Hail to the Heroes review
Review courtesy of: David Taylor
Photos courtesy of: Geraldography
May 28, 2017 marked a big day in local Omaha music history. It is not every day that they close a portion of Military Avenue in Benson for a big local rock show. And that is what 1% Productions and The Waiting Room Lounge did that day that drew around 1,000 people to downtown Benson. It was the Hail to the Heroes show in honor of Memorial Day, with the bill having all local Omaha acts. And their was no other band to headline than Arson City.
More Than A Memory was first up. Unfortunately, this was their final show, but they looked like it wasn’t their last. Playing songs off their latest self-titled EP that came out last year, as well as new material that they haven’t released, yet, the band’s chemistry onstage was definitely strong for band’s final show. I really hope we get to see the light of day of this new material they played because it sounded really promising. They ended their set with “Uninvited Opinion”, which has rap-like verses and a powerful chorus. This was a really promising final show for More than a Memory and I hope they get back together sometime down the road.
Next band was SAVE THE HERO. Led by brothers Alex, bassist and vocalist, and Matt DiBaise, guitarist and vocalist, they came out with full force. They are power trio with a mission to melt faces. They played tracks off their recent EP, Victims and Villains, as well a couple of covers that caught me by suprise, including one of my personal favorite songs, “Praise” by Sevendust, and “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. The last song they played was “Life of Crime”, which is about robbing a bank, which they jokingly said that they never had. I’ve been wanting to see Save the Hero for awhile, so I was glad that they were on the bill and they delivered the goods.
After that was what I thought was the outlier of the bill, rap group Noizewave. Originally gaining their popularity in late 1990s/early 2000s. It seemed the crowd was a little divided by this one. The more party-type people seemed to enjoy them, while the people that just came to rock wasn’t so sure about them. I thought that they gave an energetic performance, using different samples from different rock songs. Zachariah Hennings aka Surreal the MC was the man of the people, go into the crowd and just messing around with them. They did have a special treat at the end. Arson City drummer, Matt Denker, took over the kit in a Travis Barker-inspired crossover of rock drums and hip hop. It was cool seeing a group like Noizewave having been around for so long that to be considered Omaha hip hop legends is truly remarkable.
The direct support for the night was Narcotic Self. I would also kind of consider them an outlier, but they got the only mosh pit going for the night, which is an achievement in my book. Led by vocalist and guitarist, Jesse Dean, they are probably the longest active metal band in Omaha, playing shows for around 15 years. They have made quite a few lineup changes, but that didn’t stoped Dean’s drive and passion to keep on pushing his project forward. Playing cuts from their recent album, Cut the Chord, as well as some older material, they are a driving force, playing fast, heavy, and loud. They finished their set with the rager, “Toxic Terrorizer”, ending their set with a bang. Jesse Dean is an Omaha, maybe even midwest metal legend. Narcotic Self never disappoints live, always keeping up with tempo and never slowing down.
Finally is the band everyone has been waiting for, the almighty Arson City. This was, without a doubt, their biggest headlining show to date. I think they should’ve brought pyro for this one. It would make perfect sense, but hopefully one day that will happen. 1/4 of their set was new material, which really surprised me. It sounded really good! It made me really anticipate their upcoming album. I think their sophomore release is going to be the one that really hits with everyone, based on what I heard that night. But, as with the new material, the old material delivered, as well. Everybody sang along to all the songs. The crowd sang “Not Coming Home” with passion. My favorite song, “City of Fire”, was truly a crowd pleaser. And the ended their set with a high note with “Dance with the Devil”, a true party song that got everyone dancing. Watching Arson City’s trajectory rise over the years has been really cool. Seeing them headline an all local rock show outside in the heart of Benson with a crowd of around 1,000 gives me hope for the local scene and what’s to come. The trajectory rose ever higher that night. It’s going to be tough to top an all local outdoor show, but Arson City just raised that bar that night.
Click the link to see more images from the Hail To The Heroes show... http://nightlifeco.com/omaha/gallery/hail-to-the-heroes