The Bourbon Theater and 104.1 The Blaze will host Lincoln Emerging this weekend. The two-day showcase of local rock music will take place Friday, September 2 and Saturday, September 3 at the Bourbon Theater in downtown Lincoln.
The all-ages showcase will begin at 7:30 p.m. each night on the Bourbon’s main stage, but doors open at 6:30 p.m. Head Change, Empire’s End, Top Notch Defective and The Credentials will perform on Friday and Ivory Daze, Phantom, Minor Movements and Fahr will perform on Saturday.
Jon “Animal” Terry, chief content officer of 104.1 The Blaze, said this weekend’s lineup spans the rock genre, from the 1970s style of Head Change to the punk attitude of Top Notch Defective and death metal that melts Fahr’s face.
“I feel like we got a pretty good performance on stage for two nights,” Terry said.
This weekend will be Lincoln Emerging’s second annual showcase, with the first taking place in May 2021. The purpose of the showcase has always been to raise awareness of up-and-coming local rock bands, according to Terry.
“The ’emergent’ thing came out of COVID because we felt, at that time, we were coming out of it,” Terry said. “Then, it’s also a double meaning in the fact that these are emerging groups. They go out.
Terry said most of the local bands in Lincoln Emerging’s lineup have only been around for a few years, and The Blaze hopes to promote them by bringing them on stage for the weekend.
“It’s magic for me,” said Terry. “It’s seeing these kids who haven’t been there for a long time, but we’re going to give them the chance to be on a big stage like the Bourbon Theater and to play in front of their friends, and people who may not have I’ve seen them before: “Well, that’s pretty cool, they’re from Nebraska!”
Terry said he hopes not only to expose these bands to new fans, but also to the Bourbon Theater booking team.
“They may have never seen these groups before. They can hear something and say, ‘Hey, that would be a great band to open for a virgin national band coming in,'” Terry said. “They are the best people to work with. They are accommodating. They understand the rock scene.
Ted Vergith is the lead singer of Phantom and was one of the people who worked with Terry and the Bourbon Theater for the first Lincoln Emerging in 2021. Although Phantom has been in the local rock scene for six years now, Vergith said that he hopes new bands will seize the moment and get a taste of what it’s like to perform in a bigger venue.
“giving [bands] an opportunity to play on a big stage with a big light show and big sound system, it’s a really good chance to get them in front of big crowds, show them what it’s like and have fun doing it do,” Vergith said. “That’s the first and most important thing about playing music; we love music and we love to play, play and write music.
Vergith also said he hopes Lincoln Emerging can continue as an annual event at the Bourbon Theater and stand out from other local music festivals.
“I know we have Lincoln Calling, Lincoln Exposed, all those kinds of things, but I think it’s more of a showcase to really get up-and-coming new bands on the big stage and bring them a little notoriety,” said Vergith. “I have a lot of ideas for future projects, so I really hope we have great support this weekend and everyone sees fit to keep doing it.”
The Bourbon Theater will not only welcome the eight local groups for the weekend. While the music blares on the main stage, two local visual artists, Kay Mich and Dave Galois, will have a mini-gallery on the small front stage near the entrance and bar. One-night tickets and weekend passes are available at the Bourbon Theater. website.
Terry said he felt The Blaze had a duty to the local rock and arts scene by showcasing his hometown talent.
“We know people can listen to national rock artists just about anywhere these days, but if The Blaze can still be that station that stands up for kids and local artists and helps them get in front of these bands that could be national tours, all we need to do is be that stage for them,” Terry said. “If we can help them, then that’s what we want to do, and The Blaze can still serve this local target. That’s what we have our license for.