The Astro finally opens, Hiss Golden Messenger, BFF tonight; Uh Oh album release Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 10:32 am December 1, 2023
The Astro in La Vista celebrates its grand opening tonight.

by Tim McMahan,

The long-awaited grand opening of the new Astro Theater music venue in La Vista finally arrives tonight featuring the craptacular Blue October followed by a performance tomorrow night from 67-year-old country rocker Chris Isaak. The Astro was supposed to open weeks ago; the opening was pushed back due to “construction delays.” I’d love to see the inside of this facility, but judging by the kind of acts being booked there, it seems unlikely, at least in the foreseeable future. 

Of the 16 shows booked through next September at the theater and its connected amphitheater, only geriatric Porno for Pyros comes vaguely close to the kind of band that I cover here at Lazy-i. No surprise there, based on this interview with booker Mammoth Productions.

So now we watch as The Astro competes head-to-head with Steelhouse Omaha for the exact same audience. The venues have similar booking philosophies and capacities, though Astro has that big outdoor space. Steelhouse, booked exclusively by the evil Live Nation, would seem to have an edge, but judging by what they’ve done since opening this past May, maybe not. They hosted Bush last night, but have only two shows scheduled for December, and two shows for January. No doubt they’d blame the time of year for the lack of bookings, but come on, it’s a 100+ million dollar investment that is sitting mostly unused. 

Like I said in this column in the now-defunct Reader in August, while The Astro and Steelhouse no doubt will pull in all kinds of pop, country, metal and comedy acts, these huge facilities serve no purpose for the kind of young indie bands that made Omaha famous 20 years ago — bands that draw only a few hundred rather than a few thousand concertgoers.

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OK, so what else is going on this weekend?

Top of the list is Merge Recording artist Hiss Golden Messenger headlining at The Waiting Room tonight. The North Carolina twang-infused folk-rock band is led by singer/songwriter MC Taylor. Kind of reminds me of Wilco; if you’re into that sort of folk-Americana music, this is for you. Adeem the Artist opens at 8 p.m. $31.

It’ll be crowded in Benson tonight as it’s Benson First Friday, which means original local art will be hung at openings being held up and down Maple Street. Among them is the December Invitational Opening at Ming Toy Gallery, 6066 Maple Street (right next to Au Courant). Among the artists being shown are Josh Audiss, Shelby Audiss, Nash Bellows, Jon Bleicher, Mari Dailey, Mark Davis, Ashley DeVrieze, Lori Elliott-Bartle, GBM artists. Amy Haney. Judy Haney. Jamie Heidvogel, Vickie E. Hughes, Josephine Langbehn, Jeanne C. Langan, Chad Leahy, Emily McQueen, John Munoz, Gabriella Quiroz, Jill Rizzo, Brock Stillmunks, John Stillmunks, Anna Stoysich, Howard Thiel, Terrol Thompson, Michael Trenhaile and Grace Weihs. Whew!

The show runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Come on by and say hi! More info here.

And…it’s also another Bandcamp Friday, which means now is a best time to buy and download those albums you’ve been wanting to buy and download, as Bandcamp will waive their fees today and give it all to the artists!

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Uh Oh hosts the album release show for their year-long Cicada Songs project at fabulous O’Leaver’s. Joining them is White Wolf T-shirt and The Content. It’s a free show so why not swing by Bandcamp right now and buy a copy of their record? Bands start at 9 p.m.

Also Saturday night, local alt rockers Names Without Numbers celebrates the 20th anniversary of Running Marathons/Chasing Ambulances at Reverb Lounge, with Beachmont and Better in Eleven. $13, 8 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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


On the indie event horizon; Steelhouse continues to disappoint…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 7:51 am October 26, 2023
Yo La Tengo at The Waiting Room, Sept. 21, 2013. The band returns Feb. 19, 2024.

by Tim McMahan,

We’ve entered the lull season for shows. I see only 12 touring indie shows coming through town between now and next summer. All are listed below. 

Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), two of the city’s biggest, newest music venues in their inaugural years have no touring indie shows booked at all.  The Astro has an excuse. Despite a scheduled opening date of Sept. 7, the venue has yet to host any shows due to “construction delays.” Their next scheduled show was Ruben and Clay — which, because of all the other cancellations, postponements or moves to other venues, would have been the first show for the The Astro. But that’s been postponed, too. The next opportunity to see the inside of this multi-million-dollar facility will be Emo Orchestra Nov. 5 (that is, if you’re into Emo Orchestra). The Astro only has five shows booked through May 15.

Meanwhile, the multi-million-dollar Steelhouse Omaha has a total of 18 shows on its calendar. The breakdown by genre: 4 comedians; 4 country; 3 alt rock, and a hodgepodge of gospel, rave, EDM, “family,” smooth jazz, R&B and tribute/cover bands. No indie, but is anyone surprised?

Sure, it’s the down season, but it’s also the inaugural year for this $100 million-plus venue. Or is there another reason their bookings have been so geriatric and disappointing?

Anyway, below is the current list of indie shows booked at The Slowdown and 1% properties through May 30 of next year. Hopefully, more will be booked. If not, it’s going to be a long winter:

  • – Great Lake Swimmers, Nov. 2 at Slowdown
  • – Slothrust, Nov. 17 at Reverb
  • – Speedy Ortiz, Nov. 17, The Slowdown
  • – Atmosphere, Nov. 21 at The Admiral
  • – Hotline TNT, Nov. 22 at Reverb Lounge
  • – Neva Dinova, Dec. 14 at Reverb
  • – Laura Jane Grace, Jan. 2 at The Slowdown
  • – Squirrel Flower Jan. 21 at Reverb
  • – Yo La Tengo, Feb. 19 at The Waiting Room
  • – Katy Kirby, Feb. 29 at Reverb
  • – Ty Segall, May 7 at The Waiting Room.
  • – Wednesday, May 30, The Slowdown

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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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


Astro project hits snags; shows moved to other venues…

Category: Blog — Tags: — @ 12:41 pm August 22, 2023
The Astro Theater/Amphitheater project as of July 17, 2023.

by Tim McMahan,

Looks like The Astro project has hit some snags. The new indoor/amphitheater venue, located in La Vista, was slated to have its grand opening August 30 with ’80s rocker Rick Springfield and friends. That show along with a handful of others, has been moved to alternative venues “due to unexpected delays.” 

 From a press release issued by The Astro this morning:

“We’re all eager for The Astro to open as Nebraska’s ultimate indoor and outdoor live music destination. Big projects like this take time. Above all, we’re committed to making this a spectacular venue while taking care of our guests and musical acts,” said Marc Leibowitz, Co-Owner of 1% Productions, which manages bookings for The Astro in partnership with Mammoth, Inc.

“Some of the concerts have moved from indoors to the outdoor Astro Amphitheater. The venue will be open in time for our mid and late-September lineup of concerts. We are grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding. The community’s support means a lot to us as we navigate this unexpected delay,” said Josh Hunt, Co-Owner of Mammoth, Inc.

The shows moved to other venues so far:

  • I Want My 80’s Tour with Rick Springfield, The Hooters, Paul Young, and Tommy Tutone on August 30 moved to Liberty First Credit Union Arena, 7300 Q St, Ralston.
  • Here Come the Mummies on September 7, moved to The Admiral, 2234 S 13th St, Omaha.
  • Beth Hart on September 16 moved to The Admiral, 2234 S 13th St, Omaha.
  • Ancient Aliens on September 20 moved to The Admiral, 2234 S 13th St, Omaha.
  • Casey Donahew on September 22 moved from the Astro indoor facility to The Astro Amphitheater, 8302 City Center Drive, La Vista.
  • The Gaslight Anthem on September 30 moved from The Astro’s indoor facility to The Astro Amphitheater, 8302 City Center Drive, La Vista.

Missing from this list are Goo Goo Dolls, Sept. 23; Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Sept. 24, and 311, Sept. 29, all of which fall into this same time span as shows listed above. One assumes they’re still happening at the Astro Amphitheater as originally scheduled.

More info for ticket holders is available at The Astro website.

Does all this sound familiar? A similar thing happened with The Admiral project, which had to move a number of shows due to construction delays. 

And if you haven’t already, read an interview with The Astro’s Josh Hunt from the July issue of The Reader, which includes details about the new venue and its booking strategy.

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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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


The Astro takes shape; Mammoth’s Jeff Fortier talks about the project (in the column)…

Category: Blog,Column — Tags: , , — @ 7:38 am July 17, 2023

Under construction: The front of The Astro venue / amphitheater, taken July 6.

by Tim McMahan,

The photos you see here were taken on July 6 and no doubt the crews constructing the new Astro venue/amphitheater in La Vista have made progress since then. I took a walk around the facility after work and snapped some photos. After talking to a neighbor and his wife, who were out taking a walk around the lake adjacent to the construction site, I began to understand the layout. I thought the amphitheater would be some sort of grassy knoll when, in fact, it’s more of an outdoor coliseum built off the back of the venue. I only know this because the dude had copies of the construction blueprints in his phone! Who knows where he got them. 

This wandering neighbor was a construction guy in his own right and said he’d worked on similar projects. Looking around, I said I couldn’t believe the place would be done in time for their first show at the end of August. He had little doubt they’d finish in time. “Looks to me like everything’s ready for them to button it up and finish the interiors. Look, they even have the railings up around the outside decks.” 

Just judging from the walk-around, it’s going to be an impressive facility that will have a major impact on the La Vista community. But, as the neighbor’s wife said, “It’s cool and all but it sure seems like we have a lot of venues for a town our size.” That sentiment was echoed in an interview I conducted with Jeff Fortier, co-owner of Mammoth Inc. and partner in The Astro project with One Percent Productions. You can read the interview and story in the current issue of The Reader, which is in the racks right now (you can find them at Hy-Vee or La Casa, among other places). The story also went online over the weekend, right here.

Here’s the article as it appeared in The Reader’s July 2023 issue:

Squeeze Play

The Astro Theater Enters a Crowded Market of Omaha Music Venues

by Tim McMahan

With the grand opening of The Astro indoor music venue and amphitheater in La Vista in late August, competition for booking national touring bands and performers just got that much more intense.

But before I get into that, let’s talk more about The Astro. The project was announced five years ago in June 2018 as a partnership among Omaha’s One Percent Productions, Kansas City’s Mammoth Inc., and developer City+Ventures. Thanks to a nasty pandemic, the project didn’t break ground until late September 2021.

Now, almost two years later, The Astro is ready for its debut. Located in the heart of La Vista at 8302 City Centre Drive, The Astro and The Astro Amphitheater boast state-of-the-art everything — acoustics, lighting and sound systems — with room capacities of around 2,400 in indoor venue and 5,500 at the connecting outdoor amphitheater.

“A lot of extra energy and detail went into the back stage, artist experience and customer experience,” Mammoth President Jeff Fortier said about the Astro project. “The backstage area has two catering rooms, a break room, a gym, a game room and more dressing rooms, showers and bathrooms than acts of this size need. We overdelivered. The venue also has the capabilities to do arena shows. The dock loading area is unbelievable. The Astro can handle 10 semis worth of gear. It’s not a normal venue, and the capabilities we have are unbelievable.”

Fortier co-owns Mammoth with business partner Josh Hunt, the company’s CEO. Fortier and Hunt have been booking shows in the Omaha market for more than 30 years at venues that include Sokol Auditorium and Underground, The Ranch Bowl, even legendary punk club The Cog Factory.

Astro business partner One Percent Productions — which, at its heart, is businessmen Marc Leibowitz and Jim Johnson — also has been booking live music in Omaha since 1997. One Percent, along with Saddle Creek Records, was critical in establishing Omaha as an indie music mecca in the early 2000s.

Earlier this year, the two companies — in partnership with Lincolnites Sean and Becki Reagan, who operate the The Bourbon Theater — opened the remodeled and refurbished Sokol Auditorium, renaming it The Admiral Theater.

“What One Percent Productions and Mammoth have done together with The Admiral and The Astro represents almost 30 years of hard work and patience,” Fortier said. “We’ve worked our whole careers and a good chunk of our lives to be able to create these venues.”

Over the years, One Percent wasn’t Mammoth’s only partner. The company partnered with Live Nation on a number of projects, including shows at The Uptown and Starlight theaters in Kansas City and arena shows in Omaha. But Live Nation’s aggressive business tactics began to pose a potential threat to Mammoth’s livelihood.

“The writing was on the wall; either we were going to go national or go out of business,” Fortier said.

He and Hunt put a plan together during the pandemic to go national. Mammoth currently employs more than 50 people in offices in New York, Portland, Los Angeles, Nashville, Lawrence, Kansas, and Kansas City.

How the Astro deal came about is a complicated story involving the developer, One Percent, Mammoth and Live Nation. In the end, Live Nation was the odd man out, but not for long.

Live Nation ended up putting together its own project with Omaha Performing Arts (O-pa) to build the 3,000-plus capacity Steelhouse Omaha, which appears to be hosting the same kind of national touring acts targeted by The Astro.

“(Live Nation) is pushing to do exclusive tours and keep anyone else from doing those kinds of acts,” Fortier said, “and they offer huge bonuses. And because they own the ticket company, the production company, the management company, the VIP company and the merch company, how is anyone going to compete?”

Fortier, who hopes to continue to work with Live Nation as well as The Holland Center and The Orpheum — venues controlled by O-pa — said it could get a little tricky competing with Steelhouse. Are there maybe too many players in a pond the size of Omaha? “I think that is the understatement of the day,” Fortier said.

“Listen, we’ve tried to design the venue so we can do bigger stuff than them and smaller stuff than them and leave them their lane, and hopefully figure out a way that the market works for all of us.”

Fortier says both Mammoth and One Percent will book The Astro. “We have a 50/50 co-pro with One Percent,” he said. “They do a lot of heavy lifting at The Admiral, and I think that we’re going to be doing bigger chunks of heavy lifting at The Astro.”

As of June 19, The Astro has booked nine shows for its indoor venue, including funk band Here Come the Mummies on Sept. 7; Beth Hart on Sept. 16; Ancient Aliens on Sept. 21; Casey Donahew on Sept. 22; Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band on Sept. 24; The Gaslight Anthem on Sept. 30; Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder on Oct. 15 and Wilco on Oct. 23. The Astro Amphitheater kicks things off Aug. 30 with Rick Springfield, followed by Goo Goo Dolls on Sept. 23; 311 on Sept. 29 and Dropkick Murphys on Oct. 5.

The current concert lineup reflects the kind of acts The Astro will be booking moving forward, Fortier said. “I think we’ll take a look at all the different cultures and communities that are part of Omaha,” he said. “We’re going to try to represent everybody. I think we’re off to a great start.”

Over The Edge is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at

A look at the back of The Astro, where the amphitheater will be located.

Another look at the edge of the Astro amphitheater looking from the back toward the north.

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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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


A spray of show announcements (and a mystery); Death Cab for Cutie tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 8:20 am June 7, 2023
Death Cab for Cutie at Sokol Underground, May 29, 2000. The band plays The Admiral Theater tonight.

by Tim McMahan,

So far it’s been a remarkably moribund year for touring indie rock shows in Omaha and it’s looking like that moribund-ity will only be continuing. There were no shows last weekend. There are no shows this weekend. If you’re an indie music fan, you’re probably starting to feel desperate. 

That said, there was a parade of show announcements yesterday that highlight Omaha’s sparkling new mega venues. Wilco will play at The Astro Oct. 23 with Nina Nastasia. In fact The Astro – the new indoor/outdoor amphitheater under construction in La Vista  – announced their “opening party” Sept. 7 will be headlined by funk band Here Come the Mummies. And, The Astro will also host the return of 311 Sept. 29. 

The Astro’s already announced shows by Dropkick Murphys (Oct. 5), American Idol performers Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken (Oct. 28), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Sept. 24), Beth Hart (Sept. 16), Ancient Aliens Live (Sept. 21), Goo Goo Dolls (Sept. 23), Gaslight Anthem (Sept. 30) and what appears to be their inaugural show, Rick Springfield and The Hooters (Aug. 30). 

That’s a hugs spate of shows that would seem to appeal to a very broad audience – which is what a facility of this size demands.

Meanwhile, Astro’s main competition – Steelhouse Omaha – had a few announcements of their own yesterday, not the least of which was alt-rock band Queens of the Stone Age with opener Viagra Boys Sept. 19, along with two days/nights of bachelorette party bro comedian Matt Rife for seated shows Nov. 4 and 5.

There were no touring indie rock show announcements yesterday. Well, except one.

San Francisco post-punk band Pardoner saw the release of their debut album, Uncontrollable Salvation, on tiny indie label Father/Daughter Records in 2017 before being signed to classic indie label Bar / None Records, where they’ve released 2021’s Came Down Different. Their most recent release is a a three-song single, “Rosemary’s Gone,” that dropped yesterday. Their new album, Peace Loving People, drops on Bar/None June 23.

The band has been compared to acts ranging from Polvo to Dinosaur Jr. They kind of remind me of early Pavement, Pile, early Parquet Courts – you get the drift, gritty DIY-style post-punk with a heart of gold.

Anyway, yesterday I received an email from their publicist at Grandstand saying Pardoner is playing in Omaha as part of a tour that includes gigs at Empty Bottle, Replay Lounge, Hi Dive, Turf Club, the usual list of national indie rock clubs. The Omaha gig will be at American Legion July 3.

OK, there are a number of American Legion Halls, which one? I asked the publicist, who said the show has now been moved to The Blindspot, “a new all ages diy spot” located around 20th and St. Mary’s. A quick Google Maps search indicates that this is probably a house show, but the publicist wasn’t sure as he hadn’t booked the tour.

So, maybe the show’s happening. I’ve seen no other info about it, never heard of The Blind Spot, don’t know who’s actually putting it on, etc. And it got me thinking: Is this how it’s going to be from now on? This is the kind of band that a few years ago would be playing a 1% venue or Slowdown Jr. or The Brothers or O’Leaver’s or somewhere you and I recognize.

This explosion in 700+ capacity venues is great for Omaha and fans of middle-of-the-road alt rock and/or bands whose heyday was two decades ago, but for those of us who love young, up-and-coming indie acts — the kind of acts that Omaha’s music scene thrived on in the early 2000s up ’til the pandemic — things ain’t looking so good. 

I have no idea if Pardoner’s booker (who I’m trying to get in touch with) offered this show to any of the local show promoters, or if s/he even knows who those promoters are these days. But I’m starting to wonder if Omaha is becoming a blind spot (pun intended) for touring indie acts like Pardoner.  Time will tell, but a glance at the local show calendars is not terribly hopeful.

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One of those young up-and-coming bands that played Omaha countless times in the early 2000s was Death Cab for Cutie. It seems like they were gigging down at Sokol Underground a couple times a year to crowds of fewer than 200 when their first albums were being released on Barsuk Records (We Have the Facts… is still a high water mark).

Welp, Death Cab is back and they’re playing a long sold-out gig at The  Admiral tonight. If the show follows the path of last night’s gig at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee (setlist here), expect a 20-song collection of tunes that span their entire career but is heavy on songs from their most recent albums. Lomelda opens at 8 p.m. and like I said, it’s SOLD OUT.

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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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


The Astro announces initial slate of shows; Cursive, Neva Dinova tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 9:16 am May 16, 2023
Cursive at Sokol Underground, June 3, 2000, playing Domestica. The band will be playing Domestica again tonight at The Waiting Room.

by Tim McMahan,

The Astro Amphitheater in La Vista is still being constructed but that isn’t stopping it from announcing the first slate of shows for its new live performance complex located at 8302 City Center Drive in beautiful La Vista. 

The facility’s details you already know: 2,400-capacity 52,000-square-foot indoor theater (The Astro) attached to an outdoor grass amphitheater that can host 5,500 attendees (The Astro Amphitheater). Mammoth, Inc., out of Kansas City and 1% Productions manage the facility’s bookings. If you follow them on the socials or their new website, you’ve already heard who will be among the first bands playing at the Astro:

  • Aug. 30 — Rick Springfield, The Hooters, Paul Young and Tommy Tutone, outdoors
  • Sept. 16 — Beth Hart, inside
  • Sept. 21 — Ancient Aliens Live, inside
  • Sept. 23 — Goo Goo Dolls and Fitz & the Tantrums, outdoors
  • Sept. 24 — Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, inside
  • Sept. 30 — The Gaslight Anthem, inside
  • Oct. 5 — Dropkick Murphys, The Interrupters and Jesse Ahern, outdoors

Carmen Stalker from Mammoth said the Astro will “have a wide range of musical genres, including rock, alt rock, country, bluegrass, and more.” I’m trying to line up an interview with whomever will be the facility’s primary booker for a story similar to what I wrote about Steelhouse, here

Like Steelhouse, it may be too early to say what kind of bands The Astro will book, though if this initial lineup is any indication, I have a feeling they might be after the same sort of bands that Stir Cove traditionally has booked. Stir is handled by Live Nation, and the last show I attended there was Beck way back in September 2017. Time will tell. 

By the way, Astro has yet to announce its “grand opening” festivities. You’d think, like Steelhouse, who sort of seems to be among their chief competition, they’ll want to start off with a bang, like their sold out Killers show. Hold onto your hats.

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Tim Kasher of Cursive performing at Sokol Underground June 3, 2000.

Speaking of sold out shows, tonight at The Waiting Room its Cursive performing Domestica in its entirety. Hard to believe that album came out 23 years ago. If the show follows the same set list the band played last weekend in Dallas and Austin, expect the performance to be broken into four parts, with an initial set of three songs, followed by Domestica, then a set of five songs followed by an encore. That’s a long-ass show.

Opening is Neva Dinova, which appears to consist of members of Cursive joining Jake Bellows, but this being Omaha, anything could happen. This one’s been sold out for a long time – even your poor, lowly scribe didn’t manage to get a ticket. If you’re going, the fun starts at 8 p.m. 

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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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


The Killers are Steelhouse Omaha’s grand opening act; Astro books Goo Goos; Cursive’s Domestica w/Neva Dinova May 16…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — @ 4:02 pm February 19, 2023

by Tim McMahan,

Feb. 13, 2023 – After weeks of speculation, Omaha Performing Arts this morning announced that The Killers will have the honor of playing Steehouse Omaha’s inaugural show May 12. It’s quite a catch for the 3,000-capacity standing-only venue. 

While it’s still too early to predict who they’ll book in the future, The Killers provides some pretty solid clues as the type of acts OPA thinks it needs to “bring young people downtown.” While still a big draw, The Killers were arguably at the height of their powers in the early- to mid-2000s, nearly 20 years ago. The band definitely hits a sweet spot for older music goers. It’ll be interesting to see how well the show sells with those under 30 (or under 20).

If you extrapolate The Killers across a music horizon, “similar” alt-rock bands that could fit in this category would include Franz Ferdinand, Kings of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs, The Libertines, Razorlight, The Bravery, Keane – all acts along with The Killers that are not my cup of tea (as the late, great Dave Sink used to say). I have no doubt Live Nation, who is booking Steelhouse, will also announce, shall we say, “more contemporary” acts in the future. 

The primary question from fans of modern indie music: Is Steelhouse/Live Nation willing to book acts that draw in the 300 (or less) range along with big draws like those mentioned above? Is there a way to comfortably host up-and-coming acts that draw smaller audiences without Steelhouse feeling like an empty blimp hangar? If not, I suspect we’ll be seeing a long list of “alt rock” bands booked at the venue. Time will tell….

I’ll be happy if they can book six quality indie shows a year that I’d buy tickets for. Anything more would be gravy. 

A couple other noteworthy shows announced today: Goo Goo Dolls and Fitz and the Tantrums have been announced to play Sept. 23 at The Astro Theater / amphitheater / venue being constructed at 8302 City Centre Drive in La Vista. Mammoth Inc. out of KC will book this new venue, which has been in the works for years. Based on this show, something tells me their booking will be in line with what Stir Cove has historically booked in the past. 

And our old friends Cursive will be performing their seminal album, Domestica, May 16 at The Waiting Room with none other than Neva Dinova opening the show. Tix on sale tomorrow! 

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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 © 2023 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.