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From: The Omaha Weekly Reader

Scenefest This Weekend

By Tim McMahan
July 30, 2003

Lincoln web 'zine Star City Scene is sponsoring a three-day music festival this weekend featuring 18 local acts all in an effort to raise awareness and generate a sense of community among bands.

Called Scenefest 1, the event runs Aug. 1-3 at Duffy's Tavern, 1412 O St. in Lincoln. The line-up includes:

  • Aug. 1 -- Mr. Miyagi, Strawberry Burns, Rent Money Big, The Republican'ts, The Skinny, and Wasteoid.
  • Aug. 2 -- DJ Robot:Modern, The Bad Sects, Her Flyaway Manner, Starboy, Ideal Cleaners, and Tangelo
  • Aug. 3 -- Floating Opera, The Return, Minutia Stew, Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares, Caesar The Greaser, and Crush The Clown

    Festival organizer Tery Daly (Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares, Starboy) said the event hopefully will open some eyes among Lincoln and Omaha music lovers too timid to come out and see the local talent. "We have so many good bands here, but it seems like there are always the same 15 to 30 people at all the shows," he said. "People sit in front of their TV sets and watch 'Making the Band' or 'American Idol' but don't go out and see better bands playing right here in their own back yard."

    Daly said that through the festival he hopes to build a sense of community among Lincoln's diverse music scene, which is oddly divided by genre and age barriers. Launched last April, his Web site Star City Scene, acts as a touchstone for bands by pulling together a calendar, news and reviews about the Lincoln scene.

    The next hurdle to overcome is bringing the Omaha and Lincoln scenes closer together. Daly said he's working with Star City Scene's Omaha counterpart, SLAM Omaha, to co-sponsor shows that combine bands from the different cities. "The scenes were a lot closer in the early '90s," Daly said. "I'd like to see that happen again."

    Scenefest 1 shows begin at 8:15 nightly. Tickets good for entrance into all three days of the event are $15 and available at Duffy's and Homer's in Lincoln. Tickets to individual evening shows are $6 at the door.

    Among Scenefest 1's highlights is a rare live performance by Lincoln ensemble Floating Opera. Spearheaded by songwriters Charles Lieurance (The Black Dahlias) and Richard Rebarber, the ensemble includes some of the state's most talented performers, including vocalist Lori Allison (The Millions), drummer Paul Tisdale (Sideshow), as well as all three members of legendary punk rock outfit Mercy Rule -- guitarist Jon Taylor, vocalist Heidi Ore and drummer Ron Albertson.

    On the ensemble's just completed third full-length release, Burning Lighthouse, the lineup rotates from song to song, with Allison handling the lion's share of vocals along with Omaha and Lincoln symphonies violinist Chris Wilson. Together, the ensemble comes off as a baroque plaything with violins, trumpets, the occasional keyboard and powerchords when you least expect them. The lilting all-girl vocals, almost angelic when harmonizing, all too often can be as soft as a covey of nuns, and would be too soft if not for the mostly first-person lyrics that sound like a slice of day-to-day and, hence, are as real as the Platte River.

    According to Scenefest organizer Tery Daly, the Floating Opera lineup for the Aug. 3 show will be Wilson, Taylor, guitarist Scott Stanfield, Rebarber, bassist Dave Boye and cellist Alyssa Storey. Allison fans will be able to see her perform with the band, along with drummer Tisdale at the band's Aug. 27 CD release show at Duffy's.