Garage punkers White Reaper kicked off their headline tour in Omaha on Thursday (2/20) and it was a SOLD OUT shindig from start to finish.
White Reaper is a five piece group from Louisville, Kentucky. They formed in 2013 when the members were all in their teens and put out an E.P. and two full lengths before releasing their major label debut You Deserve Love in late 2019 via Elektra Records.
White Reaper’s early works started in the vein of The Ramones, The Strokes, and Television, but with their latest release the band has added more pop sensibility and keyboard melodies.
If I were to sum up their overall sound it would be The Strokes meets Thin Lizzy meets the Killers.
To see this band live you would have no idea that they’ve only been together less than a decade. Their stage presence and cohesive harmonies were absolutely enthralling.
The whole time I was watching I kept thinking
“This band could easily be as big as Boston or Cheap Trick. Their 80s inspired tunes are perfectly suited for rocking arenas."
Though the Slowdown front room only holds about 200 people White Reaper played like it was Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
The band played a good mix of older material but also provided a heavy dose of songs from their latest release You Deserve Love. In between songs White Reaper showed their love for the 80s with little riffs of the Eagles and Def Leppard, but at one point they busted out a full cover of Blink 182’s “All The Small Things.”
“Our tour manager made a wager that for every sold out show we’ll do a cover song and he’ll sing it.”
You could tell the band was having just as much fun as the crowd when they brought Joey out. There’s nothing like a pop punk classic to get things jumping.
Towards the end of the night White Reaper played their latest hit “Might Be Right” and the room lit up. I hear the song has been getting a lot of plays on Alt Nation and the YouTube count is over 1.4 million. All around the room phones came out to record a grainy clip never to be watched again.
The band closed with my personal favorite “Judy French.” The guitar work on this song is so bright and fun, it reminds me of monster hits like “The Boys Are Back In Town” “Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Hey Jealously.” I really hope as more people learn about White Reaper this song can become a staple of this decade.
For those who missed it, don’t worry, White Reaper is young and hungry. I’m sure they’ll be back through the Midwest soon. But hey, if you’re up for a road trip you can catch them at the Truman tonight (2/22) in Kansas City. If I didn’t already have a ton of other shows lined up I would totally go!
Before I sign off I have to give a shout out to openers The Aquadolls and our local boys Garst.
The Aquadolls reminded me of a young No Doubt and not just because singer/guitarist Melissa is an energetic blonde. Their mix of punk rock grooves and ska-tinged bass lines had the pit moving! Being in the front I was not expecting the thrashing I received as a result of their call to “Open this pit up!!!”
Being from L.A. a lot of their material focused on sunshine and skaters, calling back to a time when MTV was still relevant and going to a rave was your top priority. The Aquadolls will be back in town soon so like them on Facebook so you'll be ready to party!
Shout out to Garst for opening the show. I was talking to drummer Cannon before their set and he said he and his band mates are huge White Reaper fans and were beyond stoked to be playing with them. Cannon mentioned White Reaper has played Omaha a few times before, once at the Waiting Room and once at the now defunct Milk Run.
Garst did a great job warming the crowd up with their upbeat jams and White Reaper shouted them out several times during their set. My favorite being when WR singer Tony said “We haven’t played this song since Garst was in middle school.”
Even though Garst is a really young band they’ve got some serious chops. They’re continually working on new music and have done several small tours over the last year. Who knows, maybe a White Reaper opening slot could be in their future!
Huge thanks to Elektra records for the guest spot and photo pass and thanks to White Reaper, The Aquadolls, and Garst for the awesome show!
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