This Really is Your Father’s (or Grandfather’s) Red Sky Festival | Lazy-i

Posted by HN staff on Tue, 05/08/2012 - 1:36pm in brad paisley, def leppard, lazy-i, music, nebraska, rascal flatts, red sky, Red Sky Music Festival, tim mcmahan

by Tim McMahan | Lazy-i

It would be easy to pile on to the mountain of complaints about this year’s Red Sky Music Festival.

Held at the massive Ameritrade Ballpark and launched with so much withered promise a year ago, Red Sky announced three of its four headliners yesterday over the lunch hour.

MECA, the folks behind Red Sky, is like a group of out-of-touch parents planning a senior prom.

Scratch that. Try again.

Unveiling the Red Sky lineup is like unwrapping a Christmas gift from your grandmother.

OK, waitaminit…


MECA, contemplating Red Sky...

The Red Sky lineup has about as much artistic merit as a Thomas Mangelsen ‘Bad Boys of the Arctic’ polar bear photo.

Hold on…

Red Sky is so ugly…

Look, I could go on all day with the metaphors. The fact is MECA’s underwhelming choices should be a surprise to no one.

The combination of Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Def Leppard is about as far away from a “progressive concert lineup” as anyone could imagine. I get carsick just thinking about it. But here’s the thing. As crappy as those bands are, each night of Red Sky easily will outsell the amazingly diverse Maha Music Festival. Easily.

It’s not about art. It’s about commerce. As I’ve said so many times in the past: You could add up every album sold by every artist on Saddle Creek Records and it wouldn’t equal the sales of one Paisley or Leppard or Rascal Flatts album. Indie music is more interesting, more intelligent, more artistic, more daring than anything produced by this year’s RS bands, which is exactly why it’ll never be as popular.

So let Red Sky be Red Sky. They were never targeting you in the first place. They were targeting your parents or your boss or your typical Lee Terry voter. Conservative. Dry. Old-fashioned. Boring. Visionless. You weren’t invited, but that’s OK. You didn’t want to go to their party anyway…

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Hey MECA, there’s still room for one more Red Sky headliner, and I can’t think of anyone more straight-laced and conservative than Bloodcow. When these guys aren’t doing volunteer work at the local VA, they’re busy leading bible study classes and hosting Republican party get-togethers at Applebees. Their style of wholesome, feel-good pop music is exactly what your typical Red Sky ticket buyer is looking for. Don’t believe me? Then check them out tonight when Bloodcow headlines at The Waiting Room with Bible of the Devil, Leeches of Lore and The Matador — nice, upstanding Christian boys one and all. $7, 9 p.m. Bring the kids!

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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 © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.