Anyone who says Omaha doesn’t have a great music scene can take a hike!
Side note: Donut Stop is closing at the end of the month! I stopped in between sets and there was a banner proclaiming 30 years “1988 to 2018”. Now, it’s always sad to see a local business leave, but I could see a few problems with their business model. They’re open crazy late hours, they only take cash, and the donuts are only .50 cents! It’s admirable that they try to keep prices low, but you can’t survive in 2018 charging 1988 prices!
This was my first experience going to OutrSpaces and I have to say, it’s a pretty decent venue! It’s fairly small, but it was very clean and the sound system packed a punch. There was a small floor area and a cool loft with a few couches and chairs upstairs. There was no stage so the bands just played on the floor. I would love to see a hardcore or metal show there sometime. It would probably be complete chaos with no stage or barricade!
First on the bill was local hip-hop master J. Crum. I had heard my brother mention the name a few times, but this was my first time seeing him, and he did not disappoint!
Now usually when you go to a hip-hop show there’s a DJ and someone just rapping over tracks. Well J. Crum brought a whole band and they sounded awesome! There were elements of hip-hop, Jazz, blues, and rock.
The stand out track for me was “Hearts Collide” J. had really fast rhymes during the verses and a catchy, soulful chorus that just made you want to move! With the heavier guitar and pounding drums I drew comparisons to Coheed & Cambria and Killswitch Engage. There was a great mix of songs that showcased all of J. Crum’s talents from the blazing fast rap to gospel-like singing, and even spoken word.
I caught up with J. Crum after the set and we talked about his musical aspirations and how he works with at-risk youth. I commented that I noticed all of his lyrics were clean. With the invasion of Sound Cloud and mumble rappers that’s definitely something that stands out, which I can’t applaud enough. J. said being clean helps him by not limiting his audience reach. Being a role model within the community, it’s important to always stay positive. I couldn’t agree more. The next time J. Crum plays, make sure to get a front row spot!
The second band of the night, Various Blonde was a two-piece from Kansas City. They had a stripped down synth pop sound. I felt a lot of influences coming through. I could hear the Replacements, Death Cab, even Michael Jackson at some points. Singer Joshua Allen kept busy with vocals, guitar, tambourine, and keys. The crowd gave a warm reception and Joshua thanked everyone for making them feel like they never left Kansas City. Various Blonde has several albums that you can check out on Spotify.
It was about 9:45 when the show started, so by the time State Disco played it was almost midnight! I was pretty weary after a long day, but I soldiered on. Having caught State Disco at Maha, I knew that there were some super catchy tunes headed my way to keep the party going!
Cody and crew started the set with “History is My Teacher” from their album “Going to Sleep is Giving Up.” The crowd cheered in excitement as soon as the sunny guitar and upbeat keys kicked in. Over the next hour, State Disco blasted out Killers inspired grooves that kept the place shaking! At one point J. Crum joined the band adding a spitfire flow over melodic synth.
The crowd lost their minds! After about ten songs Cody thanked everyone for coming out. The crowd chanted “One more song!” Cody said “We’ve literally played all of our songs!”
Not one to leave us hanging, in true rockstar fashion, Cody treated the crowd to a bluesy, solo cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” I was seriously impressed! What a way to cap off an amazing night of music. I left feeling so proud of our local scene. All the bands that played showcased some top notch talent.
Next time you’re looking to go to a show, check the local calendar. You may just find your new favorite band!
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If you would like coverage for your next event please email firstname.lastname@example.org I travel throughout the Midwest and my schedule is pretty flexible, but I’m off on Sundays.