Khruangbin, Thundercat and Japanese Breakfast will top the day-long Maha Festival bill when the Omaha gathering returns on July 31.
Scrubbed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 13th edition of Maha has been cut down to one day and “for everyone’s safety and comfort” will sell a limited number of tickets to allow for physical distancing on the grounds of Stinson Park at Aksarben Village.
That crowd will experience an impressive 10 hours of music from artists that will be no strangers to festivals this summer and fall.
Khruangbin, a Houston trio that pulls together far-flung musical influences, like East Asian surf-rock, Persian funk and Jamaican dub into its version of “world music” will play a handful of festivals, including San Francisco’s Outlands.
Thundercat is a day-three headliner at the Pitchfork Music Festival. Bass guitarist Steven Lee Bruner, aka Thundercat, won this year’s Best Progressive R&B Album Grammy Award for “It Is What It Is.”
Indie pop’s Japanese Breakfast, who delivered a mesmerizing set of lo-fi experimental pop at the Bourbon Theatre during Lincoln Calling 2018, has a couple festivals on an extensive touring schedule that will keep Michelle Zauner on the road from late June through October.
Completing the Maha’s national band lineup will be Drive-By Truckers and Shovels & Rope
DBT, one of my favorite bands for decades, has a few festivals scheduled, topped by an appearance at Milwaukee’s Summerfest. DBT dropped a pair of politically charged albums last year. I can’t wait to hear some of those songs live.
Shovels & Rope, the South Carolina duo of husband and wife Michael Trent and Carrie Ann Hearst who spin together traditional folk, country rock and rock ‘n’ roll, will be playing a half dozen festivals this year.
Joining the national bands will be Omaha based acts Matt Cox & the Marauders, Edem Soul Music, Dirt House, J. Crum, Kethro and Crabrangucci.
Maha tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at MahaFestival.com General admission tickets are $65, VIP, $155.
Given the limitation on the number of tickets to be sold, they’re likely to go pretty fast.
Revealing the Maha lineup is part of a cascade of announcements that mark a return to concerts after what will be nearly 18 months.
Most of the shows being announced in eastern Nebraska and across the rest of the country will begin taking place in August and September, most of them outdoors.
That scheduling is far from coincidental as government COVID-19 health and safety measure were expected to be relaxed or eliminated, starting with outdoor shows, when the tours were booked a month ago.
In Lincoln, the expiration of the directed health measure, with its mask mandate and capacity restrictions, will be pivotal for summer shows at Pinewood Bowl and, especially the Garth Brooks Memorial Stadium concert
Some 90,000 tickets will be on sale at 10 a.m. Friday (ticketmaster.com/GarthBrooks), a number that seems astronomical. But the Aug. 14 show wouldn’t have happened at 50% capacity and would have been tough-and-go at 75%.
At Pinewood Bowl, The Avett Brothers/Willie Nelson concert set for Aug. 10 is already essentially sold out with only single tickets remaining in the Pioneers Park bowl. Other Pinewood shows, including 311 and Shinedown, which go on sale tomorrow and some yet to be announced are expected to sell well beyond 75% of capacity.
As for indoors, as of now, shows with attendance of 500 or more will require a Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department approved plan. That won’t impact the last Lied Center concert of the 2020-21 season, the June 12 appearance of Broadway star Kelli O’Hara.
But it could come into play at club shows at the Bourbon Theatre and the Royal Grove and when Pinnacle Bank Arena concerts resume with Brantley Gilbert’s Sept. 2 concert.
By then, however, even the need for an approved plan may be dropped and concerts can fully return to normal. What a relief that will be for all involved.
Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or email@example.com. On Twitter @KentWolgamott