Lincoln, Nebraska | October 18th, 2019

Starset performs at The Bourbon in Lincoln, Nebraska on Friday, October 18, 2019. Photo credit: Dean Birkheimer.

BY DEAN BIRKHEIMER | Go Venue Magazine 

“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.” – Philip K. Dick

Bourbon Theatre. Photo by Dean Birkheimer.

They say the third times the charm.  I’m not sure that’s always true. This was the 3rd time I’ve seen STARSET (as well as Palisades) and I can tell you I was “charmed” by each of the those bands the very first time I saw them.  The Blaze 104.1 presented an evening of unbridled rock and roll which left the SOLD-OUT Bourbon Theater in desperate need of a facelift. The four bands that stood above us on the stage, did so with malicious intent.  They wanted us ruined and exhausted by the end and even though we wanted more, we knew deep down, we could take no more. They finished us.

Up first, A Brilliant Lie.  They hail from the Sunshine State of Florida. (I’m going to throw in a GO DAWGS here), they are in simple terms a rock band, but they delve into pop, alternative and a touch of metal.  They are made up of Tara Lightfoot (vox) – Chris Lane (drums) – Jason Lemrond (guitar) –and Nick Scout (bass). They tour relentlessly and they move about the stage in the same manner. The joint was literally jumping with their cover of Toto’s “Africa”. High energy is their goal and even though their set was limited to six-songs, they didn’t have a problem achieving that goal. You can hear their explosive energy on their latest release Threads: Weaver. Check out “The Tarot” video then go and get the EP. 

Hideto Takarai a.k.a HYDE was up next. HYDE is a Japanese heavy metal showman who sports a Phantom of the Opera style mask.  All the band members are also covered in masks, some with electronic marquess over their eyes.  This was only a seven-song set, but it was jam packed with lights, smoke and atmosphere. HYDE is a mover and loves shouting at the crowd. “I want you to go crazy, LOUDER!!!” HYDE closed his set with a magnificent rendition of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World”. HYDE’s most current release Anti is now available and you can keep up to date of all the things that are HYDE by liking / following his Facebook page

From the great state of New Jersey, home of the best pizza, subs and landfills, comes Palisades. This my third time seeing, shooting and reviewing this band. I honestly love this band. They are so together and tight.  I don’t think there is a cleaner band out there.  Even on stage, their spacing is spot-on.  Every member has their moments and you honestly get the impression that each of them wants the other to shine. It is obvious that this band, as great as they were the first time I saw them, has gotten even better. So much stage presence and so much enthusiasm. If you’re not familiar with this band, might I suggest you acquire all their studio albums, start with the earliest one and work your way through to Erase The Pain. 

STARSET is the other band on this bill that I’ve seen, shot and review twice before.  By the time it was STARSET‘s turn, the Bourbon Theater had become packed. I’m mean shoulder to shoulder, belly to back and crotch to….well you get the idea. Since the start, this band has maintained headliner status by providing astonishing musicianship and exquisite lyrics. They have an extremely loyal fan base who appreciates everything STARSET does on and off the stage. But It’s on the stage where this band really excels.  Great ambiance, cinematic feel and a light show that must be seen to believed. There were costume changes and crowd interaction that made each of us feel as though we were part of the show. (Each another’s audience). The set list, which included impeccable covers of “Kashmir” and “Thunderstruck” was perfection. They closed with “My Demons” and when it ended, and they had walked off stage the crowd continued to chant for more. There was no more to be had and as I left, I swear I could hear the Bourbon Theater collapsing upon itself. Time for a rebuild. Head to their website or Facebook page to purchase their newest release Divisions.




A Brilliant Lie

All images © Dean Birkheimer
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