Often, we identify a scene by what’s going on inside of its clubs. We use metrics both objective (show frequency, festivals, diversity, etc) and subjective (collective sound, quality) to come up with some characterization of the physical and geographical spaces that music inhabits.
It’s not to say we forget that the performers on any given stage have personalities and lives otherwise — we as musicians and fans and journalists all live and work in the same communities. It’s that coverage is often dark photo after dark photo of bands playing songs. The camaraderie, the revelry, the friendship all exist outside of the concert venue, too.
All year long, HN contributor and Lincolnite James Dean has worked to capture this feeling in portraits. If you frequent Zoo Bar, Duffy’s Tavern or Knickerbockers, you’ve seen him out and about, and occasionally, he’ll shoot up to Omaha for a night in Benson or at O’Leaver’s. Here’s what he had to say about his work:
“A lot of times, photos of bands are from within the crowd. These photos are expressive of their live performances and stage presence but not who they are as people and/or individuals.
Photographing these bands outside, away from their instruments illuminates their off-stage personality and relationships with each other, as well as showing others that follow these bands how warm and welcoming the Nebraska scene is.
A Ferocious Jungle Cat | Zoo Bar | Oct 16, 2015
Buffalo Rodeo | Duffy’s Tavern | April 29, 2015
Chicago Afrobeat Project | Zoo Bar | Oct 15, 2015
Cody Heinke | Knickerbockers | Oct 2, 2015
Darren Keen | The Bourbon | Sept 10, 2015
Ghost Foot | Zoo Bar | Oct 3, 2015
Miwi La Lupa, CJ Mills, Luke Polipnick | Zoo Bar | Nov 12, 2015
Gloom Balloon | Zoo Bar | May 19, 2015
Honey Honey, Will Hutchinson | Reverb Lounge | July 16, 2015
Hyborian | Knickerbockers | Oct 2, 2015
Gayle Skidmore, Minor Birds | Meadowlark Coffee | April 5, 2015
Phoebe Dro, Marshall Fisher (This Machine Kills Vibes), Kamakauzzy | Knickerbockers | June 24, 2015
Prom Date | Duffy’s Tavern | April 28, 2015
Screens | Duffy’s Tavern | July 1, 2015
Sidewalk Chalk | Zoo Bar | Oct 29, 2015
State Disco | Duffy’s Tavern | Oct 4, 2015
The Claudettes | Zoo Bar | Sept 2, 2015
Evolfo, A Ferocious Jungle Cat | 14th St, Lincoln | June 4, 2015
Songwriter Sunday | Meadowlark Coffee | Jan 11, 2015