Walking into the venue on a Thursday night in downtown Omaha, NE, I was ecstatic (could even use the word giddy, although you probably wouldn’t catch me saying that in my outside voice…), knowing that I finally would be able to see L7 live again since the last time in 1999. That was in a punk/rock club in Lincoln, NE called Knickerbockers where the room was packed wall to wall while L7 rocked the house with many of our favorites along with new music from their release at that time, Slap-Happy. Little did we know then, that would be the last album released for the next 20 years. With the band disbanding in 2001 and even the leveling of the club that last held the memory of my favorite show of the decade, now just an empty lot with weeds growing where once the halls rang out with great touring punk and rocks bands, so too I thought it was the end of another one of my favorite bands. When the band reunited in 2015, I kept a close eye on the tour announcements, but date after date, year afer year, no such luck in finding a Midwest date.
I had almost given up hope I would experience another great night of music and a raunchy good time with the girls until this latest list of dates was published and there it was… Omaha, NE on the list. Heading through the front doors of the Slowdown and seeing the stage covered in the familiar L7 stamped logo, draped across the back of the stage made it real.
To start the night off, Le Butcherettes played an energetic set to promote their new album bi/Mental and heavy tour schedule taking them into December of this year. The place was already pretty full and quite a number of fans were down in front anticipating a uniquely wild performance from the Mexican garage punk band that formed in 2009. Many had first caught their show in Omaha a few years ago at The Waiting Room, in historic Benson. The band’s melodic yet edgy music along with their emotional and somewhat unconventional performance left the crowd geared up for L7.
After the lights dimmed, the crowd chanted for L7 and once Donita, Suzi, Jennifer and Dee emerged on stage, the fans went wild. With the short list of dates spanning just 6 weeks, and two thirds of the leg already over, I felt very fortunate to be there along with my fellow fans from the surrounding areas, piling in for this show. They opened the set with Deathwish, from the 1990 album Smell The Magic. The set was a mix of new songs from the recently released Scatter the Rats including Fighting The Crave and singles Burn Baby and Stadium West interwined with old fan favorites from various albums, Andres, Pretend We’re Dead, Monster, Everglade and Shitlist to name a few.
It was a fun show, with a constant sea of arm waving and feet stomping, a little moshing and plenty of singing along. There was a diverse age mix in attendance, including multiple diehard fans bringing their young children to rock out in the front row beside them, as Donita and Jennifer commented on a few times. That’s definitely a sign of an impressionable band when your songs are carried over into the next generation, influenced (or even possibly heavily pursuaded) by the parents who continue to rock out to the songs today. It was a phenomenal show with a great collection of songs and a killer performance by L7 that ended with an encore after the crowd chanted for the band to play more.
Looking forward to seeing more dates added and better yet, more new music down the road. This is one fan completely happy I didn’t miss this show!
You can catch L7 on the road for a few more days in the following cities:
6.10.19 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
6.12.19 Vancouver, BC @Commodore Ballroom
6.14.19 Portland, OR @ McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
6.15.19 San Jose, CA @Santa Clara Fairgrounds
6.16.19 Sacramento, CA @Murphy’s Park
The crowd funded documentary L7: Pretend We’re Dead is streaming at Google Play, YouTube and Amazon Prime
To add new music to your collection, you can purchase the cd or vinyl record of Scatter the Rats here: https://kingsroadmerch.com/l7/
Digital is available on: Spotify, Play Music and Deezer
And check out the official video for Burn Baby, here: https://youtu.be/bUV9fNLYRZI
And check out the rest of the shots from the show in Omaha, NE at the Slowdown:
all photos Brenda Turner Photography