by Andrew Roger
As I was looking up details on the Love Drunk fundraiser at O'leaver's, I was surprised to see Denver band, The Photo Atlas on the bill. Had they done a video with Django that I had missed? Nope. The truth was more honest about being a touring band. Their first scheduled gig in our fair city was cancelled. And as true musicians, they just wanted to play, even for just charity and some willing ears. The Photo Atlas is one of those bands, like Cowboy Indian Bear, who appear so often in Omaha and Lincoln, we start to think they are from here. But it's their dedication that keeps them coming back and keeps us coming to their shows.
Sandwiched between two earth-shaking instrumental bands, The Photo Atlas lightened the mood with their punky dance sound. A few songs in and there wasn't an idle joint. Even more, and you'll see a few examples in the video, there was a ton of brotherly love that night. Dudes with tattoos and long dangling hair, beers-in-hand wrapping their arms around a friend. Video nerds talking shop and sharing equipment. Everyone in the crowd smiling, dancing and singing along with an out-of-town band. All to support said video nerds heading out on a tour of their own. The night was about supporting solidarity in the music scene, and the out-of-towners were as much a part of it as anyone else. So buy The Photo Atlas a shot of Rumplemints next time you see them.
So I digress. The night reminded me that having a great pool of musicians in our fair city is wonderful but it's only one part of a vibrant scene. Having a culture of support for any band, in or out of state, is key. Incubating bonuses like HN, Love Drunk, Ingrained, overgroun, the Benson musician hostel, and a host of other support structures and media outlets encourage bands to stop through Omaha, rather than bypassing us for larger, nearby cities. You want a bigger and better scene? Come out to a show, buy a CD, take a shot, offer a couch, make some breakfast, like them on Facebook, rinse, and repeat.
Camera: Brendan Greene-Walsh, Django Greenblatt-Seay, Kevin McGowan
Edit: Andrew Roger