Inclusivity, safety among discussion topics at Omaha DIY Forum; photo coverage of Hear Grand Island, The Bay re-launch, Flatwater Music Festival, The Great American Metal BBQ; Blitzen Trapper, James McCartney tonight

Inclusivity, safety among discussion topics at Omaha DIY Forum

By Michael Huber

About 50 people gathered for nearly two hours downtown at Milk Run Sunday night to talk about the future of Omaha’s DIY community. The event, facilitated by Planned Parenthood organizer Kaitlan McDermott, aimed to address issues that are sometimes ignored in the punk and DIY cultures.

“There are multiple people having the exact same thought process[es], so I think it needs to become a larger community discussion,” McDermott said about why she hosted the forum. “It’s bringing people together to create an action plan.”

A majority of the night was spent discussing sexual assault by fans, musicians, and promoters who are sometimes difficult to expose or distance from the arts with which they are involved. Some suggested banning offenders, and many seemed to agree with the idea of a list where survivors could anonymously submit names.

The action taken after a person made the list was debated; Some felt direct action and permanently removing the offender from the venue was the best choice. Others criticized the use of force and suggested a more nuanced approach involving volunteer mediators, to many nods.

Other topics of the night included encouraging more women and young people to get involved in alternative culture, and the “boy’s club” atmosphere many women encounter while learning or working in the music industry.

McDermott said her goal is to make DIY environments more welcoming and inclusive to any community member. Overall, she thinks the forum helped identify problems that can now be solved.

“I think it’s… creating a larger community dialogue about where we want to go, and who as a community we want to become,” she said.

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Coverage of inaugural Hear Grand Island concert

HN’s Hear Grand Island weekly concert series kicked off Friday night at Railside Plaza with the Kait Berreckman Band and Field Club, the latter of which features three Grand Island natives and played for the first time in a couple of years. Attendance was excellent at the free, all-ages concert, and the series appears set to be a hit.

Next week, Lincoln rock band Freakabout and Omaha garage rockers Eric In Outerspace play the series. See the full schedule and RSVP here.

See HN intern Lauren Farris’s photos below:

Kait Berreckman Band

Field Club

Photos by Lauren Farris

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Coverage of the 10th annual Flatwater Music Festival

Hastings’s Flatwater Music Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary over the weekend, featuring live music, workshops and activities over three nights at the Prairie Loft acreage. First time HN contributors Jacilyn Bruns and Brian Tran were on hand to capture the event in photos. See them below:


Andrea von Kampen

The Bottle Tops

The Talbott Brothers


The Wildwoods

photo by Brian Tran

photo by Jacilyn Bruns

The Railsplitters

photo by Jacilyn Bruns

photos by Brian Tran

Bonnie & the Clydes

photos by Brian Tran

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The BAY Phase 2 Launch party

Lincoln indoor skatepark The Bay celebrated the launch of its Phase 2 with back-to-back nights of live music over the weekend. The all-ages venue unveiled its new stage and sound set-up as well as its new coffee bar, while staging 11 bands Saturday and Sunday.

HN interns Farris and Lindsey Yoneda were on hand Sunday night (which Hear Nebraska sponsored) to capture the event in photos. See them below, and learn more about The Bay’s relaunch with our feature interview here.

Mesonjixx plays The Bay | photo by Lauren Farris

photo by Lauren Farris

Red Cities plays The Bay | photo by Lauren Farris

Concertgoers and skateboarders mingle Sunday night outside The Bay | photo by Lauren Farris

photo by Lauren Farris

Bernardus plays The Bay | photo by Lauren Farris

Evan Bartels & the Stoney Lonesomes play The Bay | photo by Lindsey Yoneda

Concergoers dance during The Bay’s Phase 2 launch party | photo by Lindsey Yoneda

New Jersey band Gates plays The Bay’s Phase 2 Launch Concert Sunday night | photo by Lindsey Yoneda 

Oketo plays its final Lincoln show Sunday at The Bay | photo by Lauren Farris

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Jagaja album release concert review

By Jeff Lawler

It was hot (as usual) on Friday night for Jagaja’s inaugural show/album release party; thankfully, the AC was cranked up at The Waiting Room for what turned out to be a full crowd.

Medlock opened up the show with a set that reminded me of 90s style slacker rock. Lead singer Joshua Medlock’s vocals were perfect for the style, and the guitar riffs were simultaneously refreshing and rooted in classic alt rock. Bass player John Knobbe was solid, and contributed excellent backing vocals. The harmonies were especially nice.

Lot Walks took the middle set. Fronted by vocalist Jaiden Maneman, the group has a chill, beachy/retro sort of vibe. The bass and drum rhythm section was exceptional, and the two guitar players traded off lead and rhythm duties. I was struck especially by Maneman’s outstanding vocal phrasing and delivery, not something always heard in pop/rock music; each line of lyrics seemed specially crafted for maximum impact.

Headliner Jagaja took the stage as the crowd started to fill in and push toward the front of the room and put on a searing set of psych-tinged pop rock. The group is fronted by identical twins Gabriel Burkum on bass and vocals and Graham Burkum on guitar and vocals. The sound of Jagaja, to say the least, is big.

Even though it was their first live show, you wouldn’t have known it. The group was comfortable on stage and the songs were tight. Fuzzed out bass, jangly guitars and pounding drums made for a unique sound, combining more traditional rock with dance rhythms and a heavily layered guitar sound. The new album’s lead single “Hypno Girl”  stood out with tight harmonies combined with an infectious beat. The crowd was fully engaged with the group, cheering after every song and swaying to the upbeat rhythms.

review by Jeff Lawler

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The Great American Metal BBQ 2016 at The Waiting Room

HN contributor Randy Edwards was at The Waiting Room Saturday for The Great American Metal BBQ, hosted by Midwest Elite Concerts. Omaha’s Devil In The Details headlined the show, which also included performances by fellow Omaha band Your Last Chance, South Dakota band Earth Groans, Kansas City foursome Conflicts and Lincoln’s Black Sky Burning. The event also marked Midwest Elite’s six-year anniversary.

See Edwards’ photos below:

Devil In The Details

Earth Groans

Your Last Chance


Black Sky Burning

Photos by Randy Edwards

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Concert Round-Up

Tonight, Portland, Ore., band Blitzen Trapper returns to Omaha, playing The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St, with Detroit’s Frontier Ruckus. The two have a handful of tour dates together upcoming. Blitzen Trapper’s most recent album, All Across This Land, dropped this past October on Vagrant Records, and is the band’s eighth studio LP. Next month, Frontier Ruckus starts a living room tour (and it looks like they’ll be back in town as part of it).

Also tonight, James McCartney plays Vega, 350 Canopy St, on tour in support of May release The Blackberry Train. Lincoln’s Domestica opens the show. Tickets are $20, RSVP here.

Plan the rest of your week with our statewide music calendar here. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, leave it in the comments or add it yourself using our contribute page here.