Text and graphic by Karynn Brown
Oct. 26, 2017
If the blustery nights, shorter days and the swaths of fallen leaves didn’t clue you in, fall has announced its way into Lincoln whether you like it or not. As it turns out, Lincoln’s community of artists and musicians couldn’t be happier that Halloween is finally here, and are ready to rock straight through to November. This weekend features a runaround schedule of both local and touring bands, artists, storytellers and events.
Music Benefit Show: The Studio LNK
Starting things off—like all good weekends do—Thursday will feature a benefit show and coat drive for the local Yazidi community, hosted by local photographer Wyn Wiley. Hosted at The Studio LNK inside Turbine Flats, 21st & Y. Wiley’s new studio space will allow for a four-musician performance. The $20 cover gets patron a free beer, coffee, or hot chocolate and will be donated to Lincoln’s nonprofit Living LYfe. Artists Crystal Davy, Jenny Hietbrink, Zach Davy, and The Moore Brothers will be performing. Attendees are encouraged to bring gently used winter coats for an additional coat drive.
TR3 w/The Midland Band: The Bourbon Theatre
Thursday will also feature a Lincoln appearance by longtime touring roots rock guitarist Tim Reynolds. This iteration of the TR3 group, featuring bassist Mick Vaughn and drummer Dan Martier, has been together since 2007. Reynolds’ sound is a hallmark of the folk-rock acoustic sound, having made a name for himself while working extensively with the Dave Matthews Band since the early 90s. Beginning in the early 2000’s, TR3 took a turn into Reynold’s many solo albums and individual experience. Reynolds’ latest album, That Way, features acoustic instrumentals with complex rises and falls. The Bourbon will be the second stop on the band’s fall tour, which will continue through the first week in December, ending with two shows in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Check out more on Facebook.
Friday boasts three shows to choose from (or to catch all of them if you’re feeling ambitious), playing at Duffy’s, The Bourbon and 1867 Bar.
Ezra w/Traffic Death: Duffy’s
Starting at 7 p.m., Duffy’s Tavern will host a 21+ donations-only show for fans of Nebraska death metal. Lincoln’s EZRA, with openers from Des Moines, Traffic Death, will be performing. EZRA has 20-some years of death metal jams under their belts. Ezra features artists Brad Morningstar, Scott Schlesinger, and Raws, whom also performs in Lincoln as Plack Blague. EZRA’s work is largely done at live shows, and they’ve played with many bands including L.A. Guns, Gwar, Flotsam and Jetsam. Openers Traffic Death brings a punk metal mix from the Des Moines scene. They released their second full-length album, Split Personality on Bandcamp last October. Find out more on Facebook.
12th Planet: The Bourbon
The Bourbon gets in on Friday action with a performance by 12th Planet, a dubstep/EDM specialist. The event is sponsored by local production company HighLucyNation, which has compiled Conrank, Nxbel Price, Nmezee and Bassthoven for the show’s full line-up. Complete with lights by Omaha lighting design company, Temperature0, the show is an all-out production. A collection of bass/dub/EDM-styled DJ’s, each artist offers a different take on the party music genre.
Friday’s show will be the fourth stop on 12th Planet’s Sooo Sick Tour, which continues until February. Frequently collaborating with the likes of Skrillex, Zomboy and Kill the Noise, 12th Planet offers and EDM dubstep style that is intriguing, unique, and artfully eclectic. The Let Us Prey EP was released earlier this month, which will be 12th Planet’s first EP, following two full-length albums.
UK guest stars Conrank will make an appearance at the 12th Planet show as well. Conrank’s show in Lincoln is a side stop from his fall tour, “The Big Smoke”, which is dedicated to his latest album, The Big Smoke Beat Tape.
While 12th Planet is from Los Angeles and Conrank hails from the United Kingdom, the midwest is not without representation at this show. Iowa City’s Nxbel Price, Kansas City’s Nmezee and Lincoln’s own Bassthoven make up the rest of the line up. This show offers a unique mix of regional dubstep performers, as each group has distinctly separate styles and spheres of influence in the electronic music world.
The show is available for the 18+ crowd (provided a $2 minor fee), with tickets for $15 advance or $20 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m. Find out more on Facebook.
Halloween Cover Show: 1867
The headlining-wouldn’t-miss-it-for-the-world event this weekend is 1867 Bar’s Second Annual Halloween Cover Show. Featuring some of Lincoln’s favorite locals, Mad Dog and the 20/20’s, Better Friend, Salt Creek and Cruz Control, will take the stage at 8 p.m. Friday night. As four bands that are good mutual friends and regularly play shows together, the cover show idea seemed largely inevitable. This will be Better Friend’s first appearance at the event. They were invited by Mad Dog to fill out the pop punk theme by covering My Chemical Romance. Meg Munyon from Better Friend and Mad Dog’s Maddy Christensen will showing off pop punk with female voices.
This year’s show is meant to be a nostalgic throwback to everyone’s favorite angsty formative years. Mad Dog and the 20/20’s is covering Fall Out Boy, Better Friend is covering My Chemical Romance, Salt Creek is covering Nirvana and Cruz Control is covering Jimi Hendrix.
Munyon is excited to be playing MCR songs as “fun anthems that everyone knows.” Part of the excitement of doing a total cover set is that it gives the artists to step out of their usual sound and musical habits. Learning covers is a fun, low stress challenge for the bands to explore, which is why the cover show has carried from last year. Munyon mentioned how unifying it was to share the challenge of learning someone else’s songs as a band.
The idea for covering Hendrix came from Cruz Control’s guitarist. The band is planning a collection of mostly well-known works, and a handful of other tracks, hoping to deliver a performance that shows why Hendrix was such a musical idol.
Steadily gaining momentum since the May release of their first album, Where Strangers Go, Salt Creek is the perfect choice to be covering Nirvana. Their relaxed yet poignant bass and reverb heavy sound can only translate well into Nirvana’s hallmark style. Chase Thompson’s vocals are clearly within influence and range of the subtle, deep croon of grunge artists like Kurt Cobain. T
This year’s covers feature a wide variety of music, which Maddy Christensen hopes will bring in lots of fans. The performers are set to take their emo rocker looks to the max, and hope the crowd will be prepared to do the same. Above all else, the Halloween cover show promises to be equal parts angst, nostalgia, and fun.
Find out more on Facebook.
Friday’s full calendar is only the beginning, with two shows happening around town Saturday, and more events on Sunday. Saturday welcomes Gogol Bordello to The Bourbon and The Ambulanters to The Bay.
Gogol Bordello w/Lukcy Chops: The Bourbon
Gogol Bordello’s long-awaited arrival to Lincoln will be at the Bourbon on Saturday, with doors opening at 7 p.m. A nine-piece band of nearly all immigrants, Gogol Bordello is a nonstop combination of absolutely everything. Their music is often described as gypsy punk, and features a mix of subtle punk rock influences with a heavy hand in European folk music.
Hailing largely from eastern Europe, Gogol Bordello’s sound is rich with chanting, ballad-like vocals, a folksy, hard-to-miss mix of brass, violin, and accordion, and a vibe that accurately translates the international-mindedness of the band. Named after their seventh full length, the “Seekers and Finders” tour began this week in Oklahoma, but will soon take the band through Poland, the United Kingdom and Germany. New York high-energy funk band Lucky Chops will is joining Gogol Bordello for most of the tour. Find out more on Facebook.
The Ambulanters w/Histrionic & Jacob James Wilton: The Bay
Saturday’s show at The Bay takes a chance to honor the locals once more. Headliners The Ambulanters will be playing alongside Histrionic and Jacob James Wilton. These three groups offer the perfect balance of grunge, punk, and atmospheric rock to get anyone into the Halloween mood. The Ambulanters is just one of many local bands that each individual member is a part of, giving this iteration of musicians a relaxed and professional tone. The Ambulanters mix folk, indie, and punk into their sound. Saturday’s show caps as the endcap on The Ambulanters fall tour, which began at The Bay on September 30th.
With every show they play Histrionic gains more fans as Lincoln’s newest favorite punks. The grunge-punk rock trio brings a magnetic and impressive energy to any stage, whether they’re playing for a crowd of five or 50. Bassist and vocalist Aramara Quintos sings with the highest of highs and even lower lows, giving each of their tracks a double-punch of power between just her two instruments. Drummer Seth Beem and Caleb Baugous bring equal amount of reckless energy and complex, well practiced skill to their performances.
Omaha group Jacob James Wilton has falls among the ranks of lo-fi, experiment, atmospheric rock. Front title musician Jake Newbold is supported by an often changing rotation of musicians on guitar, synth, keys, vocals, and drums. Each JJW album and performance throws a new element into the mix, which offers an intriguing and meaningful change to their music. The band’s fifth release, “Distance” will drop in January.
The Bay’s show will follow the usual formula: all ages with a $5 cover; music begins at 7 p.m. Find out more on Facebook.
Terror at the Big Top: Big Top Performance Center
Sunday’s events look to slow things down, but only a touch. Big Top Performance Art Center, 19th & Holdrege,s will be the performing the third night of “Terror at the Big Top”. Boasted as Lincoln’s only haunted house, Big Top Performances will be using their skills of acrobatics, dance, and aerials to give participants a circus-themed scare. This event runs from Friday, October 27-30th, through the 30th, and will feature a haunted maze, local bands, and spontaneous horror-performance surprises. Cost is $15 at the door, $10 if in costume, and $5 if that costume is a clown or for ages 12 and under. Find out more on Facebook.
The Ballad of Leslie Arnold: The Zoo Bar
Sunday also marks the premiere of a short film curated by local storytellers. “The Ballad of Leslie Arnold” tells the story of Leslie Arnold, who in 1958 murdered his parents and was later the only successful escapee of the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Promising to be thought-provoking and truly chilling the showing will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Zoo Bar with a potluck dinner and comedy show to follow. The work is a music video-esque short film based on the Omaha World- Herald’s four-piece article on Arnold. The articles were written by Henry Cordes, the film was shot by Rhett McClure, produced and directed by Mike Semrad. Find out more on Facebook.
Pumpkin Carving Party
Return to Duffy’s Sunday evening for their annual pumpkin carving party! Starting at 6 p.m., Duffy’s will provide knives and candles for participants to have a drink and carve a pumpkin. Participants must bring their own pumpkins and are encouraged to bring snacks. Find out more on Facebook.
Halloween events (Tuesday)
Halloween at the Bourbon
$pencelove, DJ Blac, DJKG
21+ 9:00 pm 5$ advance, 10$ day of 5 with costume
Karynn Brown is a multimedia intern with KZUM.