Toadies, UME; August 1st, 2014

The Waiting Room Lounge
August 1st, 2014
Omaha, Nebraska

Who remembers the 90’s? Now I know what most of you are saying, ”Lonnie, you are only 30. What do you know about the 90’s?” Thank you for asking, fictional person I made up for this example. I remember the cartoons and TV shows, I remember the foods of the 90’s but most of all I remember the music. To say Ume is stuck in the 90’s would be a rude way to say what they sound like, but a better way of saying it would be they are playing a sound that we all grew up on in the 90’s and doing it very well. They bring spunk, energy and the strong emotions that only one of those generations could show.
                August 1st was the day and like most good shows the place was The Waiting Room. Unlike most shows, August 1st was on a Friday and anyone who knows Benson, or Omaha in general, I’m sure knows about a little thing called Benson’s First Friday which is a city wide block party. Normally this is something cool enough to write a full review on. They have good food, music, and just a great general gathering of people to meet. But this isn’t a review about that, so it sucked. Parking was insane and having a broken ankle and foot made it twice as crappy to have to walk 10 blocks to a venue with a parking lot a block away. So walking into the club I was already a little burnt out on people.
                Ume hit the stage like a ball of gas that had just been lit on fire. Lauren LL, the singer, was best described as a crazy. Every song, she was covering every inch of that stage but she never missed a single note on the guitar. She had the duty of playing. Not only did she play guitar, she was the only guitar player. Like most bands in the 90’s they were a three piece band. Taking pictures of Lauren LL, I won’t lie, was a bit difficult at times with her moving around so much but with that being said she was one of the most photogenic singers I have had the joy of shooting in a long time. I’m not saying the bass and drums weren’t amazing because they really were the backbone of the jams but sadly were lost a little in the show. They were tight and in the pocket every second of the show but it’s hard to stand out with that much of a front man. Do you think a normal guitar player would have had a chance to stand out in Van-Halen? No, not a chance, but Eddie did. That is the issue I feel that they had. Now that may come off as a little cynical but it’s not, Eric Larson (bass) and Aaron Perez (drums) brought it as well. They did their jobs and they did it very well. They were able to win over a very difficult crowd who was there to see the Toadies play one of their best albums of all time. I talked to a fan after the show who said, “I had never heard of them before but after tonight, I’d call myself a fan,” which is the best thing you could ask for any band that is opening a show! All and all, Ume brought it. They had an aggression that I could dig but they also had an ability to make you feel very protective of them, like they are your own little secret. If they keep on the process they are on, I promise you that they will be getting radio play soon. Not only in their home town of Austin, TX but also all over the planet! You just wait. I am very good at this game!
This tour also marked the 20th anniversary of Toadies’ debut release Rubberneck. The band played their debut release in its entirety. The band’s 19 song set also included selections from their other releases, as well as covers of Blondie’s Heart of Glass, and Pylon’s Stop It.
As always thanks for reading my review, I hope you enjoyed it. If not, go see the band for yourself, write your own review and spread the word about how great they are!