Jason Bonham and the Led Zeppelin Experience

Written by Garrison Breckenridge • December 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To say that Led Zeppelin have earned a place in the pantheon of rock music is to say that which few will reject. The only other rock band that is comparable in that degree may be The Beatles, but Zeppelin pursued altogether different soundscapes while the Fab Four set the standard for British Pop. Zeppelin’s enduring mystique and musical virtuosity made waves. I can only imagine what audiences felt when the band broke into the scene, conjuring music in the studio and on stage that was an alien confluence of past sounds. Sonic séances.  

The chances of Led Zeppelin touring again are slim, what with Robert Plant’s refusal to be a “jukebox,” as he once put it. This leaves fans in a difficult position.

We want the music.

Enter Jason Bonham. Son of drummer John Bonham, Jason has grown up not only with the legacy of his father but a rabid interest in music himself. The Led Zeppelin Experience could be written off by the particularly cynical as a musician advancing his career with his father’s legacy, but I believe that this project is rooted in Jason’s love for his father: he is not an opportunist, but rather a participant in an ancestral revival through the power of music. One of the best moments of the night occurred when video footage of his father as a child appeared on all of the screens in the Whiskey. Later, during the drum solo in “Moby Dick,” Jason joined his father beat-for-beat for the hammering percussions. The convergence of past and present, father and son, was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve felt at a performance.

Covering two hours of Led Zeppelin is a daunting prospect. Not only do you bear the weight of a musical legacy on your shoulders, but you have to do so with impeccable musicianship. James Dylan reached the high notes that made Plant a legendary vocalist. Tony Catania emulated the fretboard prowess and dexterity that immortalized Jimmy Page as a guitar hero. Alex Howland played dual roles of keyboardist and guitarist, adding that extra depth that makes songs like “Kashmir” so iconic. And of course, bassist Dorain Heartsong (amazing name) set the rhythmic pulse of the evening along with Bonham behind the kit.

My conclusion: With incredible musicality and genuine heart, Jason Bonham and the Led Zeppelin Experience is perhaps the best cover band on the planet.

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Show Your Southern * Win a Trip to Vegas

Written by Sarah Cooper • December 2016

The Nightlife Company and Southern Comfort have teamed up and are giving one lucky winner a trip to viva Las Vegas! 

It's really easy to enter. We want to see your favorite Southern Comfort drink! So grab a bottle, or ask your bartender, and show us your southern! Submit a photo of your drink to www.nightlifeco.com/soco and you're entered!

One lucky winner will be chosen on January 17th, 2017 and will win a round trip airfare, a 4-night hotel stay, AND a ticket to the annual Nightclub & Bar Show! 

The Nightclub & Bar Show is the nation's most influential gathering of bar, nightlife, hospitality and beverage professionals, who annually come together in Las Vegas. This is the bar professional's one stop shop to learn about new products, new technology and new trends in the industry. Take your industry knowledge to the next level! Plus, Nightclub & Bar Show is notorious for the industry's biggest parties & killer networking events. 

Need help with some drink recipes? Click here: http://www.southerncomfort.com/en-us/

Are you ready? Submit a photo of your favorite Southern Comfort drink and get automatically entered to win: www.nightlifeco.com/soco

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Skid Row, The Swear, and Save the Hero

Written by Garrison Breckenridge • November 2016

On Saturday I walked through the Horseshoe Casino, past the cacophony of slot machines, and into the Whiskey Roadhouse. The crushing sounds of Save the Hero, a local hard rock act from Omaha, kicked off the soundtrack of the night. When I got a decent view of the stage, I was even more impressed by their being a trio. I have always been impressed by three-member bands like ZZ Top, Green Day, or Rush who have the ability to unleash a full sound that doesn’t compromise in depth. If you’re in the mood for live, high-octane rock in the Omaha area, go out and see Save the Hero.

Hailing from Atlanta, The Swear brought femme fatale rock and roll with strong undercurrents of lyrical songwriting. Elizabeth Elkins brings to mind Patti Smith with her raw energy working in tandem with the narratives the songs evoke. It is no easy feat to transmute one’s emotions and observations into hard-edged rock laced with just the right amount of pop sensibilities that allows the songs to stick.

Skid Row, being one of the titans of the late eighties, early nineties scene, presented some challenges not only for themselves, but for yours truly. For them, there was the challenge to prove that they “still got it” after nearly thirty years present within a constantly shifting industry and the parting of ways with Sebastian Bach, whom many believe was integral to the band’s success. For myself, there was the challenge to connect with the heavy current of nostalgia of the night since their second album, Slave to the Grind, was released a year before I was born. The title track to that very album kicked off their set. As one of the youngest members of the audience, could I connect with this band?

Yes. And it was easy.

To really enjoy the night involved disconnecting from myself a little bit in favor of a vicarious view of the band from the perspective of the audience. Their radio hits were the only songs familiar to me, but it was the enthusiasm that the crowd exhibited during these moments that impacted me the most. Of course their two most popular ballads, “Remember Yesterday” and “18 and Life,” would invoke nostalgia, but one of my favorite moments of the night was closer to the end when they broke into “Youth Gone Wild” and everyone absolutely lost it. Some of the audience who had an almost serene composure couldn’t help but move. This was nostalgia rushing to the present.  

Reminiscence and nostalgia was not limited to the audience. There was a moment when bassist and founding member Rachel Bolan addressed the audience and talked about their origins in New Jersey; this was followed by them launching into a Ramones cover. I love it when famous musicians unabashedly display their roots, or perform them in this case.

As a fellow guitar player, “Snake” Sabo and Scottie Hill’s extended, dual guitar solos brought a smile to my face. If you’re gonna have high-caliber musicians in your band, you might as well set them loose on the audience.

I know I have emphasized nostalgia in regards to Skid Row’s performance, but that particular energy was unavoidable. Not only for themselves, but the audience as well.

Their show at the Whiskey Roadhouse was their last set of the year, and I do hope they return to the road soon with ZP Theart on vocals. The singer of Dragonforce fame expertly covered the range and just radiated joy the entire time. Emblematic of the crowd itself.

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Here Come the Punks: NOFX at Sokol Auditorium

Written by Garrison Breckenridge • November 2016

In a world in which a Trump presidency is on the horizon, I could not help but consider the reaction it would have in the arts. This has certainly shaken up other facets of the world. The creative industry can act as a barometer of the cultural consciousness. So what will the readout be?

However, music is perhaps one of the most visceral media. Instant connections made via vibrations in the air. This makes it a particularly effective counter-cultural medium.

Enter punk.

Since its inception, punk has always borne antagonism towards the systems of the world that tend to stifle, dull, or leverage control over our daily lives. Financial industries, big business, status quos, governments, and more have been the target of rapid-fire, distorted power-chords in tandem with comparable vocals. Emphasis here is on emotion, not composition. Feel over form.

Here’s how the night went:

The first band, Useless Id, set the tone of the night with their own sonic barrage. A way into their set, the singer asked the crowd, “Who here voted for Trump?” The response was largely negative. The singer-bassist then followed that up with a condemnation of the President-Elect and an approval of Bernie Sanders before launching into the next song. There’s a lot to unpack in that moment, but I’ll move on to PEARS.

How would I describe PEARS? Well, I would say that they deliver hardcore punk that comes straight from the heart. I would say that attaching wires from a generator onto Zach Quinn could be a viable solution to powering a small town. I would say that anyone who likes their music with teeth should check them out. Especially live.

Then NOFX comes out on the stage and the place, packed floor to balcony, erupts. It turns out that their stops here in Omaha have been few and far between. You could almost feel the audience hanging onto every sound that night.

The band loves to interact with the crowd, making the spaces in between the songs some of the most interesting moments. Singer-bassist, founding member Mike feels at home poking fun at members of the audience and just simply being at play within the moment. He expressed sympathies for the women in the audience, saying that they “just got kicked in the fucking head” with this past election. He also lambasted all of the religions to a cheering crowd. Political correctness be damned. This is punk, ladies and gentlemen. Dissatisfaction with a world not of our design, where the artifice is becoming more visible by the day, set to a soundtrack. When your average song is no more than two minutes, you can cover a lot of ground at a punk gig, and NOFX’s set list was comprehensive.

There is an authenticity to this band that armors itself from the usual criticisms, the familiar comparisons of the old sound with the new sound, accusations of adapting to a more lucrative identity, etc. But NOFX is NOFX. And the people got what they came for.

I predict that there will be a resurgence of punk music during a Trump presidency; not the punk laced with pop sensibilities, but rather the raw kind in which the energy can be directed towards reunification and ideological combat. 

Here come the punks.

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Karaoke Guide

Written by Sarah Cooper • November 2016

Updated 2/08/17
*Start time at 9:00pm unless noted otherwise

Monday
-Moe and Curly's
-MVP Lounge
-13th Street Brickhouse
-The Tavern

Tuesday
-Moe and Curly's
-Stoli's Lounge
-House of Loom
-The Down Under Lounge (10pm)
-Nifty Bar
-Touch of Class Lounge
-G's Pub (9:30)
-Tracks Lounge
-T. Henery's (9:30)
-13th Street Brickhouse
-Thomasville Lounge (2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month)

Wednesday
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Moe and Curly's
-The Cove Lounge
-Pheasant Bar and Grill
-Boondocker's
-Applebee's (Papillion)
-Billy O's (7:00)
-Shark Club
-G's Pub (9:30)
-T. Henery's (9:30)
-Winchester Saloon
-The Max
-Bogie's (North)

Thursday
-Moe and Curly's
-Stoli's Lounge
-MVP Lounge
-Boondockers
-KoZee Lounge
-Flixx Lounge (10:00)
-Sullivan's (9:30)
-Clancy's Pub (72nd and Pacific)
-Rehab (10:00)
-Winchester Saloon
-Oasis Hookah Lounge
-Club Vibe
-Reverb Lounge (8:00)
-Bogie's (West)

Friday
-Moe and Curly's
-Pheasant Bar and Grill
-Nifty Bar
-Boondockers
-California Bar
-KoZee Lounge (8:00)
-Alderman's Bar (10:00)
-Applebee's (Oakview)
-Billy O's 
-Crossbones 
-FullHouse
-Goldeez
-The Cabin Bar and Grill (9:30)
-G's Pub (9:30)
-13th Street Brickhouse
-Harold's
-Rusty Nail (10:00)
-Winchester Saloon
-Jack's Place

Saturday
-Moe and Curly's
-Pheasant Bar and Grill
-Boondockers
-Alderman's Bar (10:00)
-Touch of Class Lounge
-FullHouse
-Goldeez
-The Cabin Bar and Grill (9:30)
-G's Pub (9:30)
-Clancy's Pub
-13th Street Brickhouse
-Firewater Grille
-Rusty Nail
-Woodcliff Restaurant (9:30)
-Winchester Saloon
-Jack's Place
-The Verdict Bar and Grill (10:00)
-Crescent Moon

Sundays
-Moe and Curly's
-Swizzle Stix
-Bogie's (North)

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Does your venue host karaoke nights? Let us know and get added to the list!
Email us at Sarah@nightlifeco.com

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Halloween Guide 2016

Written by Sarah Cooper • October 2016

Once a year, the macabre and strange come out to play, so NightlifeCo has compiled for you Omaha’s most comprehensive guide to the city’s nightlife on the weekend of All Hallows Eve. Ghouls, ghosts, cosplayers, sexy nurses, zombies, and more await all of you looking for nightside festivities this Halloween.

So go out into the night and enjoy yourself.

REDNECKS BAR

Friday, October 28th
9:00pm-2:00am

“Ain’t no ordinary hick bar” is their promise, and this could not be more true during their Halloween Party. If you want to learn how to mingle with the costumed clientele in true REDNECKS style, arrive early for FREE line-dancing lessons at 8:00pm. Make sure you are at your most frightening, funny, or alluring for the costume contest as there will be a cash prize. $150 for Best Couple. $100 for Most Creative. Refreshments will be $3 Fireball shots, $3 Jim Bean Fire shots, $4 Angry Orchard, and $1 Scary Shots! Sound Conjuration provided by DJ Chad.

COHEN AND KELLY’S LOUNGE  

Friday, October 28th
9:00pm-2:00am

Naughty Schoolgirl Party.

Pretty self-explanatory.

Skirt or no skirt, the party kicks off at 9:00pm. NO COVER!

Refreshments will be $5 Fireball shots and $3.75 Coors Light Draws.

Sound Conjuration provided by a Live DJ, once dead.

THE COVE LOUNGE AND GRILL

Saturday, October 29th
9:00pm-2:00am

The Cove touts itself as a beach bar away from the beach, and, being in the middle of the prairie, I would say they are much appreciated. But all manner of things will wash up on the shore of this establishment during the machinations of Halloween weekend. “How could this be?”, you might ask. “There is no ocean in Nebraska. We don’t have an actual beach.” Well, my friend, it is best not to think on these things.

Festivities begin at 9:00pm. NO COVER.

Inebriating liquids will include $4 Fireball shots, $4 Wells shots, and $5 Vodka Redbulls.

Sound conjuror DJ JAB will be casting the sonic spells of the night.

STOLI’S LOUNGE

 

Saturday, October 29th
9:00pm-1:00am

There will be a costume contest at Stoli’s. Prizes will go to winners of Best Couple, Most Creative, and Best Overall. In the past, we have encountered winners who were NOT in fact costumed. They were just…like that. If you happen to be, say, a vampire or a zombie or a hatchet-wielding Teddy Bear named Franklin whose only vocalizations are the absorbed screams of its victims, please stay at home. This is OUR chance to shine.

NO COVER.

Also present will be $3 Jello shots, $4 Jack ‘O Blast shots (Captain Morgan), and $14 Domestic Buckets.

If you find the notion of self slowly disappearing that night, do not worry. That is DJ Farley siphoning off all of your worries and concerns during these troubled times. Or so he says.

OZONE LOUNGE

Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th
9:00pm-2:00am

A raven landed in my room the other night. I am pretty sure that all doors and windows were closed. Attached to the bird was a message on a scroll of parchment, written in scarlet ink. The following is from an otherworldly avian, to me, and now to you:

OZONE has not one but TWO nights of festivities planned for you ladies and gentlemen. Each night will feature a costume contest with $1000 of CASH PRIZES: $750 to first, $250 to not-so-first.

Ethereal soundscapes brought to you by Rough Cut (Friday) and Eckophonic (Saturday).

Discount elixirs will include $5 Fireball and $3.50 Coors Light.

There will be a $5 COVER because entering the underworld requires a token. Obviously.

THE MAX

October 31st
8:00pm-2:00am

Dancing used to be an integral part of archaic, arcane rituals intended to actualize one’s desires such as making it rain (literally), vanquishing one’s enemies, and generally curing the dull, monotonous lifestyle.

Dancing often leads to interesting results.

THE MAX is one of the most renown dance clubs in the world. Maybe you should go and see what happens at THE MAX’s TWO dance floors and FIVE bars.

But make sure you dress to impress (or terrify, whichever you may fancy) for the costume contest with $1000 in CASH PRIZES.

Do it.

THE SPEARMINT RHINO at CARTER LAKE

Saturday, October 29th
7:00 pm - 2:00am

Here’s how this works:

You will show up in costume for your free admittance.

You will be seated.

Beautiful women will cast a spell on you.

All will be well.

Refreshments will include $3 Blue Moons, $5 Incredible Hulk Shots, and $5 Pumpkin Pie Shots. A $100 VIP Bottle Service will be available as well.

Oh, and there will be 2-4-1 Private Dances.

DUBLINER PUB

Saturday, October 29th
9:30pm-1:30am

If you ever wanted to celebrate the Mexican holiday The Day of the Dead in an Irish pub, well now is your chance!

Come dressed in Day of the Dead attire i.e. skulls with floral patterns.

THEY demand it.

Who’s “they?” Well, that would be telling.

$5 COVER.

A bard named Damien McCarthy will be your sound conjuror of the evening.

Refresh yourself with your choice of $3.75 Tecate, $5.50 Dubliner Irish Whiskey Shots ($8 for both), and $2.00 Syringe Shots.

THE SESSION ROOM

Friday, October 28th
9:00pm-2:00am

THE SESSION ROOM’s first Halloween shindig will feature Lemon Fresh Day. Their wide range of cover songs are meant to make you move and are totally not supplications to an extra-dimensional cosmic entity. This will start at 9:00pm with NO COVER.

Drink specials include $4 Odell Drumrolls and $5 22 oz. Coors Lights.

DO NOT forget your costumes at home or the cosmic entity will not be pleased and all that has or will ever be will pay the consequences. First place prizes include a Bud Light NFL Neon Light and a $50 bar tab. Second place prize is the same minus the neon (useful for fending off certain night creatures.)

THE SESSION ROOM has a delicious menu (foods and drinks, not the actual menu.) Their selection of craft beers and cocktails should be ample refreshments for the night ahead. They also have PIZZA CONES which I can only imagine is how our pizza must appear to the higher-dimensional perspective of the cosmic entity. 

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