It’s an up-and-coming band’s dream come true: the chance to open for a superstar in front of thousands of people.
One band will get that opportunity.
Pat Benatar is coming to Memorial Park on June 28 as part of Bank of the West Celebrates America. Loverboy is one of the openers; the concert-holders have begun a contest to find another. Bands can enter themselves or fans can nominate their favorites up until May 10. Judges will pick five finalists, and a winner will be chosen by public vote.
Some people in the local music scene told us who they thought would be the best pick:
Eric Ziegler, store manager at Homer’s Music
“I think the coolest would be Rebecca Lowry and All Young Girls are Machine Guns . They’re super cool and she plays ukelele and sings; she has a super soulful voice.”
Rick Sorick, head used-music buyer at Drastic Plastic
“There’s a really entertaining group that plays ’70s-style music, it’s called Bennie and the Gents. They play glammy, ’70s kind of stuff and they’re quite good. They would fit in with the kind of stuff that she does.”
Julie DeWitt, Maha Music Festival board member, in an email:
“Rock Paper Dynamite: I’m partial to this band right now because they will be playing at Maha this summer. They are a high-energy rock band and their sound would definitely fill up the park. I think they would really get the crowd going.
“Blue Bird: I feel like their music is meant to be played outside in the sunshine. This is a talented group of musicians fronted by a woman with a strong voice (Marta Fiedler). Blue Bird would be a nice lead-in to another woman with a strong voice.
“Satchel Grande: You just can’t go wrong with Satchel Grande. First, the band has nine or ten members, so it would fill up the stage. Secondly, they have a danceable funk sound, some cool saxophones and keys in the mix. Third, they wear ties to every show. I think everyone would appreciate their class.”
Val Nelson, community outreach and fundraising for Omaha Girls Rock:
“We would love to see any sort of female-fronted band like The Mynabirds , HERS, Azure Ray or All Young Girls Are Machine Guns , just anyone with female members represented in the show. Since Pat Benatar is such an iconic female musician, it would be great to have that represented in the opening act.”
Spencer Munson, a Lincoln-based DJ and assistant director of marketing and promotion at Bourbon Theatre suggested Lincoln rock band Universe Contest, in a tweet.
Munson later followed up with a Facebook message:
“I didn’t realize that it was for Pat Benatar. Universe Contest is a new fuzz/experimental rock band out of Lincoln that combines the raw psychedelic energy of The Flaming Lips with the heavy forward-thinking electro-rock of Trent Reznor. They have a great wild live show and have been successfully touring all over the Midwest off and on for the last six months. Great band but may not be the best choice for Ms. Benatar.”
Rick Carson, producer, mix engineer and part owner of Make Believe Studio
“I would love for Snake Island to open for Pat Benatar. I always remember that Pat Benatar rocks; I don’t think too many people associate her with rocking. It’s probably because it’s an old ’80s band and a lot of people think the ’80s (were) old and cheesy. Pat Benatar doesn’t fall in with the hair metal bands of the eighties, she’s one of those people who are rocking. I think Snake Island would be a good fit with her because Snake Island rocks, they’re a good rock and roll band.”
Local group All Young Girls Are Machine Guns tweeted about Witness Tree,
Voodoo Method and Edge of Arbor :
Several fans weighed in on the Omaha World-Herald Facebook page too:
Ken Boucher: The problem is, I'm not sure the bands I love want the gig. I'd love to see The Bishops or the Fishheads open, but is that really their style?
MarQ Manner: Digital Sex
Katherine Kelly: Lang Brothers
Katie Kouma Lockhart: The Millions!!