By Annie Bohling
Photos by Sarah Lemke
Feb. 11, 2017
Lincoln Exposed night number three saw excellent turn outs.
Bodega’s Alley was literally – yes, literally – packed with audience members for rock group FREAKABOUT. The Bourbon Theatre’s rye room (front stage and area around front bar) was full with people watching Thirst Things First. Most venues had steady fills through the night.
“It was pretty ridiculous,” said FREAKABOUT guitarist Aaron Galvan of the crowd at Bodega’s. “I was not expecting that. … It felt really awesome.”
The band formed about six years ago and has performed three years in Lincoln Exposed, a 12-year-old festival of Lincoln musical acts.
“Lincoln Exposed is amazing,” Galvan said. “It’s so awesome because so many people are here who don’t usually get out much because they have kids or jobs that don’t let them go out.”
They plan for Lincoln Exposed; they get babysitters, interjected Jake Brandt, a guitarist for Evan Bartels and the Stoney Lonesomes.
“I love it, too because I can leave a hip-hop show and then go to a metal show and then go see a string band,” Brandt said. “And then I just saw three opposite ends of the spectrum in two hours, and it was all on the same block.”
It builds community, Galvan said.
“Everyone’s out to support each other,” Brandt said, referring to the bands.
As for discoveries the two made during Lincoln Exposed, Brandt said “Trash Kat was killer” and “Halfies On A Bastard blew my mind.” Galvan said he was impressed with The Way Out. They added The Dancing Dead to the list.
Theoretically, Galvan said, a person can see all of the bands in one night. He’s not wrong, but the most I can catch while soaking in a fair amount of each is 13. Friday featured 29 musical acts.
As Emily Bass has been a long-time singer, songwriter and pianist performing weekly at The Zoo Bar, I was a bit taken aback to see such a full stage around Bass when walking into the beginning of her set at 1867. Emily Bass and the Near Miracle is Bass on vocals and the keyboard, a trombone player, a saxophone player, a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and, drum roll, five singers.
The opening song was a cappella and it was, of course, beautiful. From there, things got real, real bluesy. It was a full house and one that was cheering loudly between each song, attempting to feed back the energy that was blazing from stage, especially from Bass.
Bass could be compared to Josh Hoyer, and she deserves a European tour down the road. The music is so gorgeously rooted in her. It moves her. It’s what she lives for, or at least that’s what looks apparent watching her jump and bounce and twist and turn while singing and playing the keyboard.
The five singers were front and center, right alongside Bass, and were featured as a strong part of the band, not as soft ambiance in the background. The whole band was very much an equal effort, though Bass maintained her seat as leader, pointing to each musician to bust out a solo.
By the end of the 40-mintue set, which somehow included long and high-energy blues numbers and two covers of The Staples, the crowd was stomping and cheering for the group and singing along to the last song about Lincoln, with lyrics, “I see them on the streets; all my friends and neighbors … I love my big city; my big city little town.”
A Different Breed has been around for something like 10 years, and it shows in their cohesion and craft in writing and performing metal.
“This is the biggest crowd we’ve had since 2007,” a band member told the audience.
The four men were at full-force pumping out shreddy guitar-playing with plenty of attitude and joy, all palpable. The group is jaw-droppingly talented, but also fun to watch as the drummer is so visually happy and Caleb flails around like a madman and does things like drops his guitar on stage when the set wraps up.
Vocals came pretty equally from both guitarists and the bassist, who at one point all flooded out gutturals together. Gutturals and singing were intermittent, but there was plenty of time for instrumental breaks and guitar solos.
Trash Kat is a brand new band that went over very well at Duffy’s. They were straight-forward rock and what’s left to say is as straight-forward: They are very talented and well-rehearsed and will make for a great headliner at shows to come.
Thirst Things First brought their usual wonderful mayhem to the Bourbon’s rye room. A 40-minute set didn’t deter the four-piece chaotic rock group from installing the two monitors on either side of the stage that feature…it’s a bit to get into, but images and messages, especially group’s signature “#oil.”
The group’s lead man, Mikey Elfers, created an alternative persona who persists with messages of the subliminal and propaganda type, like, “Oil creates energy. Energy depravation creates thirst. We at Thirst Things First put thirst things first.” It’s that other-worldly, robotic spokesperson for a dystopia who appears on the screens.
Glo Worm was refreshing. The group describes themselves as dream pop fusion, which is indeed fitting. Marisa Kibbie plays front and center on keys and vocals and more power electrifies from the guitar, bass and drums. The set was upbeat and dancey, sometimes with hints of ‘90s influences, other times sounding like a modern indie pop group. A few artists they list as liking are Sarah Vaughn, Beach House, Stereolab and Ivy.
Another to mention: Midland Band. This is a jam band (written and improvised rock with funk shining brightly through) that Lincoln can and should claim, but really it’s home to Columbus, Nebraska.
All four men pitch in with vocals, but the band is mostly instrumental and their followers and the rest of the audience appreciate it. Jake Reisdorff switched from two sets of keys to an electric guitar, to percussion. Tom Adelman glided on the guitar and stage as he does in all his bands. Butch Owens synchronized his bashing on the drums with Reisdorff’s on the keys. And like every bassist, Scott Henggeler is a necessity who helped make the band’s thrilling set.
Lincoln Exposed continues and ends on Saturday night with 23 musical acts at Bodega’s Alley, Duffy’s Tavern, The Zoo Bar, 1867 Bar and Bourbon Theatre.
For more about Lincoln Exposed, including a full schedule, check out the Facebook event page.
/1285675881524903/” target=”_blank”>Facebook event page.
Annie Bohling is one of KZUM’s tireless fall interns.