middle-aged indie music fans.

I’ve been told by folks who were that that there were no traffic snafus, no parking mishaps, and that Falconwood Park worked out well, and there already are talks about Outlandia 2 (or whatever they call it next year). Congrats to all involved.

As I mentioned, i didn’t attend Outlandia, instead opting for Petfest, which took place Saturday behind the Petshop in Benson. This year they really rolled out the red carpet… literally, as a large red outdoor carpet was placed in the center of the space between the two stages. Other changes included moving the entrance to the south side of the compound as well as moving the larger stage to the northeast corner of the lot so it faced the smaller second stage located in the garage area of Petshop.

Marcey Yates at Petfest 2022.

I arrived just as Marcey Yates’ set kicked off. It’s been a long time since I’ve caught his set and I was knocked over. I have a very narrow bandwidth for hip-hop (which can be summed up by old school ‘80s, Kendrick and Tribe Called Quest) and Yates stylistically hits it dead center. Deep beats and clever flow, very groovy. He was joined by Conny Franko for one number, who just walked right up and grabbed a microphone.

Problems at Petfest 2022.

After Yates, Problems a.k.a. Darren Keen, moved his table of electronic equipment to the large stage’s back tent and ripped into a set that included a number of thick-beat songs off his last couple releases, many of which are focused on Darren’s love of dogs (and why you, too, should love dogs). It’s kind of weird in a good way. Electronic scrunchy tone sounds atop a cracking beat was the bed of lettuce for Keen’s spoken-word life lessons, from a guy who, after years of touring has seen it all and has the respect as one of the most original performers in Nebraska.

Cat Piss at Petfest 2022.

I ducked out for an hour after Problems and came back in time for Cat Piss on the smaller Petshot stage. Shifting between the two stages meant one act could be set up while the other was performing, with only a brief sound check before each set, just enough time to grab another Zipline or whatever you were imbibing in. A lot of folks were imbibing in smoking substances, especially when the sun began to set. There was a cloud of ganga over where I stood most of the day along the north end of the compound. Pot is slowly becoming omnipresent in all outdoor festivals in Omaha, I guess I’m just going to have to get used to it.

Cat Piss is a three-piece power-punk band where drummer Nate Wolf and bass player Sam Lipsett trade vocals on songs that sound about as close to ‘90s Omaha post-punk as you’re going to find outside of a band that actually was around playing post-punk in the ‘90s (and there are a few of them still out there). Casey Plucinski ripped on guitar, but it’s that rhythm section that kept it all hopping. Great stuff.

I should point out here that I didn’t see anything less than a great set all day, which was a credit to sound engineer and show manager Ian Aeillo, who was running around like a whirling dervish all day, making sure things where plugged in and sounded great (which they did). In what was a unique set-up, music came from both PAs at once, providing a sort of quadraphonic effect. Alan Parsons, eat your heart out.

Thirst Things First at Petfest 2022.

Thirst Things First have been around at least for a decade, though I’ve never caught them before. I didn’t even know who they were except that they might be from Lincoln and that the band includes A.J. Mogis on bass — yes, that AJ Mogis, the dude who created ARC Studio with his brother, Mike, and who also plays bass in Criteria.

Wearing (mostly) matching track suits, the band tore into a set of the funnest, tightest power pop you’re going to hear this side of The Faint. Fronted by Mike Elfers of The JV Allstars and including someone I remember from Las Cruxes also on vocals, the band was powered along by Mogis and drummer Jordy Elfers, and was nothing less than remarkable. How have I missed them all these years? Who knows. Their set was a high-water mark in a festival flooded with talent. As David Letterman would say, “I’ll take all of that you got.”

Uh Oh at Petfest 2022.

If Cat Piss embodies Omaha’s ‘90s post-punk at it’s finest, Uh Oh is the embodiment of if Omaha indie jangle pop. The four piece plays big-hearted indie rock that borders on Get-Up Kids-style emo, and did a good job capturing the crowd’s attention.

David Nance Group at Petfest 2022.

They were followed on the larger stage by who, for me, was the festival headliner, David Nance Group. For this iteration, Nance was joined by Dereck Higgins on bass, Kevin Donahue on drums, guitarist Jim Schroeder, and Rosali Middleman on synths. In April, Nance’s band backed Rosali when she opened for Destroyer at The Waiting Room, and now she appeared to be returning the favor.

The band ripped into that killer version of “Credit Line” that they played a month or so ago at Reverb, a version that kicks ass thanks to a super-funky rhythm section — again, I wish they’d record this version of the song (a more rustic and non-funky version appears on Nance’s latest release, which was sort of a solo recording). Known as a garage psych-rock dude, Nance sounds like he’s shifting to a more swinging, funky style — and it’s a welcome change.

Of course that doesn’t mean he’s lost any of his sheer guitar power. Nance and Schroeder still traded guitar riffs back and forth, and ripped it up old school closing their set with a kick-ass version of “Poison” from the break-out Peaced and Slightly Pulverized.

Living Conditions at Petfest 2022.

Next up on the small stage was a metal/noise set from Living Conditions. This aggressive-noise style whose vocals consists mainly of pained yelling is not something I generally go for, but even here, they glowed for group of fans tightly gathered in front of the stage.

No Thanks at Petfest 2022.

The final Petfest performer for me was No Thanks, who announced from stage that this is their second-to-last performance, which I guess means the band is breaking up. If so, that would be a terrible loss for the music scene, as No Thanks is one of the best bands in Nebraska — as musicians, performers and songwriters. Frontman Castro Turf a.k.a. Brendan Leahy is a force of nature, who moves and vamps like a short, Midwestern version of Lux Interior, yelling and barking more than singing, a magnetic performer. But just is notable is this band, that has created a new version, authentic post-punk whose closest relative are bands like Preoccupations and Ceremony.

They hit their stride on their second song of their set — a glorious versions of “Hot Water Rising” (which just happens to be my favorite). It continued to rise from there, with Leahy pacing the front of the stage, taunting the crowd, before poring some sort of substance over his head (fake blood? motor oil? I couldn’t tell in the dark light). No Thanks was a band that had everything in front of them, and like so many other great band from Nebraska, never really got their chance.

That was it for me at Petfest. If Maha Festival showcases the newest indie acts and Outlandia celebrates past national indie icons, Petfest is the ultimate showcase of the best talent this state has to offer. From that perspective, it might be the most important festival we have, because it provides a stage and a spotlight to our local talent, who these days have fewer and fewer opportunities to shine.

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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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Outlandia / Petfest Weekend; Supersuckers, Wagon Blasters tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:20 pm August 12, 2022
This year’s Petfest will probably look a lot like last year’s Petfest. It’s going on this Saturday behind the Petshop in Benson.

by Tim McMahan,

Well it’s finally here, Outlandia — what will likely to be the biggest indie music festival of the year, held at Falconwood Park in Bellevue. Check out the site map.

Tonight’s four-band line-up (to me) is really the festival highlight. It starts with local alt-country rockers Clarence Tilton at 4 p.m. They’re followed by Real Estate at 5:30; Band of Horses at 7 and The National at 9 p.m. Gates open at 3 p.m. 

The biggest challenge if you plan to attend could be getting there. Outlandia is saying the Kennedy Freeway drops down to one lane when approaching Outlandia from Highway 75 from downtown Omaha. This could be… challenging during Friday afternoon drive time so they recommend leaving as early as possible or taking Highway 34 Eastbound. 

As most who are going already now, Outlandia is a CASH ONLY enterprise, so drop by your local ATM and grab some cash before you leave. They’ll have ATMs on site, but they could be a bit wonky what with the dodgy wi-fi out in the middle of nowhere. 

Parking is pretty straightforward if you just follow the signs. On-sight and Off-sight parking are the first entrance, VIP parking is the second entrance. Finally, there is absolutely NO RE-ENTRY, so don’t forget your shit. 

Hey, it’s gonna be fun. I wish I were going. 

Saturday’s Outlandia line-up starts at 1 p.m. with Mesonjixx, followed by Kat Hasty at 2, and then… The Breeders at 3:30 (when people likely will begin showing up). Margo Price starts at 5, then Silversun Pickups at 6:30, Local Natives at 8 and Wilco at 9:30.

Gates at noon. It’s going to be hot, so prepare to hydrate. Tickets are still available for both days and VIPS at Outlandia’s Etix page. Don’t forget, you’ll need to buy a separate parking pass if you’re not buying VIP tickets. 

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I won’t need a parking pass when I go to Petfest Saturday, taking place behind Petshop Gallery in Benson. It’s the best local-band lineup of any Nebraska festival. This year’s headliners are Chicago electronic/industrial duo HIDE (Dais Records) and Amulets. 

Two stages, 20 bands, that means one band right after the other. Frantic fun! Here’s the schedule:

2:00 – Aly Peeler 
2:25 – Mike Schlesinger
2:50 – E Rawq 
3:15 – GLOW 
3:40 – Better Friend 
4:05 – Nowhere 
4:30 – Dirty Talker 
5:00 – Marcey Yates 
5:25 – PROBLEMS 
5:50 – Ruby Block 
6:15 – Bug Heaven 
6:40 – Cat Piss 
7:05 – Thirst Things First 
7:35 – Uh Oh 
8:05 – David Nance 
8:35 – Living Conditions 
9:05 – No Thanks
9:40 – Universe Contest 
10:30 – HIDE 
11:15 – Crabrangucci 

Plus performances from Molli Poppinz, Azalea Spanx, Purris Stilton and Academixxx throughout the day. 

Tickets are $30 today / $35 DOS, and are available right here.

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In addition to all this, there’s a red hot-show tonight at Reverb Lounge, headlined by Tucson’s Supersuckers, who are described as sounding like the bastard sons of Foghat, AC/DC and ZZ Top after being weaned on punk rock. They’ve been on Sub Pop and Interscope but released their last one, 2020’s Play That Rock ’n’ Roll, on Acetate Records. Opening is Lubbock band Speedealer, and our very own Wagon Blasters and Bad Actors. (The folks at Black Heart Booking love their four-band bills, and may be the only ones who do!). $25, starts at 9 p.m. 

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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Some Maha numbers/post-script; what’s up with Outlandia? BFF tonight; Marissa Nadler, Oquoa Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 10:59 am August 5, 2022
Outlandia Festival is next weekend at Falconwood Park.

by Tim McMahan,

Why has Lazy-i been so deathly quiet this week? Maybe because like all of you I’m still recovering from the Maha Festival (that, and the fact that nothing has been happening this week).

Some post-Maha info: The folks at Maha reported attendance of more than 11,500 over the two-day event, that breaks down to 4,100 on Friday night (headlined by Car Seat Headrest) and 7,400 on Saturday (Princess Nokia/Beach House). That total attendance number includes an army of 850 volunteers, which is the secret sauce that makes Maha such a well-oiled machine.

Last year, Maha recorded attendance of 6,400 for the single day. The attendance was capped at around 70% of full capacity to allow for social distancing.

I can confirm Maha will again take place at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village next year. The real wild card is what will happen in 2024, when the new downtown river landing is completed. Now that would be a mammoth change for Maha…

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The Outlandia Festival released a site map on their website, and based on everything I can see it looks like it could be a blast, especially if you have VIP tickets.

Two head-scratchers — where exactly is the off-site parking (which is $15)? It’s shown as an arrow that leads somewhere off the map, and may have a different driving route than the on-site and VIP parking. Actually, I don’t see how off-site patrons enter the festival on this map. If there’s a shuttle from off-site, where does it load and unload or do you just have to walk from the off-site parking? I’m sure there will be a map update or more clear directions in the coming week.

Also missing is Outlandia’s performance schedule, which one assumes could drop at any moment now. (UPDATE: They just posted it here). It appears at least one act has fallen off the Friday night line-up, Caroline Spence, who no longer is mentioned on the Outlandia website. That leaves four bands for Friday’s concert (unless there’s a last-minute addition).

The underlying message throughout the Outlandia FAQ — BRING CASH. They won’t have a POS system, likely due to connectivity issues. There will be an ATM on the festival grounds.

BTW, the Friday night VIP tickets, which were sold out, are no longer sold out. In fact, all VIP packages are still available as well as GA tickets from the Outlandia etix website. VIPs look like the way to go — great access, great facilities and VIP parking is included…

Also, BTW, Petfest is next weekend. Their schedule has been online since July 17, here.

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Speaking of Petfest, it’s the first Friday of August which means it’s Benson First Friday. The full event map is here:

Saturday night, so-called “gothic singer-songwriter” Marissa Nadler headlines at Slowdown. Her most recent LP, The Path of Clouds (2021, Sacred Bones/Bella Union) received a 7.5 on the Pitchfork meter, where they said, “The thrills of The Path of the Clouds are far richer than most true crime fiction, but like the best examples of the genre, it leaves you breathless.” Whoa. The music is, indeed, haunting. Opening is Omaha indie band Oquoa, playing for the first time in long time. $20, 8 p.m.

There are no 1% shows worth mentioning this weekend.

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 © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.