By Karynn Brown, Joslyn Keenan, Will Roper, Renee Jackson and Brittany Ward
Photos by Hailey Krueger and Alex Durrant
Feb. 8, 2018

KZUM interns made the rounds during the first night of Lincoln Exposed Wednesday evening. The all-Lincoln music festival runs through Saturday night at 1867 Bar, Bodega’s Alley, The Bourbon Theatre, Duffy’s Tavern and The Zoo Bar. Check out a complete schedule here on our website. 

Wendy Jane Bantam performs at Duffy’s Tavern during Lincoln Exposed on Feb. 7, 2018. Hailey Krueger/KZUM.

Wendy and the Lost Boys at Duffy’s Tavern
Renee Jackson

Wendy and the Lost Boys started Lincoln Exposed off right Wednesday night at Duffy’s. During their 8:20 p.m. slot on a 10-degree night, the trio gave an excellent performance, complete with expressive strings and rich vocals.

Stars fell from the sky as Wendy and the Lost Boys warmed up the house with their own brand of country and folk. A menacing, violent, and unrecorded song called “Villains” was the highlight of the performance, with solos from the booming stand-up bass and haunting violin. The show was full of the perfect kind of music to heat up a frosty night.

MrMc$ at 1867 Bar
Will Roper

 The instrumental funk rock band blew the roof off of Bodega’s Alley to close the first night of Lincoln Exposed. MrMc$, comprised of guitar, bass and drum kit, blended funky bass lines with face-melting guitar solos for the majority of the set.

Despite the night winding down, the bar was crowded with people at midnight to hear the funk band. The audience was still engaged and energetic, moving up in front of the stage to dance and cheer. Overall, the musicianship and technical skills of MrMc$ were some of the best of the night, as the players were both incredibly skilled and dancing around on stage with the crowd.

Swing Fever at Bodega’s
Will Roper

Swing Fever performs at Bodega’s Alley during Lincoln Exposed on Feb. 7, 2018. Hailey Krueger/KZUM.

Local trio Swing Fever brought some smooth jazz and swing music to Bodega’s Alley on Wednesday for the first night of Lincoln Exposed. Composed of a guitar, saxophone and cajon drum, the group played mellow and sultry swing music for a moderately sized crowd.

Swing Fever was without their bass player, who couldn’t attend due to obligations in Florida, so the group played a more low-key acoustic set on the Bodega’s stage. Both the guitar and cajon player were excellent singers, and the saxophone player, armed with two different horns, provided beautiful, melodic solos throughout the set.

Rift: (The Bourbon)
Brittany Ward

The instrumental duo, Rift, played music without limits of typical metal. They are a heavy metal combo with pounding, chugging riffs and thundering drums. As expected from a metal show, Rift had the crowd headbanging the entire time. Rift played the entire set with high energy and no breaks, except to drink water from a beer pitcher (pretty metal).

Rift started out in 2010, with Jon Baumann (guitar) and Nathan Christensen (drums), as a blues/metal hybrid band that is now “best described as instrumental doom metal.” Rift has two studio records and one live record record. With a lot of performances around Nebraska, we’re excited to see what this band has in store for the future.

Unmanned performs at The Zoo Bar during Lincoln Exposed on Feb. 7, 2018. Hailey Krueger/KZUM.

Unmanned at The Zoo Bar
Joslyn Keenan

Starting up in 2012, the four members of hard rock band Unmanned include Jason Morris, Jordan Elfers, Kelly Houchen and Dave Arredondo. With quick transitions between slow and fast-paced rock, the band is known for taking sudden and hard-hitting turns to a more intense form of rock. The guitar solos included throughout the performance made the show that even more compelling.

Showcasing their talent ranging from strong riffs, to hard rock music, they drew a large crowd by the end of their set. Unmanned is currently promoting a new album, which they performed at this special show. Check out Unmanned’s Facebook page for updates on upcoming events.

Eighth Day Broken: (1867 Bar)
Brittany Ward

Pop punk band, Eighth Day Broken, consists of brothers, Jake (vocals/guitar) and Kurt (drums) Ameku, and Alek Nyberg (bass). This version of the band have been together for over three years, have released one album and recently released a new single. Eighth Day Broken also have a few projects in the works right now, stay tuned!

These guys brought back a little nostalgia of the late ‘90s/early 2000s with their Green Day, The Foo Fighters and Blink-182 inspired sound and it was a show not to be missed. Vocalist/guitarist, Jake, was a high-energy front man with a few comedic remarks between songs. Alek, had a groovy performance style, unlike any other bassist. Kurt was cool, calm and collected, even during complex drum fills. Their upbeat sound ended night one of Lincoln Exposed at the 1867 Bar, leaving everyone amped for day two.

M SHAH at 1867 Bar
Joslyn Keenan

M SHAH performs at 1867 Bar during Lincoln Exposed on Feb. 7, 2018. Hailey Krueger/KZUM.

M SHAH, also known as Malik Shahbal, is a Lincoln rapper on the rise. Partnering with DJ FlyCuts, he delivered a show Lincoln hip hop fans were sure to remember. Hailing from California with a mixture of West and East Coast sounds, M SHAH showed he’s not any regular emcee. With clever metaphors dropped throughout catchy beats, every song seemed to have a clear idea and meaning. One song was crafted into a Star Wars-themed rap song. As one of his older songs performed, “Affection,” explains, M SHAH has a real love for hip hop and doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

M SHAH has opened for big names like Lupe Fiasco, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Scarface. News on M SHAH’s upcoming events are updated on his Facebook page as they are added.

Hex Weaver at The Bourbon Theatre
By Karynn Brown

Unassuming and endlessly powerful, Hex Weaver took to the Bourbon’s Rye Room stage following Orion Walsh and the Ramblin’ Hearts on Wednesday. Violaist Alex Svoboda began the performance with a ceremonial sprinkling of water on the crowd and performers. Hex Weaver produces captivating, heavy rock instrumentals that rise and fall in a narrative fashion. Built of three longtime musicians, each composition’s intense complexity in rhythm, melody, and instrumental passages are executed with precise timing and communication. The group focuses on featuring each instrument in turn, building climaxes into scales and broken chords on viola and guitar. The group also sported newly designed T-shirts featuring a reimagined Danish medieval wood cutting.

Salt Creek performs at Duffy’s Tavern during Lincoln Exposed on Feb. 7, 2018. Hailey Krueger/KZUM.

Salt Creek at Duffy’s Tavern
Renee Jackson

Following Wendy and the Lost Boys at Duffy’s Tavern on Wednesday night, Salt Creek’s powerful indie rock brought the house down. Strong and driving rhythms guided the whole performance as six pairs of hands commanded guitars, and another pair ruled the drums.

At one point, the band thanked the audience for coming and remarked on the early showtime, freezing weather and Wednesday night slot.

“We weren’t expecting people to be here,” said guitarist Nathan Richardson commented. “So, this is awesome.”

Yellow After Rain at 1867 Bar
By Karynn Brown

Opening Lincoln Exposed at 1867 Bar last night was Yellow After Rain, a newer four-piece indie rock band. Self-described on Facebook as emo or math rock, the band incorporates a mix of influences and sounds in their performance. Roots in indie, experimental and pop punk the group focuses in on sustained chords and lyrics breakdowns. A healthy sense of rhythm and dissonance take the forefront of the sound, allowing singer and bassist Daniel Kuchar’s lyrics to have a layered, poetic feel. Kuchar’s lyrics are often incorporated around various voice samples in a telephone call monologue style. Clearly still finding their sound but willing to experiment, the band brings a clean energy to the stage.  Yellow After Rain put out a 5-song EP on Bandcamp last July and hope to record more in the future. Their next show will be at Duffy’s Tavern on March 14 alongside Threesome Egos and Platter Earth Theory.

Thirst Things First at 1867 Bar
Will Roper

Thirst Things First performs at 1867 Bar during Lincoln Exposed on Feb. 7, 2018. Hailey Krueger/KZUM

One of the more unique bands on the first night of Lincoln Exposed, Thirst Things First started their set off at 1867 Bar with a bizarre, awesome hype video before jamming out to music centered on consuming beer and oil. A large screen in front of the band added to the strange ambience of the performance, easily encouraging people to dance and crowd around the stage for the entire performance.

Thirst Things First consisted of two guitars, a bass and a drum kit that rocked a distinct sound of futuristic punk rock. The group said they’ve only performed three times since 2016, but it definitely didn’t show, as the band was completely in sync with each for the entire energetic 40 minutes of music.

Giant’s Arrow at Duffy’s Tavern
By Karynn Brown

Returning to the stage after a two-year hiatus, Giant’s Arrow closed Duffy’s Tavern for the first night of Lincoln Exposed. The four-piece indie/emo/punk group brought immeasurable heart and energy to the stage. They worked the stage with the sense of humor that comes from longtime friends performing together, giving the crowd everything but an all out riot. Starting the show with a,

“Thanks, we’re Slipknot.” and finishing with a, “We’re 311 and we’ve got one more left”. The tight crowd was more than happy to sing and nod their heads along to a band they clearly missed seeing. Giant’s Arrow played a few favorites off their Jan. 2016 Bandcamp-released EP, IIII, including “Youth Chili Cookoff” and “Chore #4.” Giant’s Arrow works a unique, bright sound with impassioned lyrics and lengthy, rock-your-face-off instrumental breakdowns. As of now, the group has no published plans for future shows.

[slickr-flickr tag="LincolnExposed1" captions="on"] View photos on KZUM's Flickr.