CONCERT REVIEW: Pennywise at Sokol Auditorium in Omaha

Pennywise at the Sokol Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska on Friday, March 23, 2018. Photo by Dean Birkheimer.

“Ain’t nothing like a little fear to make a paper man crumble” – from the movie IT

Friday, March 23, 2018 – I’ve only been to Sokol Auditorium once before. It was for a Less Than Jake show. This evening the show I saw was nothing like Less Than Jake. This event included The Shidiots, Strung Out and Pennywise. I was late arriving and apologize to The Shidiots for missing their set.

The first band I saw was Strung Out. For some reason we were not allowed to show from the photo pit. However, we were told we could should the entire show from wherever else we wanted to within the hall. Strung Out are not quite punk and not quite metal, somewhere between the two is where I think you will find them. The formed in 1989 in Simi Valley, California and three of the original five (Jason Cruz, Jake Kiley, Rob Ramons) are still with the band, and the other two (Chris Aiken, Jordan Burns) have been with the band since 1999, so to say these guys know it each and play tight is an understatement. We are all looking forward to their new release in May. This upcoming 8 track EP, Black Out the Sky, is going lean heavy towards the acoustic side of things. There were no acoustic side of things this evening. Everything was hard, but melodic and these fellas moved about the stage non-stop for their entire set. I’m glad they are expanding their style but give me the 1990’s version of this band anytime, anyplace.

We were allowed back into the photo pit to shoot Pennywise and even though there is a barrier between the photographers and the stage, you could feel the crowd surge toward the front as the band took the stage. They opened with Wouldn’t it be nice and the surge from behind continued. After three songs from the pit I exited and there was no way I was going to get up front to shoot the rest of the show, so to the back I went. I found a small vantage point on a staircase, so I was able to see above the crowd, which by the way, was still surging. I can only imagine how it must have looked from the bands vantage point. Pennywise kept the pressure on with Same old Story, No Reason Why and My Own Country. They were playing hard, playing fast and having a blast. There was no pausing between songs and there was very little chatter. These guys are so polished and play so clean and they are experts at connecting with the crowd. Stand by Me and Bro’ Hymn finished up the show and finished the fans as well. After all that surging, and all the screaming that followed, the band left us exhausted. Maybe it was for just one night, but if you wanted to listen to punk music, then Omaha was the place to be.


SET LIST:
Wouldn’t It Be Nice | Can’t Believe It | My Own Way Of Life | Broken | Same Old Story | No Reason Why | My Own Country | The World | Fight Till You Die | Do What You Want (Bad Religion cover) | Society | Date with Destiny |  (Intro) As Long As We Can | Time to Burn | You’ll Never Make It | Pennywise | Alien | Fuck Authority | Stand by Me (Ben E. King cover) | Bro Hymn


Dean Birkheimer, Photojournalist for Go Venue Magazine

Pennywise Gallery

Strung Out Gallery