Bands to Watch in 2016 | Scene List

After reflecting back on a jam-packed 2015, we asked our year-end contributors to look ahead at the bands, albums and developments that have them excited for 2016.

Read on to find out what up-and-coming acts have the scene buzzing.

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Marq Manner | OEAAs Chair

Probably Freakabout as they have a good sound and seem serious about it. They are willing to tour and are doing all of the right things to make an impact.

Rebecca Lowry | All Young Girls Are Machine Guns

Lexi Robles. She plays violin and sings with her family in Mariachi Zapata, sings lead in an Omaha cover band called Flo, and just auditioned for this last season of American Idol (no word, but damn if I didn’t start throwing things when I heard her sing). If I can trust my gut, I imagine she’s about to have an amazing year. You can follow her on her YouTube Channel under the name Lexi Arai, but I would highly suggest catching Mariachi Zapata in general because Mariachi Zapata is pure sunshine.

Jeremy Wurst | Bud Heavy & the High Lifes/Giant’s Arrow

Giant’s Arrow — I’m a little biased, because it’s my band.  We’re about to put a single out and possibly a split.  I’ve never been so excited about the music I’ve written with a band.  

Bonehart Flannigan – More sincerely though, I think everyone should be watching out for Jon Dell (aka Bonehart Flannigan).  He’s driven, he’s funny, but most of all he’s an incredible songwriter and an all around nice guy.  I have gut feeling about him, I would be keeping an eye on him.

Sean Paul | Eric In Outerspace

I’m gonna hedge and put two. Vegetable Deluxe and Jocko should surprise a lot of people in 2016. Both awesome new bands consisting of great people.

Kait Berreckman | Kait Berreckman Band

I love The Hottman Sisters. They are unapologetic badasses and the sooner everyone knows that, the better. Their songwriting is clean and well-crafted and their performances are magnetic.

Ian Aeillo | Sound Engineer, O’Leaver’s

Sean Paul of Eric In Outerspace and The Sunks is a prolific songwriter and makes me wish I was ten years younger and 100% more capable at writing good music.

Dan McCarthy | McCarthy Trenching


Bill Sharp | Twinsmith

Fake Plants out of Omaha are great people and an excellent band. I think they’re gonna be putting out some recordings soon, so I’d recommend keeping an eye out for that. I Forgot to Love My Father out of Lincoln are a lot of fun and really talented. I bet they do something big soon.

Fake Plants | The Waiting Room | 12.23.15

photo of Fake Plants by Lindsey Yoneda

Nathan Richardson | Lighthouses

MAD DOG AND THE 20/20’s. They’re recording an EP soon and are an awesome ska band. You literally can’t go wrong with a great ska band.

Mary Lawson | Mesonjixx


James Dean | HN Contributor

This has been the year of Mesonjixx in Lincoln. I expect an album and more to come out of this band next year. Every performance has been getting better and better, almost to the point of unbelievability.

Eli Mardock | Owner, Vega

Mesonjixx. Mary Lawson is really starting to own it as a front-woman and the band, no matter who is in it, is always on-point. This band is hot and one of my favs in LNK right now.

Dereck Higgins | InDreama/The Strange Attractors

No Thanks, real punk.

Dominique Morgan | Singer/Songwriter

Jocelyn is it and I have no doubt. I’ve already started my story of how I met that I’ll tell when she becomes famous. I’ve watched her for 2 years grow into this phenom and I’m in awe everytime I see her. She can rock 5,000 people at Pride and kill a crowd of 10 at The Tavern. No matter what she does its gold.

Cortney Kirby | FREAKABOUT

Watch out for this band called Mobius. They’re a three piece at the moment, straight rock n roll music. I believe they are all classically trained and man, do they rip.

Christine Fink | High Up

Stephen Nichols is a show worth catching if you get the chance. He shreds a bass in front of eerie homemade projections and it is a sight to see. Nepotism alert: He is my husband, but I’m telling you, it’s worth the $3 or whatever he’s asking for these days.