Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
The Omaha/Lincoln music scene was on fire Friday night (3/10)! There was a plethora of musical tastes to choose from, Pop-Country, R&B, Indie Rock, Hardcore, and more!
The Admiral hosted a sold out Bryce Vine show. Over at the Slowdown, grammy-nominated Sierra Ferrell played Pop-Country tunes to a packed house (article coming soon). In Lincoln, the legendary Cromags hit the 1867 Bar with Ringworm.
I opted for a smaller show at the Reverb and it was just as fantastic as the sold out shows. A few weeks ago I got an email to check out a band from North Carolina called The Collection. They had just released a new E.P., How To Survive An Ending, and it was starting to get some buzz. It's always nice to get invited to shows rather than going on a wild goose chase trying to track down a publicist.
Being completely unfamiliar with The Collection, I gave the E.P. a listen and I was really impressed with what I heard. I typically try to avoid back to back shows if possible (Harlow & Nugz at the Reverb tonight (3/11)), but I was really drawn to The Collection's sound so I made the trek and it was totally worth it. I brought along my oldest son Phoenix and he got to shoot some photos. It's never too early to start working on your craft. Before the show I asked Phoenix if he wanted to listen to The Collection and he said "No, I want to go in fresh and hear it live". I can respect that. Sometimes that's the best way to discover a new band.
Opening the show was the Boston-based three piece Mom Rock. For only having three members on stage, Mom Rock packed one heck of a punch. According to their website, Mom Rock is known for infectious pop-rock hooks, electric live performances, and wild stage outfits. This night would be no exception as the band stepped out in full baseball uniforms and face paint.
Mom Rock got the crowd shaking with their power pop anthems. The thing that stood out to me, aside from Curtis's vocal prowess, was how the tight rhythm section sounded. Drummer Wilson and Bassist Tara tore that stage to pieces with their lighting fast beats and funky bass notes. The complicated bass patterns almost had a ska-like feel. If you added some horns you'd likely see some checkered suspenders and a little two-stepping break out! Mom Rock has some high profile festival slots coming up including Shaky Knees on May 5. Give Mom Rock a spin and let us know what you think in the comments!
Up next was the main event, The Collection! With a color splattered backdrop resembling their new E.P., How To Survive An Ending, the band stepped out and kicked into the E.P.'s first track "Rose Colored Glasses". Lead singer and primary songwriter David was dressed in head to toe splatter paint similar to the backdrop. He moved from guitar to piano to standing on the chair, raising his arms in victory.
With six members The Collection has a sound that's so full and rich, every song sounds like an indie rock opus. Their vocal harmonies melding with the keys, horns, and guitars really provided some delicious ear candy that makes you want to go back for more.
Taking advantage of the intimate atmosphere, David spent time between each song giving a backstory on how the piece was written and the things he was going through at the time. This is something I really enjoyed. It gives the songs so much more life when you know the writer's intent and where they are coming from. Once a song is released it takes on a life of it's own as it enters the listener's ears, but I appreciate the back stories and hearing about the creative process.
David was very open with the crowd, speaking to mental health issues he's faced, trans rights, and dealing with family expectations that don't always go as planned. At one point in the set David joked about Bright Eyes and hoping to see a Conor Oberst statue when they got to Omaha. For a moment I thought "Why don't we have a Conor Oberst statue?" I'll have to start a petition. If not a Conor statue, at least a Saddle Creek records statue. I jokingly yelled out "Don't forget Cursive!" To which David replied, "Oh I've had some heartbreak while listening to Cursive". Speaking of, don't miss Cursive when they play Domestica in full at the Waiting Room on May 16!
Towards the end of the night David said the band would be heading into the studio to record their next full length record and played a new song "The Come Down". Before the song started he taught the room the chorus so we could all sing along. It was a really sweet moment. The small but mighty crowd gathered in and became the Reverb choir.
As The Collection closed the set with "Love At The End Of The World" the crowd smiled and danced to the wall of sound. The song is the last track on the How To Survive An Ending E.P. and makes for the perfect finale.
After the show Phoenix and I got to talk to the drummer Josh and give our thanks for such an awesome show. It truly was a special evening and I'm glad I was there to capture it. You can check out How To Survive An Ending everywhere you stream music.
Thanks to The Collection's management for photo access.
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