Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
It was another jam-packed weekend for Benson. On Saturday night (3/18) The Waiting Room played host to the St. Patrick's Day hangover featuring The Killigans and The Reverb had a stacked lineup featuring Omaha newcomer Faith Freeman. Along with the R&B/hip-hop stylings of Faith you had music by Forest, MarquisisDEAD featuring C10, Static Soul, and Lite Pole. The show was presented by Nice Enough Entertainment in conjunction with The Scribble Den. Oh, and don't think I forgot DJ Surreal spinning the 1s and 2s! It was a killer night for local music. Let's get into it!
Surreal and C10 our host for the evening.
Up first was DJ/rapper Static Soul. Static started off with some chill-wave beats and instrumentals before kicking into some old school hip-hop tracks. He had his own little mixer set up and spent time setting up the tracks before kicking some verses. My favorite part was when he said he was going to lay down something smooth "I'm an R&B diva, didn't y'all know that?" There was no crooning, only funky beats and steady rhymes, but the crowd ate it up and had a great laugh.
Next up was the many of many styles, Forest. I caught Forest a few weeks ago with Nugz, and I was blown away. Once again Forest hit us with a mixture of hip-hop, R&B, and acoustic reggae-tinged stylings almost in the vein of Jack Johnson. Forest had a couple of guests, the first being his toddler son. This was a nice moment to capture. His son wasn't too into the crowd but he got a lot of cheers for overall cuteness. Next was Forest's friend Dion. Together they performed a pop-style R&B track. Dion mentioned that Forest was one of his best friends and outside of music just an overall great dude. You get a vibe from people and I can confirm, from the few interactions we've had I can tell Forest is one of the good ones. Keep an eye out for a new single from Forest on the horizon. Make sure you're following so you'll know when it drops!
After Forest was the Omaha rapper MarquisisDEAD. This guy came out swinging! With super fast rhymes and a gritty flow the crowd was hyped. I listened closely to Marquis' lyrics and I really liked his style. No glam or glitz about Ferrari's and BMWs, just songs about putting in work! Marquis also shared his vulnerable side and talked about the loss of his uncle through one of his songs. With the crowd singing back the chorus, "You can't see my pain", the room felt a little smaller, a bit closer. Check out more of Marquis' music HERE.
Next was the direct support for the night, Lite Pole. With a guitarist backing him Lite Pole did some rhyming but almost had like a spoken-word poetry vibe. While the guitarist kept the rhythm, Lite Pole waxed philosophical and had the room vibing.
Last up was the headliner Faith Freeman! By now the room was packed and things were getting toasty. It may have been below freezing outside, but with all the bodies inside it felt like someone cranked the heat up 10 degrees.
Before Faith came on, Walter Kovacs from The Scribble Den shared a few words about Faith and their musical journey together. Walter explained that Faith's latest E.P. Closure started as just a recording project, but he helped Faith find her voice and made a new friendship. After bringing Faith on she too spoke to the crowd before starting the music. She touched on the challenges of being a female in a male-dominated industry, especially within her particular musical lane. She went on to say how much love and support she's received from the Omaha community and has had many great interactions with all of the people she's worked with so far. I've always loved the Omaha music scene and things like this continue to prove we have one of the best scenes around.
Shortly after kicking into the music the lights were practically shut off except for a small bit of red backing lights. Yikes! The crowd seemed to like the near-dark performance but my camera did not. I managed to eek out just a few shots but it was pretty rough. However, I'm not going to let that take anything away from the performance. Faith had some great tunes and got the crowd pumped. Most of her tracks played to her R&B strengths and a few had some hip-hop elements thrown in as well. Faith's subjects ranged from getting through a toxic relationship to learning to find self love. It sounds like Faith has gone through a lot of personal growth and is now finding a way to express that through song. Overall the room was into it, with many singing along for some of Faith's more notable songs. The scene really came out to support on this one and it was a great time. I knew it was going to be a killer show when I couldn't find any parking, ha!