Author: Sora Wolff
Photography: Emma Wang
It’s not very often that you can find a music festival in Lincoln, Nebraska. Hear Nebraska is changing that normality by putting on their annual, non-profit musical festival- Lincoln Calling. Lincoln Calling brought over 120 different musical groups, comedians, drag shows and art exhibits to downtown Lincoln for the 2017 festival. Lincoln Calling takes place mostly in downtown Lincoln, with a street market occurring on 14th street between P and O Street. There are six different venues that hold shows for Lincoln Calling including Duffy’s Tavern, The Bourbon Theatre, Zoo Bar, 1867 Bar, Bodega’s Alley and The Bay (which is located northeast of downtown on Y street).
I started my evening venturing out into the street market to check out all the different vendors and entertainment. There was a little something for everyone. There were many vendors with a variety of handmade products, from homemade tea and bake goods, to handcrafted lotions, jewelry, greeting cards and more. There were also doors standing upright in the middle of the street that guests could paint on to express themselves. Big Top Performance Art Center had several aerialists perform their aerial silk routines for the public.
I started venue hopping at the Bourbon Theatre, where I got to see a band out of Ashland, Nebraska, The Way Out. The Way Out was the first act of the evening at the Bourbon and had an adequate turnout for a 6pm show. They presented a modern twist on rock in their music, comparable to a rock version of Jimmy Eat World. What I found most impressive was that halfway through their set, their drummer and electric guitarist/vocalist entirely switched positions and played the others instrument for the remainder of the set. It was refreshing to see such versatile talent in musicians that were so young.
I then went across the across the road to Duffy’s to catch some comedians. Six different comedians performed (see there Friday night lineup here). Each comedian was permitted 15 minutes to get a as many laughs out of the crowd as they could with their unique performances and punchlines. They made everyday life events and occurrences seem very entertaining.
I ended my evening back at the Bourbon Theatre to watch Headliner, Angel Olsen, perform. The thirty-year-old singer-songwriter and musician came all the way from Asheville, North Carolina to perform for her first time in Lincoln, Nebraska. Angel Olsen sings Indie-Rock and Indie-Folk music. As the time drew nearer to 9:30pm, the dimmed Bourbon began filling with Angel Olsen fans. As her five band members came on stage all sporting the same light blue casual suit wear, the crowd greeted them with applause and cheers. You could feel the anticipation for the Angel Olsen to come onstage as the drums began to roll and the guitarists started to play. A few minutes later, Angel arrived in a cream colored jumpsuit, throwing her guitar strap over her shoulder as she opened with her song “High and Wild” from her 2014 album, Burn Your Fair For No Witnesses.
People kept inching closer to the stage. You could really feel the sense of community in the Bourbon, not only within the audience, but also from Angel Olsen. She had such a personable and authentic way of interacting and talking with the crowd. She sung with a voice that echoed throughout the room and captivated the undivided attention of all. She put on a beautifully entertaining show full of her own sound and authenticity.