Story and Photos: Linsey Gividen
Editor: Spencer Fleming
The marquee above me was shining bright as the huddled masses braved the howling wind on this frigid Omaha evening. As I made my way inside to warmth of The Waiting Room it was roomier than I anticipated.
For a brief moment the room fell silent as the Nova Twins took the stage.
They opened with powerful basslines and energetic lyrics. Amy Love enthralled the crowd with her musical battle cry. Her words were clean and deliberate. Their makeup was futuristic, and the lighting made everything feel otherworldly.
Nova Twins shook the building with incredible power while the crowd warmed up. A couple near me was already jumping and screaming along to the music while the bassist, Georgia South, hopped around the stage. They were the perfect opening act to get the adrenaline flowing. The duo closed with “Taxi” which I realized had been on my playlists since August.
Royal and the Serpent followed up the rock duo. She bathed herself in pink light as she skipped around the stage, dragging the mic stand with her. Even with a couple of technical difficulties during “PHUCKBOI REJECTS” the crowd welcomed her with roaring cheers.
Royal and the Serpent reminded everyone not to drink and drive before starting her song “GO PHUCK URSELF” which starts with her dying in a drunken car wreck. Her unique voice and pitch sounded sharp and fit well with the tones of her music. She danced and sang on stage with the attitude of a modern Avril Lavigne.
She then addressed mental health and began explaining how amazing it is she found people just as crazy as her. The crowd cheered at her words. Royal and the Serpent finished up with an unreleased song that she described as sad. She releases it at the end of this tour on Friday. The song blasted throughout the venue and had many people screaming along by its end. I’d say it was well-received.
Anticipation dripped from the walls as everyone awaited Grandson. He trotted onto the stage after his guitarist and drummer with a drink in hand. His smile warmed the crowd as he bounced on the balls of his feet. I could tell he had a show planned for us, but I was not expecting what we received.
I waited for the roof to cave in on us as the speakers blasted deep bass. His lyrics were poignant and precise. The energy he had to run and bounce around the stage while acting out the emotions of the music was incredible. He addressed addiction through contorted movements matching his song and at one point curled up on the floor in the fetal position.
He introduced his guitarist and drummer then announced a competition. Grandson split the venue down the middle and the side that sang the lyrics louder won. As the band started to play the beginning of “Dirty” my friend lit up with excitement. We screamed those lyrics and the drummer’s side, (our side), won.
Halfway through Grandson's set he changed into a suit and painted Xs over his eyes just like his album cover. His look of insanity and energy radiated through the building. His kindness hadn’t left him though, as he hopped down from the stage to rap with a fan. The crowd later began to cheer “Hailey!”.
The music moved through him, and he addressed Ukraine and Russia, singing “WWIII” from his new album Death Of An Optimist. At one point in the song, the Ukrainian flag flashed behind him in support of the troops. His passion for the cause sizzled off each word. His music enraged me at the war, and it fueled this fire inside of me I had no idea was there.
Grandson finished out the concert with “Blood//Water” which shook the walls. The band and the crowd were going so hard I didn’t think The Waiting Room would survive the show. The bass rang true throughout the building as fans gave their last ounce of energy.
As the concert winded down and the patrons trailed out, I sat on a bench next to a woman. She had taken her daughter to the show and joked that she was too old for this. I told her it had been hard to find conversationalists during the show.
She laughed and said that if I had taken pictures on her side of the stage, she would’ve talked to me. She and her daughter had spotted me while admiring Georgia South’s gorgeous hair.
Another woman approached us and told us she thought we were the coolest people ever and that she had spotted us during the concert. She was from Malaysia and had moved to Omaha two years ago. The lady had gone to the concert to enjoy the music and find friends. We exchanged social media and I hope to see them again.
During my adventures at concerts, I have learned that music really brings people together. As the mom I had talked to that night would say, “melodies make memories”.
Huge thanks to Dave Campbell and the 1% Productions crew and to Grandson's management for photo access.
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