Grandson Lets Omaha Know “I Love You, I’m Trying”

Grandson w/ k.flay at The Admiral in Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday, June 15, 2023. (Photo by Pam Whisenhunt)

BY PAM WHISENHUNT | Go Venue Magazine

Grandson brought his I Love You, I’m Trying Tour to the Admiral Theatre, Omaha, NE June 15th 2023. The overarching feel for the night was social inclusion with a message that you are not alone.

The night was full of uplifting, energetic, emo-esque, indie music that drew a large crowd including an abundance of youth, some with their parents and grandparents.    

Grandson and K. Flay both are known for their social activism and honesty. This, combined with their high energy and engaging songs, was the reason for the large, youthful crowd.  Their connection with self-proclaimed stoners, freaks and rock nerds was discernible.

Newcomer and Cincinnati native, Jack Kays was right at home on the big stage. His vocals were infectious and had engaging conversation with the crowd. Kays asked the crowd what people from Omaha are called.  He threw out several variations, but finally landed on Omahoes. He got a chuckle from the crowd and said, “I think that one will stick”. A few songs in, his band left the stage and Kays did a couple acoustic songs.  He asked the crowd to choose between an upbeat or sad song.  Not surprising for this crowd, they chose the sad one “Wish You Well”. Kays also played an unreleased song, “Caffeine”. With his relatable songs and easy-going stage presence, Kays was the perfect opener for the night.

Kristine Flaherty also known as K. Flay sauntered onto a red cast stage singing “The President Has A Sex Tape”. K. Flay energetically worked the stage, connecting with the crowd from left to right. A few songs in, she asked the audience if they ever felt awkward, out of place or like a freak.  She told them not to “water that shit down” and dedicated her song “Wierdo” to each of them. K. Flay covered her newest release “Shy” and talked about being raised shy but not feeling that way inside.  She gave the shy people in the crowd permission to let loose and be insane right there at the Admiral, and they obliged. K. Flay also opened up to the crowd about her battle with hearing loss this past year. She talked about grief, pain and loss but let them know, although the future looks different, there is still one. She pleaded “please be there” and told them “You got this shit”. Several in the crowd validated her by shouting, “we love you”.

After a pause for stage transition, Grandson kept the crowd warm with a couple of long intros, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”.  Both did the job; the crowd was pumped. Finally, grandson appeared on a dimly lit stage, sitting on a bench next to a street sign that read “I Love You, I’m Trying”. Grandson, in camouflage attire, took center stage for the first couple songs, “Drones” and “Something To Hide”. Grandson paused and gave “the next 30 seconds” to meet their neighbor and went over the rules for the show. Rule one – when he says jump, you jump. Rule two – when he says sing, you sing. Rule three – everyone needs to feel comfortable in the pit. 

Grandson had an extensive set list. The songs went by fast with very little pause between, so it was hard to keep track of how many songs were actually played; somewhere between 20 and 24.  Highlights included two songs where K. Flay joined him on stage. The two performed the high energy song “Zen” while dueling back and forth across the stage, and then sat down on the bench for “Peaches”.  It was pretty cool to see the two of them perform on stage together, they had great chemistry and looked like the best of friends.  

Grandson talked to the crowd about addiction.  He knows (we’ve) lost people.  Not everyone that came to his first shows are here now.  He said he misses the “early” people that aren’t here anymore; for whatever the reason.  Grandson referenced those friends in his heart-wrenching track “Heather”. He eventually brought the mood back up and closed out the set on a high note with his hit Blood//Water. 

Grandson and K. Flay have plenty of tour dates stateside in June before they head into Canada in July and over to Europe this fall.  If you’re up for a night of high energy, “keepin it real” indie rock, with fellow freaks and wierdos, this is your place. Check out upcoming shows at


K. Flay

Jack Kays

All images © Pam Whisenhunt

Follow our socials, only take a second and is free by finding us on:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram