Live review: And How at Slowdown outdoors; Ware House Studios to close its doors…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:22 pm October 5, 2020
And How performing outside at The Slowdown, Oct. 3, 2020.

The weekend weather took an autumn turn that required bundling up for Saturday’s outdoor show at The Slowdown, the last gig of the three-week outdoor festival co-sponsored by the Maha Festival organizers.

The event had a sort of festival feel, thanks to the enormous outdoor stage planted against the south end of the Slowdown parking lot. As advertised, concert-goers were allowed to pick one of many holding cells to social distance in, some of which were separated by metal fencing. When we arrived at around 6 p.m. a number of the sections were occupied but plenty remained open including the spray-painted two-person section where we flopped down our lawn chairs.

Everyone in the crowd of around 75 or so was wearing a mask at this ultra-safe event. Even with my hood up on my light jacket, a small north breeze blew right through me, making things a bit chilly. Certainly it must have been cold up there on stage, or so And How frontman Ryan Menchaca said at the start of their set.

Despite the massive stage and huge sound system, Saturday’s And How set sounded a bit disjointed compared to their set at Petfest a month or so ago. At that one, held on the crushed rock lot behind Pet Shop in Benson, the band huddled under a small tent (fully masked) with sound powered by a tiny PA. No doubt the close proximity and low-powered system helped make the band sound more cohesive than the spread-out stage and mammoth, booming system used Saturday that was augmented by the proximity of concrete buildings surrounding the stage.

Nonetheless, the band gave another good performance, which closed with a new song that was the best of their set. There’s talk of a new album coming out in the near future and possible touring, but I guess COVID will have something to say about that…

* * *

Last week Tom Ware, one of Omaha’s most respected sound engineers and producers, announced via Facebook that after 30 years of running Ware House Productions recording studios he’ll be closing the doors and retiring. He pointed to ongoing heath issues combined with the impact of COVID-19 as some of the factors that drove his decision.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with so many talented people from all over the world. While I might miss the fun aspect of the studio, I am eager to relieve myself of the pressure of running my own companies,” he said in the post.

Ware’s production and engineering credits are impressive. A glance at his AllMusic credits includes work with such acts as Lady Gaga (Ware was nominated for a Grammy for his engineer work on 2011’s Born This Way) and a long list of local acts including Digital Sex, For Against, Mousetrap, Mulberry Lane, Tom May, Stephen Sheehan and Mimi Schneider.

* * *

Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily (if there’s news) 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 © 2020 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.