by Shannon Claire
VanFantom made a few special appearances this past holiday weekend. I was able to catch her first show at The Zoo Bar on Thursday night with Life in Prism (Lincoln) and Crunk Witch (Maine).
Life In Prism
As I walked into The Zoo Bar on Thursday night, I heard an acoustic version of Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time." Life in Prism, Time Hammer's Joe Younglove, was at the mic. Life in Prism takes some covers along with some self-produced tracks making a smorgasbord of good-time fun.
I have really been diggin' the married duo band concept lately. They might start out as friends and end up walking down the aisle thanks to the music or they might be married and later decide that making music and touring the world would be a pretty sweet life with the one you love. Crunk Witch is a bass-heavy, pop rock, married duo from Maine pushing fantasy and magic together with lead singer Brandon Miles' vocal storytelling.
VanFantom, better known as Nicole Siegrist to her friends and family here in Lincoln, decided to take that big city plunge last summer and head to Chicago. She's a former member of Two Black Cats and The Heroic Little Band Of Rebels. VanFantom was born in 2010 with her beloved yellow-bird Korg M50. Influenced by pop, hip-hop and rap, VanFantom isn't a self-proclaimed rapper. Don't call her one either. She boasts lyrical chops and impressive analog beat-making skills. This girl has rhymes for days, not to mention a sultry set of pipes.
Taking her mad sushi-makin' skills up to Chicago last summer, she soon came to realize it was the home her moniker VanFantom was searching for. "There seems to be a bigger outlet for people doing their own thing," she says. "I feel there is this unconscious support really. People come out to the show, and I can feel their energy from the crowd.
"I didn't know this until I got there. I think Chicago provides a safe space for me to constantly be on an adventure, constantly getting inspiration for new material even though it is more 'dangerous,' if you will, than little ol' Lincoln. So far I've taken from Chicago that it's OK to be myself. I don't have to cater to a certain crowd to get people to come to shows: They find me."
Playing a few known fan favorites like "The Cat The Mouse The Spouse" and "Mi Cabeza" along with new track "Piece for a Performance," VanFantom enjoyed a pretty good warm-up to her set at Screen Ink's First Friday show the following night. Staying true to her message of making music that is "meant to inspire movement, action and individuality", this year could have something special in store for her. Let's see what she makes of it.
Shannon Claire is a HearNebraska contributor and is all about The Cat The Mouse The Spouse. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org