Just a few minutes from the University of Nebraska Lincoln sits The Bay, a multi-purpose youth center with absolutely stunning amenities. Not only is The Bay a large indoor skatepark, it has a coffee shop and all-ages music venue!
This was the place to be Saturday night (11/16) as The Bay hosted the 3rd Annual Movember showcase, a punk rock party focused on changing the conversation surrounding mental health. All proceeds from the event went to The Well-being Initiative.
Before I get to the music, let me send a big shout out to A.J. Weigman for organizing the event and putting together a killer lineup of Lincoln acts.
First on the bill was All Knowing McGill, a bluesy Americana band with nods to Jonny Cash, Tom Petty, and Gary Allan. With songs about life, love, and forging your own path, the band’s Midwest roots shined through.
Lead singer Craig took a moment to kick off the mental health conversation dedicating the song “Demons” to a rough patch in his life where writing music really helped him push through and see the other side.
In addition to Craig’s insightful lyrics and soulful melodies, lead guitarist Will McGuire’s twangy chops were on fire! All knowing McGill has new music coming soon so make sure to give them a like on Facebook so you don’t miss out.
Up next was our buddy Zac Thomas from the Lincoln pop-punk band A Summer Better Than Yours. Armed with just an acoustic guitar and a voice like honey, Zac delighted the room with heartfelt originals and covers from Death Cab, John Denver, Randy Travis, and several others.
Zac is one of the most approachable, funny people you’ll ever meet. If you haven’t seen his full band yet, make sure to put that at the top of your to-do list. ASBTY has had some high-profile gigs this year opening for Saliva, Trapt, and Hawthorne Heights just to name a few.
I got to catch up with Zac after his set and I had a blast talking favorite Emo/pop-punk bands, road trips, and why do so many Third Eye Blind songs talk about meth?
Next up was the pop punk group Griffoctopuss. With a youthful bounce and rapid-fire riffs, these guys kept the party going!
After Griffoctopuss were the spastic rockers Happy Hazard. These three dudes put on an awesome show! Playing a good mix of originals and covers, they got the crowd pumped!. Their killer cover of “Helena” by the newly reunited My Chemical Romance was a huge hit. One dude in the front wearing a Green Day hoodie over a Green Day shirt lost his mind!
Happy Hazard stuck with mostly punk rock tunes, but they also shined on a few original upbeat ska numbers. Happy Hazard has new music coming in early 2020.
Next were the hardcore punk rockers Top Notch Defective. These five dudes knew how to turn it up. Taking influences from Rancid, Pennywise, and Cromags, the room was set on fire with blazing fast riffs, aggressive vocals, and awesome whoa-oh choruses.
Like several of the bands before them, Top Notch Defective has new music coming soon!
The last band we were able to catch before heading back to Omaha was Hosting Monsters. The self described Punk Core outfit came to shred! Event organizer A.J. donned a cutoff jean jacket and stepped on stage with his punk rock brethren. Then, things proceeded to get loud! About halfway through the set, the bass was pumped up so high that the vibration kept throwing off the camera focus. I moved to the back to escape the buzz. Crazy loud buzz aside, the crowd had an awesome time fist pumping to Hosting Monster’s fast, crunchy, guitars and bombastic drum beats.
Overall, it was a great event. A chunk of money was raised and a discussion on mental health ran through the venue the entire night. Even if one person was positively affected from the night’s actions it’s a total win.
Again many thanks to A.J. Weigman for inviting us out and for putting everything together. Thanks to The Bay for hosting. Photo galleries can be found below.
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All Knowing McGill
Top Notch Defective