News today is a veritable cornucopia of photos of shows from last night. Big shout out to all of our contributors — first time and long-time — who produced the work.
We start with folk pop quartet Blue Bird’s set at Hear Omaha. The weather looked threatening for a brief time, but it held. Our Samuel Bennett was on the beat.
photos by Samuel Bennett
The series continues next week with Little Brazil. Hear Omaha is sponsored by Greater Omaha Chamber and Omaha Performing Arts.
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Knickerbockers hosted a tapping event for Zipline Brewing Co., as the Lincoln brewery unveiled its new Double IPA. Lincoln’s Yesh performed with Jersey bands Désir Decir and Cicada Radio. See photos below by HN intern Peter Barnes.
photos by Peter Barnes
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Frequent HN contributor James Dean was out and about yesterday, first catching the Railyard Summer Blend performance by AZP.
photo by James Dean
By the way, the final Summer Blend show of the summer is next Thursday, July 2 with Lucas Kellison and the Undisco Kids. We published a feature on Kellison last week on his long-awaited new album and recording with George Clinton. Read that here, and RSVP to his show here.
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Later, Dean dipped into Zoo Bar to see performances by Chicago band Mutts, and Lincoln’s Jack Hotel and Gerardo Meza.
photos by James Dean
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Then, to Motion City Soundtrack at The Waiting Room:
It was a sing-along sort of night at The Waiting Room, as Minneapolis quintet Motion City Soundtrack came to town for the 10th anniversary celebration tour of their seminal pop punk album Commit This To Memory. Several hundred die-hard fans packed the venue for an evening of mid-aughts nostalgia.
Opener William Beckett (of The Academy Is… fame) started off the night with a friendly, chatty set of acoustic rock that consisted of some of his own solo material bookended with The Academy Is… numbers. Beckett was a great fit for the crowd, as The Academy Is… and Motion City Soundtrack appeal to a similar fan base.
Beckett’s material from his solo career was similar to the fan favorites, but had a bit more of a folk lilt, which made for a nice change of pace after the straight-ahead rock songs. The honesty of his lyrics rang through in “Just You Wait,” a song about depression, dedicated to his sister.
The first two-thirds of Motion City Soundtrack’s set consisted of Commit This To Memory played end to end. Ten years later, singer Justin Pierre’s falsetto is as strong as ever, and his stream of consciousness lyrics have lost none of their potency. One of the distinctive elements of the group’s sound is Jesse Johnson’s punchy Moog synth and keyboards, which featured prominently in the mix. Each song streamed logically into the next, a testament to the group’s cohesive vision in crafting the album. The crowd screamed along with every word, particularly fan favorite “Everything Is Alright.”
After closing out the album with the contemplative “Hold Me Down,” the band stepped off stage briefly before returning to finish off the set with a mix of tunes from their other albums. A highlight was the fast paced “TKO,” off their upcoming album. Lead guitarist Joshua Cain provided interesting and dynamic guitar flourishes throughout. They closed out the set with “The Future Freaks Me Out,” and performed “My Favorite Accident” as a rousing encore.
Motion City Soundtrack
photos by Huy Nguyen
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Veteran jam band Umphrey’s McGee played Sumtur Amphitheater. Photographer (and notable beatmaker) Andy Boonstra captured the performance and the atmosphere in what looked like a beautiful evening.
photos by Andy Boonstra
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And last but not least, first time contributor Renee Mergens caught ska giants Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake at Sokol Auditorium. Her photos are below:
Reel Big Fish
Less Than Jake
photos by Renee Mergens
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And there are plenty of shows to get to this weekend.
Tonight, the ninth-annual Flatwater Music Festival kicks off in Hastings, hosted by the Prairie Loft Center for Outdoor and Agricultural Learning. The two-day music and learning festival features music workshops during the day Saturday, as well as performances all weekend by the likes of The Bottle Tops, Cowboy Dave Band, Kait Berreckman and many more. RSVP here, and check out the complete lineup and schedule of workshops. Wednesday, we talked to Prairie Loft Executive Director Amy Sandeen about the center’s mission and the history of the festival.
Tonight at House of Loom, Identity By Design will host F.A.M. (Fashion, Art and Music), with a DJ set by Nicholas Scalise, fashion designs by Bed of Roses and DC Ross, photography by Michael T. Garrett and a music feature from Jonny Knogood. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. with a $7 cover. RSVP here.
Saturday, two-time Grammy winning zydeco artist Terrance Simien headlines the inaugural Rhythm & Brews Festival at SchillingBridge Cork & Tap House in Lincoln’s Fallbrook district. A slew of Lincoln bands fill out the rest of the lineup card, including Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers, Jack Hotel, The Bottle Tops, Gabe Nelson with Pants, Evan Bartels and the Stoney Lonesomes and Tijuana Gigolos. Tickets are $12 today, $15 tomorrow at the door. RSVP here.
In Benson, Reverb Lounge hosts Oquoa, Noah’s Ark Was A Spaceship and Chicago folk rock act Geoff Dolce. RSVP here. Last week, Oquoa’s Max Holmquist performed live in-studio on HNFM, which you can check out here.
At The Pilgrimer, returning Lincoln singer-songwriter Nick Dahlquist will play a Listening Room show. With a UNL music degree and a soaring voice, Dahlquist released his album Questions last year. RSVP to the Pilgrimer show here. Rich Confer opens.
Up the street, Omaha/Council Bluffs prog rock trio Violent Fade releases its debut LP at Barley Street Tavern, with support from Omaha’s Pyrate and Council Bluffs’ The Dirty Kids. RSVP here. And preview the first three tracks of For All We Left Behind at Violent Fade’s Bandcamp site here.
As always, for a fuller listing of the week’s shows, head to HearNebraska.org/events. There, we maintain our statewide music calendar. If you don’t see your event, or one you know about, listed, please add it with the “Contribute” button, or send an email to email@example.com.