New downtown Lincoln venue aims for local variety; Final call for NAC’s Individual Artist Fellowships; The Good Life, See Through Dresses on tour; Alex G, The Lonely Biscuits tonight

New downtown Lincoln venue aims for local variety

story by Jhalisa Robinson | photos by Connor Lepert

1867 Bar hosted a costume contest at midnight on Friday, Oct. 28 after local bands Laughing, Better Friend and Halfsies on a Bastard performed. A sea of people in costume played classic Super Mario and Jenga, tossed bean bags and watched each band play their hearts out. The winner of the contest, a skull-masked partier, earned free a keg party.

Events like these are just the tip of the iceberg for the new downtown Lincoln bar. It hosted a Tap Takeover by Backswing Brewing Co. soon after, on Nov 3. An Election Night Watch Party went down last night, followed by Paws and Draws tonight. To target multiple demographics, 1867 has a series of diverse events planned out this year.

Kelsey Graves, the owner of the latest establishment at 101 N 14th St, saw the opportunity to expand the venue into something more than just a bar. Prior to Graves’ ownership, that space has been a tequila bar, a pool hall and more than one nightclub.

After opening July 15th on the corner of 14th and O, Kelsey Graves’ goal was to create a wide open atmosphere of fun, positivity, laughter, community and beer.

“The environment is completely different than any bar that has been here previously,” Graves says. “The bar has a nice laid back vibe. Our venue is completely separate so there can be a crazy party going on in the venue. It’s nice we get to have the best of both worlds.”

The bar’s interior is divided into three sections. The wide open venue has a fenced area in the entrance for smoking, watching sports, playing games and socializing. The L-shaped interior is separated from the smoking area by a glass door and huge window, and has a more relaxed feel with wooden stools, booths and floors to match. Stella Collective, the local boutique and furniture store just north on the same block, assisted Graves in decorating the red walls for the venue with colorful pieces.

The rear space is a more secluded music room for the bands to perform. The wall closest to the sidewalk is made of glass, giving bands visual exposure to the pedestrians walking by.

Graves’ intentions to create her vision of 1867 made the hurdles she had to jump over even more fulfilling. As a 25-year-old business owner, she takes great pride in what she does, from the local beers she selects to serve on tap to the artists and comedians she books to play to the activities she orchestrates for the bar.  

“It intimidates people when I tell them my age,” Graves says. “My age should only prove how hard I have worked to get to where I am and I think most people see that.”

Graves’ feels that the local brewery community has recognized her hard work, drive, and her devotion for the development of her vision for 1867. The support of her family drives Graves to push herself.

“It’s an amazing community to be apart of, just full of love and support,” Graves. “We’re all pretty happy though, I mean we have the best job in the world.”

Graves’  intentions are to be a more relaxed, rock venue that also features comedy. With events that spark different interests, 1867 already has a good standing with the Lincoln’s country crowd.

“The venue’s target audience are college students [and] we attract a heap of Lincoln’s country scene,” Graves says. “But the more the merrier.”

Find a full list of upcoming events at 1867 here.

* * *

Final call for NAC’s Individual Artist Fellowships

Less than one week remains to apply for Nebraska Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowships.

Applications are due Tuesday, Nov 15 for NAC’s annual grant program, which aims to support original, working Nebraska artists in performing arts and filmmaking through awards of up to $5,000.

This year’s award cycle focuses on Music/Sound, Choreography, Filmmaking/Screenwriting and Theater/Playwriting. Artists are chosen by a professional out-of-state panel according to the merit of their work.

See a complete list of eligibility requirements, review criteria and the application here.

* * *

The Good Life, See Through Dresses on tour

A couple of road-familiar bands have stuck out again on tours that start today.

The Good Life starts a three-week tour with Jake Bellows tonight at St Paul’s Turf Club, heading through the east coast and midwest before finishing Nov 28 at O’Leaver’s. Philadelphia band Field Mouse — who shared the road Tim Kasher late last year —  hops on Nov 14 in Buffalo and will finish the remainder of the dates. Find them below:

Nov 9 – St Paul, Minn. at Turf Club
Nov 10 – Milwaukee, Wisc. at Cactus Club
Nov 11 – Chicago at Beat Kitchen
Nov 12 – Cleveland at Grog Shop
Nov 13 – Ferndale, Mich., at The Loving Touch
Nov 14 – Buffalo, N.Y. at Mohawk*
Nov 16 – Boston at Great Scott*
Nov 17 – Brooklyn at The Bell House*
Nov 18 – Philadelphia at Boot & Saddle*
Nov 19 – Washington D.C. at Songbyrd*
Nov 20 – Richmond, Va. at Strange Matter*
Nov 21 – Carrboro, N.C. at Cat’s Cradle*
Nov 22 – Orlando at The Social*
Nov 23 – Atlanta at The Earl*
Nov 25 – Nashville at The High Watt*
Nov 26 – St. Louis at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room*
Nov 27 – Lawrence, Kan. at The Bottleneck*
Nov 28 – Omaha at O’Leaver’s (RSVP here)*

All dates with Jake Bellows
* — with Field Mouse

See Through Dresses also heads out today, stopping first in Davenport, Iowa at Red Stoned Room before heading through Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri. The band’s final 2016 local show happens Saturday, Dec. 17 at Milk Run for the River City Toy Drive benefitting Omaha’s Open Door Mission. Also on the bill are Cult Play, Nathan Ma & the Rosettes, Bien Fang, Jocko, Dilute and Crease (RSVP here).

See all dates below:

Nov 9 – Davenport, Iowa at Red Stoned Room w/ Peaer, Pupppy
Nov 10 – Fort Wayne, Ind. at The Brass Rail w/ Dear Tracks
Nov 11 – Kalamazoo, Mich. at Kalamashoegazer 10
Nov 12 – Bloomington, IN at The Void w/ Mumblr
Nov 13 – Champaign, IL at Blips and Chitz w/ Mumblr
Nov 14 – Kansas City, MO at Tank Room w/ Mumblr
Dec 17 – Omaha at Milk Run

* * *

Concert Round-Up


Here are a few picks for tonight:

Alex G, LVL UP, Brandon Can’t Dance at Milk Run – $12, 8 p.m., RSVP here.

The Lonely Biscuits, A Ferocious Jungle Cat at Vega – $15, 9 p.m., RSVP here.

Cole Porter Band with Belles & Whistles at Slowdown – $7, 8 p.m., RSVP here.

Find a fuller listing at our statewide calendar here.

* * *

One final note:

Today is hard for many, specifically for women, people of color and LGBTQIA folks across the country and who comprise a vibrant and powerful part of Nebraska’s music scene. Speaking for myself, it has been difficult and saddening to watch those I know who will be far more intensely impacted than I cope with that imminent future. I cannot possibly understand your specific grief. My heart goes out to all of you.

Politics are largely out of our scope, but it’s difficult to ignore as last night’s election affects so many within our scene; it’s bigger than me sticking to music. As editor of this publication, I will continue do all I can to spotlight those underrepresented voices and spaces in which they can be safely expressed. If you have suggestions on how we can do that better, call me at 816-377-7300 or email me at

Today can and should be a time for grief and self-care. Go to a show in a place you feel safe. Hug your friends. Cry with them. Dance your ass off. Put some headphones on. Stay inside, go for a walk or scream in the shower. In whatever way, try to find some comfort in music. Then come back strong and ready to act.

Via Jezebel, find a list of organizations you can support here.

— Andrew Stellmon