Universe Contest rocks Slowdown
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 12:10
The band Universe Contest rocked Omaha concert goers at the Slowdown. The show started strong and ended strong.
Having already heard their music prior to the show, I wasn’t expecting them to be very fun or upbeat. Don’t get me wrong; their music is really good, but never having seen them live I expected a serious performance. Their lyrics are deep and loaded with meaning. Their sound is intricate but at times complicated. Their music has been compared to bands like Modest Mouse and MGMT. However, after seeing them live, I see them in a whole new light.
They had a fun, laid back dynamic that is rare to find in an indie band. As they performed, the music became more upbeat. The lyrics still carried a lot of meaning, without seeming cynical or depressing. This fun, laid back dynamic was taken to the next level once the band members began throwing beer cans back and forth with crowd members. Then they brought out what looked like a toy accordion.
Universe Contest is one of those rare bands you have to see live in order to appreciate them. Even their merchandise booth had a very eclectic feel to it. They had an old wardrobe on wheels filled with random articles of clothing that were all screen printed with the band’s logo. Fans could find anything from tank tops to koozies to purses. It was a Universe Contest themed thrift store.
Universe Contest is made up of Tim Carr and Joe Humpal on vocals and guitar, Brenton Neville on drums and vocals, John Freidel on keys and vocals and Bonehart on bass and vocals. They’re Lincoln natives, but they play in Omaha frequently. The band has been together for two years. With their biggest show being the Maha Music Festival this past summer, I’m predicting we can expect great things from Universe Contest in the months to come.
All of their music is offered for free at Homer’s music store located downtown, or at universecontest.com. Drummer Brenton Neville had a very straightforward answer when asked why all of their music is offered for free.
“We’re a local unsigned band and it’s not like it’s costing us any money to make [the music],” Neville said. “We’d rather people have it and listen to it than not at all. We don’t play in the band to make money, that’s what our day jobs are for.”
Along with Universe Contest, Conduits headlined the show before embarking on their first european tour while See Through Dresses, a brand new indie-rock quartet drawing influences from nineties rock groups such as Pavement and featuring members of Honey & Darling opened.
It’s this down-to-earth attitude that is going to make Universe Contest soar. Be sure to catch them on Friday, Nov. 9 at the Bourbon Theatre in Lincoln alongside VHS or Beta. Advance tickets are $8 and day-of-show tickets are $10. To purchase tickets visit, www.bourbontheatre.com.