Tag Archives: Barley St. Tavern

Three Bands, Three Venues

November 27, 2018 by
Photography by Seth Jones

The Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards introduced a handful of 2018’s top local artists at this year’s Nominee Showcase on November 16th. The night featured over 15 performances (including bands, DJs, hip-hop artists, and comedians) at three venues located in the heart of Omaha’s Benson neighborhood: Barley Street Tavern, The B Side of Benson Theatre, and Burke’s Pub. The OEAA nominees—voted for by citizens throughout the metro—represent a variety of works that span visual arts, performing arts, and live music. Omaha Magazine has always had a taste for the best, so we hit the streets of Benson to hear some of 2018’s top talent performed live.

Win/Win at the Barley Street Tavern
2735 N. 62nd St.

Tucked just 50 yards away from the bustle of Maple Street is the unassuming Barley Street Tavern. With its triangular roof and traditional white paneling, it could easily be mistaken for a residential home if not for the illuminated, looping letters of its welcome sign and the steady stream of visitors coming and going below. Inside, a glossy countertop reflects a kaleidoscope of glass bottles and trinkets hanging behind the bar, guiding guests toward a second room, where Win/Win has taken over the stage.

The indie-pop-rock band is nominated under the category of best new artist, but the four-member group seem relaxed under the spotlight as they joke with audience members between songs reminiscent of Weezer mixed with something totally original. Win/Win’s set finishes to rollicking applause from the packed crowd and a request to play again soon (please?).

Us and Them at the B Side of Benson Theatre
6058 Maple St.

The B Side’s stage (a small platform just on the other side of the wall) gives those on the street an interesting view, the glass front letting pedestrians and drivers on Maple Street feel like a part of the crowd, if only for a fleeting moment. Performers look inward, to a room of colorfully tiled tables. Audience members face the entrance, giving passersby outside an immersive, almost one-way mirror effect as they step into the light and view the B Side from the performer’s perspective.

Us and Them, a ten-piece band nominated in the category of best blues, crowd onto that platform with keyboard, guitars, trumpet, saxophones, bass, and drum set in tow, plus microphones and two vocalists. If the size of the group didn’t already have the audience’s attention, the musicians’ ages caught it. The band is comprised of nine teenagers and an even younger guitarist. The crowd shows their appreciation for the talented troupe by cheering and dancing along to soulful originals, energetic solos, and spirited covers.

Satellite Junction at Burke’s Pub
6117 Maple St.

‘Burke’s Pub’ is printed in bold letters against a white backdrop on the building’s exterior, welcoming everyone to join in on the fun at this bar and music venue. Endless free popcorn and groups of people chatting, playing games, and ordering drinks fill the place, spilling through a doorway and behind the bar where Satellite Junction is just warming up.

Sparse seating options had viewers on their feet and up close with this rock band. Satellite Junction’s members performed original songs with high-energy, and the crowd packed tightly together as the music drew more people into the room (including members of Win/Win). Nothing says Omaha like catching a live show and then grabbing a beer with the band right down the street—while you’re both checking out another band.

The OEAA Nominee Showcase was just a sample of Omaha’s overwhelming artistic talent and the numerous benefits art and music bring to our community. Winners in each category will be announced at the 13th Annual Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards on January 27, 2019 at Slowdown. A full list of this year’s nominees and ticket information is available at oea-awards.org.

The First Weekend of 2018

January 4, 2018 by

PICK OF THE WEEK: Thursday, Jan. 4: This week we’re giving you the chance to check out the Blackstone District’s members-only music club for free when you RSVP to our first party of the year. The Hi-Fi House is featured in our latest issue, which you can pick up at Omaha Magazine’s January/February Launch Party. The Venezuelan food truck, El Arepón, will be on hand to feed your after-work munchies, even offering some free appetizers. There will also be beer available from Farnam House Brewing Company to wash down those savory bites and music from Omaha jazz musician Ed Archibald. To find out more, click here. RSVP at Local Stubs here.

Friday, Jan. 5: Benson First Friday and Dipped in Soul join forces this Friday at The B Side of Benson Theatre with Dipped in Soul + BFF, an art exhibition and open mic. You’ll get the chance to hear poetry, spoken word, hip-hop, and more after you check out some art by Maggie Heusinkvelt and Stephen Kavanaugh. This family-friendly, open-to-the-public event starts at 6 p.m. and it’s free. Proceeds from the B Side bar will go to the Benson Theatre Project. Click here to find out more.

Friday, Jan. 5: Check out one of Omaha’s favorite local artist at the Art by Bird Williams opening reception happening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Great Plains Black History Museum. The exhibit highlights paintings of famous African-Americans as seen through Aaron Bird Williams’ eyes. Light hors d’ouevres will be available and the artist will be on hand to discuss the exhibit, which is on display from Jan. 4 until Feb. 24. This is the perfect chance to check out the museum and buy some beautiful local art. Find out where to go here.

Saturday, Jan. 6: Been pining away, missing Bowie and all his fabulousness since he left this earth? Bennie Does Bowie III at The Waiting Room is here to help you fill that void. It’s the third annual tribute to the godfather of glam, when Bennie and the Gents pay homage to Ziggy Stardust, playing all the glittery tunes you long to hear. The Beat Seekers will add their own brand of fab by adding their resistance-rock sound to the show. Get your tickets here now.


Saturday, Jan. 6: Head to the Barley St. Tavern this Saturday if you’re feeling the need to hear some one-of-a-kind music from some kickass women (and a couple men). Sissy Brown, Virginia Kathryn, and Tragic Martha will be playing everything from British folk-rock to honky-tonk. Sissy Brown hails from Oklahoma and Texas, and knows how to throw down at a hoedown. Virginia Kathryn is a local, OEAA-nominated blues musician from right here in Omaha. (Check her out in the upcoming issue of Encounter.) And Tragic Martha hails from small-town Hyannis, Nebraska, where they play whatever they feel like playing. Find out more here.


Sunday, Jan. 7: Does all the technical jargon associated with space exploration make you balk at trying to learn more about it? If so, Jay Gallentine’s Ambassadors from Earth should be your next read, followed by his latest, Infinity Beckoned. You can meet him at the reading and signing of his latest work at Barnes & Noble (you know, one of those old-school box bookstores) by Oakview. Gallentine’s very special skill set is that he strips away all that confusing tech speak and tells the human side of the story of space exploration. Learn more here.