Yasmin Nur, Night Market, 5:15 p.m.
By Lilly Spring
The night was young when indie rock artist Yasmin Nur took the stage Saturday. She wasted no time, strumming that first electrifying note right at 5:15, making every head turn in her direction.
This singer from Wichita, Kansas played a set full of original songs alongside her bandmates. The sassy, and at times sorrowful lyrics gave off an aura of teen angst, with ample energy and attitude supplied by Nur.
Her outfit perfectly complemented the punk-inspired show. She was sporting a 2000s grunge look, wearing a black T-shirt, plaid shorts, ripped fishnets and combat boots.
The vocals she displayed were impressive to say the least. Nur sang so calmly and yet boldly, supplying a complex dichotomy of sound throughout the set. You could hear every emotion the words were trying to convey in her raw vocals and strong presence. She brought all of the somber messages of her songs to life with the passion behind her voice, as well as her distant glances at nothing, dramatic eye rolls and intense gaze that penetrated the souls of the audience.
The guitars and drums were audacious and booming. They brought the hard rock aspect into the set with their heaviness, and made the songs easy to jam out to with their reverberating beat. Despite it being an early performance, the cacophonous instruments and rowdy demeanor of Nur knocked the socks off the crowd.
Thelma and the Sleaze, Night Market, 6:30 p.m.
By Lilly Spring
As the night progressed, Thelma and the Sleaze, a queer rock band from Nashville, Tennessee got their turn on stage. This vibrant girl group of four came out of the gate strong with an original song, “Come Back Now.”
Lead singer, Lauren “LG” Gilbert, started the performance off by shouting “Lincoln f***ing Nebraska, how the f*** are you?” which was met with a cacophony of applause.
The group played everything from hard rock to languid ballads, as well as tracks that had some Tennessee twang in them. It was hard not to be captivated by the spice of variety in their sound, as well as the eccentric, alluring vocals and harmonies.
It was clear to the audience that these women fully invested themselves in the music they were playing. Utilizing their bodies to tell their stories, the band members bounced around, flipped their hair and used facial expressions to add layers to their expert lyrics and mature music stylings. LG also kept things interesting by telling stories and humorously engaging with the crowd in between each song.
Additionally, the intense guitar-playing and drumming were galvanizing with impressive riffs and solos where the band members got to really showcase their performing skills.
This entire performance was one that the audience couldn’t look away from for fear of missing a single thing these women did.
A Ferocious Jungle Cat, Night Market, 7:45 p.m.
By Lilly Spring
When the sun went down, A Ferocious Jungle Cat came out, and they didn’t disappoint. This Lincoln-based electronic dance group intoxicated the crowd with their performance from beginning to end.
The six-member band came out sporting the most unpretentious fashion looks of the night. Members were all dressed in a combination of casual T-shirts, hoodies, jeans and shorts, which seemed to fit their quirky characters as well as the unconventional feel of the show as a whole.
There was not a dull moment while these performers were on stage. They had lively, electronic beats coming from the keyboard, exhilarating guitar solos, a trombone player that brought the funk, potent drumming and melodious vocals to tie it all together.
Their music certainly earned its “dance” genre title. The punchy, upbeat sound was irresistible. The band members couldn’t help themselves from bopping along to their own tunes, and the entire audience joined in with them.
While their songs did have lyrics to them, it was clear that the focus was more on the instrumentals. They would go on for long periods of time without singing, fixating on nothing but the beat.
During their show, they brought up a woman to sing two songs with them. The first was called “(feels like I’ve been) HYPNOTIZED,” and the second was a cover of “All Star” by Smash Mouth, which is the song they chose to end the night with.
Judging by the unrelenting chants for an encore, their performance was a phenomenal success.
Pala Zolo, Tower Square, 8:30 p.m.
By Nick Finan
Opening with a solid line-up of house music interjected with the occasional funky guitar riff, Pala Zolo out of Lawrence, Kansas carried a solid, steady beat throughout the performance. Opening with the song “Shipwrecked,” Eric Davis, the mastermind behind the project, was cool and confident as he delivered a consistent bassy electric tune.
Davis went on to play a brand new song called “Past Lives.” Opening with an ominous, almost eerie sound that steadily rose into a series of electronic peaks and valleys, the musicality took the listener through a synthetic audio journey of unconventional beats and expert rhythms. Without uttering a single word, Davis managed to convey a sense of reflection on the ebb and flow of life and existentialism while still serving complex musical stylings. He went on to say that he felt the song had a “Stranger Things vibe, like Eleven just got her powers.”
Throughout the set, Pala Zolo delivered a consistent stream of beats the audience couldn’t help but dance to, even when seated. Playing with his whole body, the music flowed through Davis in a way that energized both himself and the crowd.
He finished the night by inviting the crowd in close for “our own private dance party,” composed primarily of a series of funky guitar riffs; the experience was both intimate and shared by a group of total strangers.
Indoor Creature, Tower Square, 9:45 p.m.
By Nick Finan
Composed of bass, guitar, drums, synthesizer and saxophone, Indoor Creature, all the way from Austin, Texas, performed a medley of pop, soft rock and jazz. Sporting a retro 70s-esque fashion, the band cracked jokes and had fun playing with English and Italian accents between songs to add a sense of humor to the whole performance.
Frequently interacting with the crowd and seeming to have an all around riot of a time, Indoor Creature ranged from synth to a jazzy sound. Bringing a combination of warm, brassy vocals and energetic, fun loving swagger, the band could only be adequately described as thoroughly groovy.
By far, the highlight of the performance was when the lead singer and saxophonist threw himself into a sax solo for a solid minute, playing his heart out and pouring himself into the velvet notes of the instrument. With all the ambiance and energy, the most electrifying aspect of all was the commitment the band had to having a good time. The set was filled with frequent laughter and the occasional good-natured jab at the Huskers.
JGrimmy, Duffy’s Back Lot, 10:30 p.m.
By Katherine Prochnow
More and more people arrived at Duffy's Back Lot as David Nguyen, better known as JGrimmy, prepped for his set that kicked off the Black Magik Showcase. Teens and adults alike stood shoulder to shoulder, chatting and sipping drinks that they bought at the outdoor bar. The temperature was cooling down, and the air was heavy with anticipation as the crowd waited for the show to begin. The announcer walked on stage five minutes before the show was supposed to kick off and yelled, “Who wants to dance?” The crowd erupted in cheers in response.
Suddenly, the lights dimmed and angelic music with deep bass began to blare; the show had begun. As strobe lights criss-crossed the stage, the audience witnessed Nguyen standing alone with his hoodie up, spinning away at a DJ stand and his alter-ego “JGrimmy” was projected on a screen behind him. The crowd sprinted to the dance floor, and people began to nod in time to the bass. His first song started out light with some chords, then the bass kicked in and the ground shook.
As the song continued, people got more comfortable and loose on the makeshift gravel dance floor. One guy began “flossing” as his friends stood around and looked on.
After two electronic pieces, Nguyen gave the audience a rap mashup. The beat was nasty with hard rap lyrics and a crunchy bass, and Nguyen looked proud of himself as he nodded to his remix. After the rap mashup, another wordless, throbbing beat filled the air.
Throughout the set, smoke filtered across the stage, and blue, red and green lights swept the audience.
The set wound down with a slow song and more thumping bass that built to a crescendo and fell into a faster, but lighter beat. This beat transitioned into a song with heavy drums and a voice singing something incoherent. The final song of the set started with the noise of light piano playing. Nguyen told the audience that it was his first Lincoln Calling and he was having a lot of fun up on stage.
“I’m really happy right now,” he told the crowd.
Then, the light piano quickly transitioned to a vibrating bass and a voice began to count down as the music increased in intensity until it ended in an all out beat drop. The song ended in slow electronica, and Nguyen thanked the audience for their enthusiasm.
Odinson B2B Zarkilor, Duffy’s Back Lot, 11 p.m.
By Katherine Prochnow
Next up, James AD Steele, or Odinson, and Zarkilor stole the DJ stand. Odinson had his long hair tied into a bun and quickly chugged something in a can before starting to spin his songs with Zarkilor.
The first piece was an intense vocal buildup with an electronic, blocky beat. The bass was a little less intense with this set, and the crowd thinned. Some people went back to the bar for more drinks and others stood around a table playing cards.
Zarkilor wore a backwards baseball cap and a mask and was head banging to his tunes as he turned the knobs on the DJ stand. Odinson was also heavily nodding to the tunes.
The songs were heavy in mechanical noises and dubstep. The only vocals were the occasional “Yeah” or “Hey.” No one was dancing at this point, and only a couple people stood around staring at the stage.
“I feel like dancing,” a girl yelled to her friends, and they started to jive in a circle near the bar.
People around the dancing circle of girls started to catch on, and more people began to body bop to the music out on the gravel dance floor. The songs started to get more intense with a faster beat and more bass. At one point, Zarkilor added his own vocals and shouted a string of “Yo”s along to the beat.
The crowd began to toss a beach ball back and forth by the front of the stage. The music stayed quick with a fast throbbing rhythm that built to a climax and fell down into a door-knocking beat, which transitioned to an even faster trippy sound that had a mechanical clanging noise in the background.
Their final song was a little less intense with lighter bass and a clapping soundtrack.
The Fey, Tower Square, 11 p.m.
By Nick Finan
Based in Lincoln, alternative R&B band The Fey gave a soulful and spirited performance. Singer songwriter Zach Watkins filled the night air with a booming clarity that paired excellently with the rest of the band.
Each instrument had a kick to it that sent a bouncing atmosphere through both the band and crowd. The Fey’s stage presence was both commanding and triumphant while remaining cool, calm and relatable.
Coming off of the release of their debut album in June of this year, The Fey projected a positively spell binding aura. The passion with which the band played their music was infectious, and their enthusiasm was reflected by the crowd’s excitement.
Each song of their set maintained a consistent energy punch and swing without ever feeling repetitive. In what initially seemed like a departure from the rest of their set, The Fey ended the night with a slower, more contemplative song that steadily built to match the all out intensity of the songs that preceded it.
lady_rave, Duffy’s Back Lot, 11:30 p.m.
By Katherine Prochnow
Next up, lady_rave took the DJ stand. Her first song started out slow with bongos and a light bass. A person whistled as her set kicked off and a heavier bass started to play. Light female singing was in the background of her song. The beach ball from earlier layed dejectedly on the ground near the outdoor bar.
lady_rave swayed up on stage as she turned dials and kicked up the heat with her next song that started with a female vocal and transitions into an eerie tune with harder bass. She waved her hands trying to get the crowd into her music as the music got even louder with a constant buzzing rumble, giving the song a heady baritone.
The crowd was very thin, and only about ten people stood on the gravel dance floor. Some were lightly head banging and others just looked tired.
lady_rave’s next song had more vocals that chopped up the word ‘drank’ and turned the word into another instrumental background sound.
Her song transitions were smooth, and it was difficult to tell when one song started and the other ended. More dance words were added into each song like “Wonky,” “Wonky bi***” and “Jump.”
lady_rave’s stylings rode an eccentric line between frat party mixed with an electronica club vibe. The beats seemed to be catered to a younger audience with action words and the mixed bass transitions. A couple older folks walked onto the dance floor and then walked off, driven away by the youthful angst.
One of her songs was a remix of “Day ’n’ Nite” by Kid Cudi. The song transitioned into a more choppy bass song mixed with drums. The bass transitioned again into her final song,which was a cover of “Disturbia” by Rihanna.