Laughing Falcon
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Laughing Falcon

Lincoln, Nebraska, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Lincoln, Nebraska, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Hard Rock




"Rock Candy: Must Sees for SXSW"

One of the biggest music festivals in the world returns next week.
And I’ll return to Austin, Texas, to cover it.

The South by Southwest music festival will once again bring hundreds of bands to dozens of venues. I’ll be there beginning Tuesday and staying through the festival’s end.

I’ll be covering more than a dozen bands from Nebraska playing the festival as well as the numerous touring groups coming through.
I hope you’ll follow my coverage in the paper and on, where I’ll be posting stories, updates, photos and reviews throughout the fest.

In anticipation of a week of excellent music, these are the things I’m most looking forward to at SXSW 2016.

This Scottish electropop band put out one of my favorite albums last year, and they’re playing several times in Austin. I have to see them.

Tony Visconti
One of the festival’s keynote speakers, Visconti produced David Bowie classics such as “Heroes,” “Young Americans” and “The Man Who Sold the World.” He’ll discuss his career and working with Bowie, U2, T. Rex, The Moody Blues, Thin Lizzy and others.

Nebraska Exposed
This is the big one. On Wednesday, nine area bands will take over a showcase in the center of the festival. I called for a Nebraska showcase at SXSW in a column last year; what I didn’t know at the time was that a few local folks were already hard at work putting one together. Now we get to enjoy the fruits of that labor.

This showcase will be a great opportunity to put local music on display for a wide audience. They’re not the only Nebraska bands attending, but it will be cool to see Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal, Universe Contest, Laughing Falcon, Bonehart Flannigan, BOTH, Oketo, Bolzen Beer Band, Freakabout and AZP help our state show off to a huge audience. That’s an extremely solid lineup of soul, hip-hop, rock and more all from Nebraska.

Breakfast tacos
It’s a decidedly Austin thing to eat. Beans, eggs, cheese and other items wrapped in a tortilla are a SXSW staple. Gotta have ’em.

Beach Slang
“The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us,” Beach Slang’s debut album, caught a lot of people’s attention. Their brash power punk is going to be powerful live, and the band is playing some of the festival’s biggest showcases.

More Nebraska bands
Indie rock band See Through Dresses and hard rock group Screaming for Silence both have shows set up in Austin, as does singer-songwriter Tara Vaughan. By my count, a dozen artists from Nebraska are making the trip, which may be a record.

Big Thief
Recently signed to Saddle Creek Records, the fuzzy indie rock band from Brooklyn will release its debut album with the Omaha indie label in the fall. They’re also playing Omaha in April.

Jamie XX
One half of the indie duo The xx, Jamie XX is a DJ who won the Grammy for best dance/electronic album for his latest, “In Colour.” This is a somewhat rare opportunity to catch the English musician.

Coheed and Cambria
The prog rock group known for its science fiction concept albums is headlining the SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake. It will be interesting to see how the heavily indie-focused crowd will react.

The prolific Atlanta rapper is also crazy popular. In less than two years, he’s released three albums, all of which have ended up in the No. 1 or 2 slots in Billboard’s album chart. (And one of his mixtapes hit No. 1, too.) His songs, like “Jumpman” and “Low Life,” are also hits. Big-time hip-hop will be well-represented at the festival this year. DJ Khaled and Nas will also headline a show at the Austin Music Hall.

I’m a sucker for the screen-printed concert poster, and this show features hundreds of artists displaying their wares. Eric Nyffeler Design & Illustration from Omaha will be displaying art here and at Mondo’s House Party gallery event. - Omaha World Herald / / GO Omaha

"The Good Living Tour: O'Neill"

Hear Nebraska is excited to welcome O’Neill as a host city of the 2016 Good Living Tour — Sunday, July 31!

In its second year, the Good Living Tour expands from 9 to 12 Greater Nebraska cities over three weekends this summer, July 21-Aug. 7. Like last year’s inaugural run, the tour will mix a concert series and storytelling project to celebrate the state’s unique livelihood and increasingly vibrant, original music culture.

An unprecedented project, the tour will bring free, all-ages concerts featuring a diverse mix of all-original Nebraska bands and DJs to each location. Its mission is to connect the state’s urban and rural communities, expose young audiences to music performance, educated the world about Greater Nebraska’s music and art scenes and ultimately help each participating town attract and retain young people.

Along with a concert, the Good Living Tour will also create two feature stories highlighting music community and industry-related subjects in O’Neill and an “Experience Nebraska” video featuring young professionals speaking about what makes O’Neill a uniquely great place to live, work and play, and a music video featuring a local artist performing a song at a landmark community location.

The concert is FREE, FAMILY FRIENDLY, and ALL AGES are encouraged to attend. Music begins at 6 p.m. Come young. Come old. Celebrate Good Living in Greater Nebraska!

Rachel Price (acoustic pop – O’Neill)
Originally from O’Neill, Nebraska, singer-songwriter Rachel Price caught viral attention for her song and video “Little Nebraska Town” in late 2014. She’s since moved to Nashville and has sharpened into a versatile pop artist without losing sight of her stripped-down acoustic roots.

Mesonjixx (soul – Lincoln)
It took a matter of months in 2015 for Mesonjixx to become one of the Lincoln music scene’s most consistent and beloved live acts. Fronted by Mary Lawson’s unimpeachable voice and subtle jazz piano, the soul quartet hangs its hat on both singer-songwriter intimacy and the jam-prone instrumentalists Kekeli Dawes (drums), Myles Jasnowski (guitar) and Josh Barger (bass). Mesonjixx released its first official song in February 2016 and promised more to come.

Laughing Falcon (rock – Lincoln)
Having earned its reputation as one of Nebraska’s loudest live bands, Laughing Falcon has been busy lately, releasing the appropriately titled LP Sonic Possession last fall and traveling to South by Southwest in 2016. As aggressive and dark as Nebraka punk veteran Kevin Chasek’s songs are, there’s always and underlying groove keeping rock ‘n’ roll in the mix.

DJ: DJ RELIC (Lincoln)
DJ Relic is one of Lincoln’s most consistent electronic presences. The former holder of a weekly dance party night at Zoo Bar and a regular at Lincoln’s Old Pub Soul Club gatherings, Relic is known for a deep, dance-inducing vinyl collection.

Community sponsors include: Holt County Visitor’s Committee and O’Neill Community Foundation Fund

Nebraska Department of Economic Development

Peter Kiewit Foundation (Kiewit Corporation), Center for Rural Affairs, Pinnacle Bank, Union Pacific Railroad, Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Loves Public Schools

*The Good Living Tour’s carbon footprint is being 100% offset by Nebraska Renewable Energy Credits donated by Sandhills Wind Energy, LLC - Hear Nebraska

"Nebraska Exposed Acts as Taste Test for Austins's SXSW Festival"

The 12-hour drive down to Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest — also known as SXSW— music, film and interactive media festival will find nine different Nebraska groups on the road later this March.

Called “Nebraska Exposed,” the show will span eight hours and include a diverse selection of groups from BOTH to Universe Contest to Oketo.

To raise funds for the bands as they prepare to make their trip, a benefit concert is being thrown March 4 in Duffy’s Tavern at 9 p.m. Tickets will be $5, and the proceeds go to the bands traveling to Austin.

Three groups who will be at SXSW, Laughing Falcon, FREAKABOUT and Bolzen Beer Band, will be performing at the show in addition to a variety of prizes and drinks, which will be available.

“We will be raffling off records, T-shirts and all kinds of merch from the bands playing the showcase, the venues who are sponsoring the showcase [and] merch from a few other sponsors,” said Cortney Kirby, vocalist for FREAKABOUT. “All proceeds will go directly to the bands playing the Nebraska Showcase at SXSW.”

The concert is being organized by Jeremy Buckley, Spencer Munson and Laughing Falcon’s Kyle Gibson as well as being sponsored by a myriad of local businesses, organizations, individuals and bands.

Gibson, who also works as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s assistant director for the Center for Entrepreneurship, first got the idea of organizing a Nebraska collective to go down to SXSW after seeing Des Moines, Iowa Embassy Showcase perform last year.

Gibson and Laughing Falcon are excited for the opportunity to have a chance to spread their music to a new crowd and bring Nebraska’s music scene into the spotlight.

“For me, it’s accomplishing a goal I’ve had since I first went to SXSW nearly a decade ago,” Gibson said. “I’ve seen hundreds of bands there, some of which have become favorites. It’s an honor to play on hallowed ground. For Laughing Falcon, this represents a new stage in our evolution. We spent much of last year working on and recording an album. Now, it’s time to get out and tell people about it.”

Kirby said the benefit show can give Nebraskans a taste of what’s being sent down to Austin to represent their state’s music.

“We are thriving, and it’s important for people to experience just how great local music really is,” Kirby said.

The show will be an intimate gathering, and Gibson said each band is going to be firing on all cylinders and the performance will be “fun, energetic and engaging.”

“Bolzen Beer band has a reputation of getting naked at their shows, so that might be a thing,” Kirby said. “Laughing Falcon will surely make your entire body tingle from their roaring guitars and magical rock ‘n’ roll music, and we’ll try to make you move your bones a little bit.” - Daily Nebraskan

"Nebraska 'Exposes' its Music at SXSW"

AUSTIN, Texas -- Small red plastic bags emblazoned with “Visit Nebraska. Visit Nice” were scattered Wednesday across tables and bars at Cheers Shot Bar.

Up a flight of stairs to the bar’s rooftop, Lincoln’s Oketo took a small stage in front of a banner that read Nebraska Exposed and started its 40-minute set for the first South By Southwest day party/showcase featuring only Nebraska bands.

The crowd at the Sixth Street bar was a bit on the sparse side when Oketo hit its first notes at noon.

“That’s really early for here,” said Jeremy Buckley, one of the trio who put together Nebraska Exposed.

But it grew steadily throughout the afternoon, with festival-goers wandering in, catching a set or a few songs and leaving -- standard operating procedure at the day parties that have turned SXSW into, by far, the biggest multi-day music festival.

Regular festival-goers Buckley and Spencer Munson, who book Lincoln festivals and venues like the Bourbon Theatre, had thought Nebraska needed to be represented at SXSW. A year ago, they and Kyle Gibson, another SXSW regular from Lincoln, got serious about it.

“Last year, Des Moines (Iowa) had a really, really well-produced showcase,” Gibson said. “I left thinking 'Why doesn’t Nebraska do something like that? If Des Moines can do it, why not Nebraska?' ”

Then Gibson discovered that Des Moines paid a whopping $30,000 just to rent the parking lot where its showcase was held. But he, Munson and Buckley didn’t give up on the idea, made some calls and found Cheers Shot Bar -- “The O’Rourkes of Austin” in Buckley’s words -- for considerably less money.

They signed a deal with Cheers to do the showcase, then went looking for sponsors and landed Nebraska Tourism.

“They really made this happen for us,” Gibson said.

Some might question state tourism dollars going to fund one showcase among hundreds in Austin, but the reverse is true.

“I think Nebraska music is a true state resource,” said Scott Hatfield, owner of Duffy’s Tavern, who contributed some cash and the printing of showcase banners and posters. “It’s a valuable resource for Nebraska, a resource well worth banging the drum for.”

And the drums were banging all afternoon and into the evening, with Oketo leading off, then BOTH, the Omaha hip-hop group taking the stage second. The showcase had a last-minute lineup change when Saber Blazek, bassist for Universe Contest, suffered a broken ankle and the band, which had the prime mid-afternoon slot, canceled.

So Jon Dell, a former Lincoln singer/songwriter who now lives in New York, was added along with the Bolzen Beer Band, which annually busks on packed Sixth Street.

“This is the kind of stuff Hear Nebraska has been doing, promoting Nebraska music,” Hatfield said. “For the first one, I think it’s going very well. We’re exposing people to Lincoln music, Nebraska music, but mostly Lincoln music.”

Save BOTH, the rest of the bands on Friday’s bill -- Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers, AZP, FREAKABOUT and Laughing Falcon are from Lincoln. They weren’t exactly chosen scientifically.

“We started with people we knew were coming down here anyway,” Gibson said. “We’ll have more of a process next year. We didn’t have time to mess around this year. We put this together in 10 weeks.”

So, what does a band get out of driving 800 miles -- other than gas paid for by the showcase -- to play at Nebraska Exposed?

“I think it gives you a sense of legitimacy,” said Kevin Chasek, Gibson’s bandmate in Laughing Falcon. “It's not every band that does the South By Southwest thing. It was a goal of ours to do this. (Our) short-term goal has been met.”

Hatfield, Gibson and Munson all referred to next year during conversations between bands. Even before it was half over, the gears were turning for Nebraska Exposed 2017 -- bigger and better.

“I want to hit what Des Moines is doing,” Gibson said. “Not next year, but within five years I want to do it, and I think we can do it.”

Munson has an even loftier target -- landing a Nebraska Exposed showcase at night in one of the official SXSW venues.

“The goal is to be picked up by the festival,” Munson said. “To do this well enough, it becomes an official showcase. I think we’re about three years out from that.”

For Wednesday, however, the goal was to have a good showcase with lots of good bands representing Nebraska on the sunny rooftop above SXSW’s main drag. On that, it would have been safe to hang a banner inspired by a certain former president from Texas -- Nebraska Exposed: Mission Accomplished. - Lincoln Journal Star

"Deeper than Corn: SXSW Bands Characterize Nebraska - Music Video Feature"

From across the Atlantic, Nebraska can attract a few seemingly-ridiculous or shallow characterizations. Some are outlandish – It sounds like Alaska; are there mountains? Do you worry about bears? And then the one we all know — there’s a lot of corn, right?

Residents of the Cornhusker State can characterize it much more deeply. Many of its musicians have a deep understanding of their own community and, maybe, its context within the larger state. Its strength and sonic diversity was on display at the Nebraska Exposed showcase Wednesday of SXSW.

But we wanted to find out what Nebraska looks like from myriad outside perspectives, from those who have toured through the state or, more generally, the Midwest to those who have merely seen it on a map. What do they know about Nebraska? Have they played here, and if so, why would they return?

During our recent trip to SXSW, we interviewed a handful of touring bands from as far as Australia and the United Kingdom, asking what they know about Nebraska and its music scene and about the makeup of their own music communities. We found that from emerging non-traditional spaces to artist diversity, some aspects aren’t so different. Watch below for testimony from stateside bands Worriers, All Dogs, Lewis Del Mar and international acts Fear of Men, Julia Jacklin and more: - Hear Nebraska

"Lincoln Calling Wednesday: The Return of The Gov't and a very loud Falcon"

The Gov’t is back.

No, the Feds didn’t miraculously vanish, then reappear or anything like that. This Gov’t is a rock band. It played its first show since regrouping this summer Wednesday at Duffy’s Tavern during Lincoln Calling.

“We did seven songs tonight, one for each of the lousy years we weren’t together,” said Shaun Sparks, the band’s singer and songwriter. The seven song set also probably had something to do with the fact that The Gov’t played only new material Wednesday -- and I’m guessing that might be all the presentable songs it has.

It took about half the first song for me to realize how much I missed The Gov’t, whose rock has just the right amount of twang - as if a punk band collided with Creedence Clearwater Revival and Gaslight Anthem, or someting like that.

The music is dynamic, with a back beat and even when they can’t be fully sussed out (live on the first hearing), Sparks’ lyrics are raw, honest, heartfelt and in the case of Wednesday’s songs emotional and sentimental -- they’re based on writing he did after a divorce.

The good news is Wednesday’s show wasn’t a one off.

“We’ve got no plans to stop,” Sparks said. “We’re going to start learning the old stuff and going to write some more new stuff. And we have to get some money to go in and record.”

So welcome back, The Gov’t. You really made my night Wednesday.

After The Gov’t’s set, I hung around at Duffy’s and caught the high volume rock assault of Laughing Falcon. I’ve heard some LF songs, repeatedly, at Fuse Recordings where the band cut some tracks a month or two ago. But they were far more intense, and faster like during the propulsive, loud show -- it was 90 db and up during the Laughing Falcon set.

I ended the night with a shot of feminist punk rock from Manic Pixie Dream Girls, that capped the X:Rated: Women in Music showcase at the Bourbon Theatre.

The Omaha female trio, which takes its name from a term describing a certain kind of female character in movies, plays stripped down, catchy ‘70s-era punk with lyrics aimed at making a point -- like the critique of being pigeonholed as “Babe Rock,” the title of one of MPDG’s songs.

Lincoln Calling continues Thursday through Sunday. But I don’t know how much of it I’m going to be able to catch Thursday evening. I’m headed to Pearl Jam at Pinnacle Bank Arena. - Lincoln Journal Star | Ground Zero

"Lincoln Exposed 2015 | Laughing Falcon at Duffy's Tavern"

The Background: Laughing Falcon has probably been the loudest band in Lincoln since 2013. Kevin Chasek, Matt Kaminski, Nate Christiancy and Kyle Gibson have each been playing music in Lincoln for about 20 years. They’ve got an EP on the horizon.

The High Point: It’s hard to call sheer volume a quality of a band, but Laughing Falcon has almost made it a fifth member. At Duffy’s on Friday, that meant standing in front of the stage sounded the way gusts of wind feel. It is intense, immersive and invigorating.

The Takeaway: A hard rock band like Laughing Falcon could only exist in a place like Lincoln. A place with a prominent, collaborative music scene, a scene where drummers of pop punk bands fraternize naturally with stand-up bassists of bluegrass bands. Because, yes, it’s hard rock, but behind the masterful instrumentation and in-your-face songwriting lies a genuine appreciation for the audience. As in, “thank you for letting us make your eardrums ring.” - Hear Nebraska

"Blue Bird at Hear Omaha and Laughing Falcon at Hear Lincoln | Preview Q&As"

Hear Nebraska: Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a question, but in Laughing Falcon’s case we’ve heard it from enough people (and seen it ourselves) … “Laughing Falcon is the loudest band in Lincoln.” True? Untrue? A compliment? Do you guys aim to be a certain kind of loud?

Kevin Chasek: We haven’t had any decibel ratings, so I wouldn’t want to hold any claim to any volume title. But as far as how volume plays into the show, I feel like it’s a must. I want people to literally feel the music. I want it to consume them. That’s the idea anyway, to overwhelm people with the sound. When you couple that with the intensity of how we try to play, it can be a very heavy experience.

HN: Last we heard, there was a record in the works? How’s that coming along?

KC: We’re done with the music end of it. We recorded with Charlie Johnson at Fuse Studios here in Lincoln and mastered it with Doug Van Sloun at Focus Mastering in Omaha. We’re really happy with the album and feel like it represents the songs and our live performance well. We’re just finishing up on the art and layout, and it’ll be done. Not sure yet if it’ll be independently released or if a label will be doing it for us.

HN: What’s your fondest memory of playing in Wasteoid? Anything specific come to mind?

KC: That was a really big part of my life. Eight years of brutality. It’s all kind of a blur. But my fondest memory will always be the fact that we chose to play music the way we wanted and actually created a name for ourselves as a band.

HN: Does Nathan [Christiancy] wear black drumming gloves for grip or just to look like he’s capable of anything? Perhaps, both are true.

KC: The dude hits really hard. I mean really hard. He’s kinda like Captain Caveman. He beats the crap out of the drums. So there’s a bit of protection that they offer. But he does like the fact that he is tactically prepared for whatever.

HN: What should HN’s audience keep its eyes and ears open for in the near future?

KC: Obviously the album is on the horizon. Probably a single or two beforehand, and we’re working out some video details. We’ve got a couple of shows out in Chadron the second weekend of July, where we’ll be sharing the stage with the Crazy Louie Band. And in the not too distant future some small scale touring, just getting started on that front though. We’re just getting started! - Hear Nebraska

"Lincoln Calling 2015: Friday Coverage"

Photos at Zoo Bar. - Hear Nebraska

"Tower Tunes"

Laughing Falcon’s high-volume, powerful rock reverberated through an appreciative audience at Tower Square and seemed to rise beyond Ascent tower to the rooftops throughout downtown Lincoln June 26.

The band was the fourth act to play at the Hear Lincoln free summer concert series’ new location at Tower Square, 13th and P streets. The concerts are offered every Friday at noon through Aug. 14.

Remaining Hear Lincoln band performances include: July 24, Thirst Things First (pop punk); July 31, Emily Bass (piano blues/soul); Aug. 7, The Toasted Ponies (bluegrass/folk); and Aug. 14, No Tide (punk). Organized by Hear Lincoln, the concerts are presented in partnership with the Cooper Foundation and Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

Another free summer music series, “Tower Jazz” at Tower Square, will culminate Tuesday, July 28, with a performance by saxophonist Ed Archibald at 7 p.m.

See page 46 for a schedule of upcoming performances at other free outdoor concert series in Lincoln this summer. - Lincoln Journal Star

"Laughing Falcon Releases Hard Rocking Debut LP Saturday"

Get Laughing Falcon’s Kevin Chasek going on his Lincoln-based hard rock project, and what has him most excited is the prospect of reaching new audiences. Understandable, given his time in touring bands like Wasteoid.

That desire created the motivation for the band’s first full-length album. Chasek says that Laughing Falcon has applied to SXSW and is looking to book tours in early 2016 around that trip. An LP was an important piece of the puzzle.

“I felt like in order to make that stuff work we should have some sort of product,” Chasek says. “It’s always one of those things when you play a show. You can have t-shirts or whatever but people want the music if they’re into [our band].”

Laughing Falcon will release debut LP Sonic Possession this Saturday at The Bourbon with fellow Lincoln hard-rockers Beaver Damage, Domestica and Rift (RSVP here). The album was recorded over two three-day sessions in April and August with Charlie Johnson at Fuse Recording and mastered by Doug Van Sloun at Focus Mastering.

During those sessions, Laughing Falcon managed to capture its blaring, straightforward hard rock in a way that mirrors the band’s life performance. There’s a concert-hall feel to songs like “Getting Somewhere” to the point that you can imagine guitarist Matt Kaminski ripping off solos in your living room. Add Kyle Gibson’s rumbling bass and Nate Christiancy’s murderous drumming, and you get the iron wall of sound befitting the band known as one of Lincoln’s loudest.

“I’m definitely a no frills type person, so there’s not alot of trickery or anything going on with it,” Chasek says. “[We’re] just trying to [make] straightforward heavy rock.”

Following its release show Saturday, Laughing Falcon will start writing again before taking to the road in 2016. Chasek says he already has constructed five new songs, three of which the band has fleshed out. Then, he hopes to be on the road for roughly two months out of the year.

“That’s one of the things that’s gonna be most important for us, frankly,” Chasek says. “We can do interviews until we’re blue in the face, but the only way for people to be exposed to us is for us to get off our asses and get on the road.”

Sonic Possession is available now on Spotify and iTunes, or in person at Laughing Falcon’s Bourbon release show Saturday. - Hear Nebraska

"Lincoln Exposed Thursday -- Eight Bands Prove Rock's Not Dead in Lincoln"

Who sez rock is dead?

That’s the question that came to mind Thursday as I made the rounds at Lincoln Exposed, where, in about four hours, I caught eight guitar-bass-drum outfits that played varying styles of rock.

That prevalence of rock bands may say more about Lincoln than it does about the broader music world, where domination of pop, hip-hop, R&B and mainstream country has pushed rock off the charts and out of arenas.

But I suspect that LIncoln’s not a lot different than other cities where rock bands aplenty remain a major -- and popular -- part of the scene.

Of the bands I saw Thursday, I was most impressed by Ghost Town Radio, The Allendales and Laughing Falcon.

Playing Duffy’s Tavern, Ghost Town Radio delivered a set of rock that blended a little metal in with what used to be called college rock, winding up with a distinctive brand of rock ‘n’ roll -- which is different than plain old rock.

Some songs, most notably “Late Night” brought to mind my beloved Replacements. Others, typified by “Hold Steady” veered toward screaming metal -- a combination that made the set attention grabbing. And, importantly, Ghost Town Radio has a sense of humor, which rock ‘n’ roll can’t live without.

The Allendales, now a four-piece, played the country rock or rockin’ country or whatever you want to call the sound that has been around since Steve Earle and Uncle Tupelo got things started in the ‘80s.

With Shaun Sparks and Ken Morton singing about whiskey and the perils of life in a double wide and blending their guitars, The Allendales blasted through its 40 minutes on the Zoo Bar stage with style and humor enough get a comparison to Nick Lowe -- that’s high praise in my book.

I wrapped up the night back at Duffy’s where Laughing Falcon brought its heavy rock to a crowded room. A couple Lincoln Police officers strolled into the bar and stayed for a song or two. Then the Falcon either was too loud or they had work to do and they departed.

But the rest of the crowd stayed for a propulsive run through of songs, many from “Sonic Possession” the album the band released last year.

A note here: Laughing Falcon may well turn out to be the Lincoln band that gets the biggest national exposure in 2016. It’s got a song on the compilation CD that’s being distributed with the current edition of Classic Rock. That mag sells about 70,000 copies.

Lincoln Exposed continues Friday and Saturday at the Zoo, Duffy’s, Bodega’s Alley and on Friday only at the Bourbon Theatre, which is hosting a sold-out Turnpike Troubadours show on Saturday. - Lincoln Journal Star

"2016 Lincoln Calling - Thursday Night Coverage"

Laughing Falcon frontman Kevin Chasek at Duffy’s Tavern | photo by Tarah Dawdy - Hear Nebraska

"Lincoln Rock Band Laughing Falcon Embracing Opportunities"

By Annie Bohling
April 5, 2017

Lincoln rock band Laughing Falcon is opening for an acclaimed touring act this weekend, and it’s not the first time.

Laughing Falcon, as well as Lincoln rock band tonlode, will support Wayland at The Bourbon Theatre on Friday.

“Wayland – they’re on their way up,” said Laughing Falcon bassist Kyle Gibson. “They’re getting a lot of radio play right now. It’s an honor to play with them and other touring bands.”

Laughing Falcon has played with Skid Row, Jackyl, Red Sun Rising, Shaman’s Harvest, Tweak Bird and Cadaver Dogs. On April 14, they’ll play again with Jackyl at the Bourbon.

“It’s a lot about knowing people and being prepared,” Gibson said. “We have a really good relationship with the Bourbon. People there know us and if a show comes along there that fits us, they ask us. We’re lucky enough to get this show and Jackyl next week.”

Gibson said opening for a touring act on a big stage is more of a professional and streamlined process.

“Setting up a small show is always completely frantic,” Gibson said. “It’s a whole bunch guys trying to get their stuff off the stage and whole bunch guys trying to get their stuff on the stage at the same time.”

At The Bourbon on Friday, Wayland and Laughing Falcon will start setting up and sound checking in the early afternoon.

“We’ll be all set up in front of them,” Gibson said. “That’s the benefit of a giant stage. It keeps it going really fast and smooth.”

Wayland is a rock group from Wayland, Mich., with vocal harmonies reminiscent of classic rock and guitar and drums leaning toward hard rock.

“They’re a good rock ‘n’ roll band,” Gibson said. “We’re really excited to see them live. … They’ve got a lot of really produced sound reminiscent of modern alternative rock. But live, it’ll be really raw. They’re gonna rock.”

Gibson expects a good turnout at the Wayland show, as well as the Jackyl show. He said last time they played with Jackyl at The Bourbon, which holds about 600, the show sold out. Laughing Falcon has been doing their part with on-the-ground marketing.

“We’ve been pushing it pretty hard marketing wise,” Gibson said, mentioning radio air time on KZUM and other stations. “Our guitarists took concert posters and hung them up in gas stations 40 miles west and 40 miles north of here. Our audience tends to be an older, rock ‘n’ roll group, so we thought, ‘Where would they see it?’”

Laughing Falcon will be playing as three-piece rather than a four-piece on Friday as guitarist Matt Kaminski had to move on from the band because of “life stuff, nothing personal.”

“We’ll be playing a three-piece until July,” Gibson said. “It’s a little different, but it works. We prefer us as a four-piece. But we just turn it up a little bit and add some distortion to the bass and it seems to work.”

Drummer Nate Christiancy will eventually move to guitar and Jordan Elfers, who drums for four other bands in Lincoln, will join the group. Elfers started practicing with the group this week and will join on stage later in the year.

“What we hope to do is record three songs maybe for an EP or something in the fall to get a taste of what the new band is going to sound like,” Gibson said. “Matt brought a lot to the band. He’s a really good guitarist and he did a lot of solo-y, note-y things. Nate is more of a rhythm guitarist. He does a lot more chords. That’s going to open up space for both drums and bass to complete the sound a little bit.

“We’ll probably have a more modern sound that’s less classic rock and probably a little heavier. And we’re already heavy. So we’ll continue on with that.”

Find out more about the show on Friday on the Facebook event page. For more on Laughing Falcon, visit their Facebook page. More on headliners Wayland is available on their website.

Annie Bohling is one of KZUM’s tireless interns. - KZUM Radio

"Lincoln Exposed 2017: 100 bands, 5 venues, 4 nights"

The 12th Lincoln Exposed will be, by far, the biggest ever.

One hundred Lincoln bands will play in five venues over four nights beginning Wednesday.

To expand the number of bands, Lincoln Exposed organizers widened the festival focus beyond the indie rock bands that had filled most of the performing slots in previous years.

“We have a lot of non-indie rock here in Lincoln,” said organizer Spencer Munson. “We just had to find it. This year, we opened it up to more hip-hop. We have six or seven hip-hop artists this year. We weren’t going to have individuals (solo performers) and we don't with other styles of music, but in regard to hip-hop that doesn’t fit.”

In addition to hip-hop, Lincoln Exposed will have more metal bands than ever and also will include a Kurdish group, Golden Studio, that’s fronted by a first-generation Iraqi refugee.

Golden Studio will play Feb. 11 at the Zoo Bar, the festival's founding venue. Lincoln Exposed has expanded to include Duffy's Tavern, Bourbon Theatre and Bodega's Alley. This year, the 1867 Bar is added to the mix.

“At this point, at 14th and O, we have five great venues,” Munson said. “I didn’t want to leave anyone out.”

He has a couple of theories as to why Lincoln, a city of about 278,000, is home to at least 100 original bands.

“We’re fortunate to have the university,” he said. “Kids come together, put bands together in their dorms. It weeds the good ones out -- the ones who stay around and keep going. That’s part of it. ... The cost of living here is super low. A lot of artists and musicians love Lincoln.”

This year's Lincoln Exposed lineup includes Charlie Burton and Pals, led by the veteran rocker who became one of Lincoln’s few nationally known artists in the 1970s, and The Mezcal Brothers, a long-running rockabilly act that will be, after its Saturday set at 1867, the only band that has played every Lincoln Exposed.

Each of the festival stages is sponsored this year, with Empyrean Brewing Co., Backswing Brewing Co, Blue Blood Brewing Co. Downtown Lincoln Association and Lefty’s Records each paying the sound fees for a given venue, which allows the festival to pay each of the bands more money.

The five stages, four nights and 100 bands is a long way from the 23 bands that played at the Zoo Bar over the course of a week back in 2006 in a “festival” aimed at filling up some slack time for national touring artists while showcasing Lincoln bands.

Zoo Bar owner Pete Watters, who booked the week and came up with the name, said he isn’t all that surprised that the festival has grown the way it has.

“I thought if we could keep it going the first couple years, the talent in Lincoln could make it happen,” he said. “When it’s put on display, it’s really impressive, even to most Lincolnites. That’s what makes it such a cool festival.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott. - Lincoln Journal-Star


2019 - TBD EP
2015 - Sonic Possession 



"From parts-unknown (unless you know Nebraska, and really, nobody does), Laughing Falcon are all tooth and claw and cracked motorcycle helmets; the sound of steely-eyed warriors vanquishing their enemies with cranked amps and 70s downer-rock riffs.  All-the-way-heavy."  - Classic Rock Magazine - 140:February, 2016

Laughing Falcon's heavy rock appeals to a broad range of audiences. Stripped bare, catchy, and modern, the band has played with the likes of The Atomic Bitchwax, Scott H. Biram, Greenbeard, Hyborian, Druids, Mos Generator, Swamp Ritual, Disenchanter, Destroyer of Light, Rift, Cadaver Dogs,  Better Friend, Duel, The Great Electric Quest, Icky Blossoms, A Different Breed, FREAKABOUT, the Crazy Louie Band, Universe Contest, Ezra, Howl, Mad Anthony, and Trophy Wives.

After spending nearly a decade with grindcore heroes Wasteoid, singer and guitarist Kevin Chasek formed the band in 2011 with the intent of returning to the sound that inspired him, and many of his peers, to pick up guitars in the first place.  He's joined in the group by members Nate Christiancy (guitar), Jordan Elfers (drums), and Kyle Gibson (bass) who share his passion for music that isn't afraid to put guitars front and center while never sacrificing the song for the sake of the volume.

The members Laughing Falcon have played together for nearly two decades in various projects.  In the 1990s, Gibson and Chasek toured with the pioneering screamo band ecorche.  Christiancy and Gibson play in Lincoln's legendary Ghost Runners, a sight to behold for anyone who enjoys flaming cymbals and head nodding rock-punk.  Elfers  drums in one off Lincoln's most well-traveled bands, Universe Contest, and several other local projects including First Things First, Unmanned, and Sweats.

Laughing Falcon's 2015 debut release, "Sonic Possession," weaves together thick, fuzz-laced doom tracks with hard rock and upbeat proto-punk.

Band Members