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Fat Wreck Chords Tour, Omaha Ne, August 19th 2015

So something that isn’t taken into account a lot with music fans is the label that supports the bands: giving them their ability to hit the stages and keep on pumping out amazing albums. Now let’s be fair most bands would still be able to bring you amazing music with the level of technology that is available to them and with a number of different sharing sites like Facebook or YouTube, but the dream is still alive with an amazing record label called Fat Wreck Chords.

On August 19th Fat Wreck brought a remarkable line up to the Slow Down in Omaha, NE. Brought with them were punk rock legends, Lagwagon with Swinging Utters, Toy Guitar, FlatLiners, and Strungout. Now if it was 2003, this show would have been insanely crazy. Kids dancing and having a great time, moshing, circle pits, stage diving and all the other kinds that make a punk rock show great… but sadly that time has come and gone. Those of us who are still in the scene are getting a little older so it’s harder on our bodies and the new generations don’t seem to have the same level of energy that we did. It’s not like they don’t have anything to rebel against. Being a teen in this generation, I’m sure, isn’t easy, but they have so many more ways to release aggression and angst. Whether it is ranting on some social media or doing some designer drug proscribed by your local doctor, a lot of kids don’t need punk rock anymore. For those of us who need it, the love and release is still there. Our punk rock still exists. You still have something to bleed for. You still have something to fight for, and you still have friends. Even when the world gets you down and you don’t see the reason to keep your head up, you will be fine.

The show started with Toy Guitar and they lead off with some smooth rhythms and aggressive guitars. Sadly, the crowd wasn’t really into them and you could tell from the performance that Toy Guitar wasn’t really feeling it either which was a disappointment because they really brought it. Next up was the Flatliners, bringing a little more aggression and stage presence to the show. Still though, a little soft on the crowds’ part. Then, it was The Swinging Utters and they didn’t disappoint. Having more stage presence then the first two bands meant that they were starting to get into a groove. They delivered with what you would expect from the Swinging Utters. Strong guitar and super tight bass and drums along with a singer who had everything a strong front man should have, plus be off his rocker a little. Strung Out hit the stage next and I have to say they were the strongest and the most passionate of the night, but that’s Strung Out in general. This is the second time this year I have been lucky enough to cover them and whether it was for 1500 people or 200 people; they give the same amazing stage show. They get you dancing and releasing your problems. Now it could also be that they were the fastest band on the bill but the crowd definitely felt the vibes they were sending and gave it back in ten fold.

The last band of the night was the legendary Lagwagon. Now, I have a special place in my heart for them. I have been listening to them for the past two decades, give or take, and finally getting to cover them was pretty amazing. What can you say about Lagwagon that hasn’t been said before? The vocals were truly amazing from Cape along with spot on music. The set was incredible. By now, the crowd was really feeling it, giving it all they had. Knowing that it was the last band of the night might have had something to do it with it, but I will pretend it was that they really wanted to be released.

All and all the show was pretty amazing. Bands on point but the crowd was a little soft. But like I said before, the times have changed but punk rock will never fade.

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