Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
Hey there Omaha Music Scene, step into my office. Why? Because you're fired!
Aorta Music put on an awesome show at Dr. Jack's last night featuring some top notch talent. There's a good chance a lot of you reading this missed it, and that's fine. But there's another glaring issue that needs to be dealt with pronto.
The term "Getting Omaha'd" is alive and well my friends. I was a first-hand witness to a lumpy, uneven crowd, which by the last set dispersed into only a handful of people. Trust me, I get it, the show starts late, you have to rush to grab dinner, there's a movie in your Netflix queue you've been wanting to catch. There's a myriad of reasons to go to a show late or cut out early, but just imagine if everyone who bought a ticket stayed for the whole show!
Overall there was a pretty good turnout with what felt like nearly 200 people cycling in and out throughout the night. With each set there was an awesome showing of support from friends and family, but after each band would play those folks would leave.
I've never been in a band so I don't know what that dynamic is like, but is it too much to ask for your friends and family to come early and stay for the other bands? Please feel free to comment on this post and educate me. I would think that someone going out of their way to catch a set of live music would be interested in the other bands, no?
Alright, PSA over. Let's talk about the good stuff, the music!
Quick funny note. Before the show could even start someone from the staff yelled "Which one of you stupid F@*ks parked your car in the middle of the street?" Everyone went silent and looked around the room. It's funny how the primitive brain takes over in these situations. I got to the venue super early so I had my choice of spots up front, but even I was like "Oh I hope it's not my car he's talking about". Someone quickly snuck out the side door to take care of it. It was most likely a band member who was trying to load in and forgot to move afterwards. It happens. Still funny though.
After the car fiasco and a bit more setup time, things kicked off with the four-piece Omaha band Deadbeat Junction. A solid performance of pop-rock tunes with a little emo thrown in for good measure. The band sounded pretty good! The vocals were on point, the guitar solos were rocking and the rhythm section kept things grooving.
Deadbeat Junction played a handful of originals and a few covers. The standout track for me was the first one in the set. I forget the name, but it had a really catchy feel. This may be because the lead singer looked like Claudio from Coheed & Cambria, but the song put off some Coheed vibes.
Quick side note: Bands, please list your members on your Facebook "About" tab. I'd love to shout you out by name, but I never know who you are.
You can check out Deadbeat Junction on Facebook.
During Deadbeat Junction's set there was one lone biker dude who was tearing up the dance floor. In between sets he asked if I could take a picture and of course I obliged. He was super cool and bought me a Coca-cola (straight edge for life! haha). Shout out to J. Locs. What a good dude!
The next band up Lightspeed Highway turned things up a notch.
Their pop-punk bops had the crowd moving. With fast paced basslines and jangly guitars the band reminded me of early Saves the Day, before they went super Emo. Not that the Emo era of Saves the Day was bad, I just prefer the earlier more pop-punk pseudo-hardcore days. Lightspeed Highway rocked our faces and got everyone warmed up for the touring band Go For Gold.
You can check out Lightspeed Highway on Facebook.
As Go For Gold was setting up I noticed they had extra amps, a whole computer system of tracks, and a pretty beefy drum kit. Things were about to get loud. The lead singer put his mic stand on the floor in front of the stage. I turned to the guys in Lightspeed Highway and said "I feel some karate kicks coming on". Luckily the band was more pop-punk than hardcore so no one left with a bloody nose or black eye.
Go For Gold is out in support of their debut album Cope which just dropped last month. The band was fired up and ready to show Omaha what they were about. The bass was loud, the drums were fast, and the guitar had the right amount of crunch to get things rocking. Over 25 minutes Go For Gold had the crowd bobbing their heads in approval. Even a tiny mosh pit broke out in appreciation for the pop-punk jams. Go For Gold stayed for the whole show and rocked out with the locals too, so much respect.
You can find more about Go For Gold on Facebook.
After Go For Gold things started to pack in up front. The Omaha act Feel Good had a ton of support from friends and family. They all had shirts and were ready to sing like a gospel choir. I had seen some show flyers going around and I was familiar with Feel Good in the scene, but I hadn't heard them yet. After seeing them live I was super impressed.
Feel Good brought the heat in a big way. As soon as they started playing everyone in the front was passionately singing along. Even Go For Gold was pumped up and their drummer was taking video from the side of the stage. Feel Good had a unique mix of pop-rock and emo, but almost had a country or Americana feel in a way. For some reason I could picture them doing well on a TV show like American Idol or The Voice. Their songs were really well crafted and are radio-ready.
Keep an eye out for these guys. I wouldn't be surprised to see them on Maha next year or doing a support tour for a bigger band soon.
You can check out Feel Good on Facebook.
Before the end of Feel Good's set I told Craig, lead singer from the final band Odd Man Out, "You guys have your work cut out for you". Well Craig and the boys were up for the challenge! As the clock struck midnight it was time to rock one more time.
Odd Man Out's patented pop-punk emo jams had the handful of fans who were cool enough to stick around dancing and having a blast. Craig and the boys played a good mix of originals and covers including a song from Modern Baseball. Unfortunately I never got into Modern Baseball so I couldn't tell you the title but the room was going off!
All around, the tight group of friends sang along and raised their glasses to the pop-punk hit. Even Feel Good's lead singer (again I don't typically know the name unless there's a Facebook info tab or it's on the band's official website), joined in on vocals.
Yes it was late, and most of us there probably had a case of "show back", but it was an awesome Saturday night, and I can't wait to do it again soon.
Make sure to check out Odd Man Out on Facebook and peep their side band Pop Shove It. They have a show at Dr. Jack's on the 23rd and you don't want to miss it!
Big thanks to Aorta Music, Dr. Jack's, and all of the bands that played.
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