by Jordan Minnick
Excited nervousness milled through Knickerbockers last night, as two bands took stage for the first time and a Lincoln favorite performed for the first time in a year.
Powers and Demos, both of Lincoln, made for some skepticism having never played before. But the bands took any floating apprehensions and crushed them.
Most showgoers were there to see acid/garage-rockers The Vingins, who went indefinitely to the back burner upon frontman Derek Outson's move to Chicago last summer. There, Outson has been crafting his solo work under Dericho, continuing to write Vingins songs as well.
"It was really hard to get shows at first," he says. "It was totally like starting over."
But Outson got a little help from Chicago band The Kickback, who always find their way to Lincoln for tour stops and shows.
"When I stopped caring and taking any show that came my way, it snowballed from there."
photo from The Vingins' Facebook page
Now Outson looks forward to a Chicago release show for his debut LP, a lyrically personal record written to flatter live solo-acoustic sets. He describes the slower new ballads it as "a soulful kind of thing."
Powers singer/guitarists Dave Arredondo and Kelly Houchen had nary a problem with drowned-out singing, with a punk vocal vibe of Against Me! To pinpoint their sound, I'd call it glorified garage punk. "Glorified" because the bass and drum break downs from Jason Morris and Jordan Elfers (respectively) seem to range from old rock to metal. Although they're young guns, these guys are definitely swinging with the big boys of Lincoln rock that I love so much, i.e. Ideal Cleaners. Lincoln venues: You'd be stupid not to book this band.
Demos, a band of the purposefully awkward stage-talker Cory Kibler (The Sleepover), was also a nice surprise. Stale smoke-machine smoke generously plumed out upon each song played. It set the stage for a chill rock sound that shifted to creepy. Then the audience found out that the guitarist shreds with a few nasty little guitar solos. What a trip.
Acid/garage-rock band The Vingins began their set with old favorite "Trustifarian" in a new, distorted way.
"We have a lot of really cool people that come out and see us a lot," Outson says. "I want to make it different for them, too."
Outson and bandmates Sam Will (bass) and Trey Shotkoske (drums), played an effortlessly cool set. Even through a guitar malfunction, Outson vocally glided through.
(photo from The Vingins' Facebook page)
The guys broke out in Vingins jamming, where Outson's sharper guitar skills were evident. They played new and old, although they didn't play their (probably) most-loved song "The Elephants."
While we don't know when we'll see The Vingins again past this Sunday, we can take solace in the fact that they're still here.
You'd also probably like to know the thing Outson misses the most: Lincoln music festivals.
"Chicago doesn't have any of that," he says.
Looks like Vingins fans can cross their fingers for Lincoln Calling.
Jordan Minnick is a contributor for Hear Nebraska. She can't wait to see The Kickback for the first time on Sunday. Reach her at email@example.com.