words and photos by Dawn Thorfinnson
This Saturday, Knickerbockers will host their first-ever benefit shows for Hear Nebraska. There will be two shows: an all-ages concert that starts at 6 p.m. and an 18+ show that starts at 9 p.m., both with a $5 cover. The proceeds from the cover will go directly toward funding the various projects Hear Nebraska is working on.
During the early show, we will raffle off a number of items from local bands such as The Big Deep, Millions of Boys and The Machete Archive. Everyone who attends gets one entry, and additional tickets can be purchased for $1 each or five for $3. Same rules apply for the late show except there is only one item to win — a pair of tickets to this year’s Maha Music Festival on August 11.
The lineup for the early show features three fairly new acts. The first is an original band from Lincoln’s non-profit Academy of Rock called Closed for Repairs. They are young and beautifully un-jaded. I’m excited to get the opportunity to work with them on this show and hopefully a lot more in the future.
Next will be Mikey Danger out of Papillion, Neb. His pop-punk songs are filled with words of love, loss and hope that anyone can associate with. He has channeled all his heartache from a break-up into producing an album of pure, honest and completely relatable songs. Be prepared to reminisce on past loves with his set.
Last for the early show is The Downfall, another band new to the scene. Their music reminds me a bit of the pop-punk from my high school days (10 or so years ago) but with an extra chord or two and better vocals. I found that above anything else, the drumming for this band was impressive.
The late show will open with a new local favorite of mine in Tsumi. It’s hard for me to pinpoint any part of their show that I enjoy the most. It might be the sultry vocals of female lead Heather Sticka or the impish look that regularly sweeps across her face. Maybe the way their bassist and drummer manage to flow together as one rhythm-keeping machine. That, or perhaps it could be the way Luke Sticka’s guitar solos sweep across the top of the band’s harmony.
Longtime Lincoln performers Once A Pawn have also agreed to participate in the fundraiser. They have a sound that is their own after their 10 years together. Vocalist and drummer C Balta keeps the beat in check alongside guitarist Eric Scrivens and bassist Michael Flowers. Most songs conclude with a heartfelt “thank you."
I think if it were possible for a band to be your best friend, All My Friends Are Dinosaurs would be mine. They have dubbed their music style as “friend-core” after all. There is no band in town that I have seen perform more times, and I just can’t say enough good about these guys.
Closing the show will be Dude Won’t Die, a five-piece from Lincoln who has the hardest musical style to describe. The genre almost seems to switch from song to song and even sometimes within a song itself, but somehow they make it work. Each show I’ve been to has had the crowd laughing, singing and dancing along by the end of the first song and begging for more by the end of the set. They are absolutely one of my top recommendations for bands to see because they never fail to give the crowd an awesome time.
I would like to extend a most gracious thank you to all the musicians performing at this show. They have each agreed to perform just to support Hear Nebraska's mission. I would also like to thank everyone in advance that makes it out to the shows and supports HN, the musicians and the local music scene as a whole. Your time and donations are greatly appreciated and give us all what we need to keep doing what we love.