photo by LeAnn Jensen

Words: Ryan Waring

In just its second year, the Maha Music Festival is quickly becoming a force in the summer outdoor concert series. Held on July 24th at Omaha’s Lewis and Clark Landing, a venue so pristine it makes the nearby run-off Missouri River look inviting, the event’s sophomore performance was an improvement in nearly all facets. Attendance jumped from 3,000 to 4,000. It showcased some of the local scene’s best artists: It’s True, Betsy Wells, Landed on the Moon, the Mynabirds, and Satchel Grande. Midday performances by the Old 97’s and Ben Kweller brought the crowd out early. And, of course, The Faint, Superchunk, and Spoon, the highlights on paper and post-festival, lent much more credibility to an event headlined by Dashboard Confessional in its inaugural year.

The only negative was the concert’s late start, due to every event committee’s nightmare: Ben Kweller’s delayed flight (he had to drive to  To fit in every act, Maha Fest officials received an extension from the city until midnight and moved each artist’s set back an hour. That seemed to work in the festival’s advantage as the sun set. The holdup pushed Omaha’s own The Faint’s set past twilight, which proved conducive to the light show, effects, and surrealistic manikin army that many feared wouldn’t translate well to an outdoor, daytime concert.

photo by LeAnn Jensen

The Faint’s show wiped most of the audience out by its conclusion, as the group’s performances tend to do.  But a nice break before Spoon’s set let everyone’s sweat dry and legs recharge. Austin indie-pop mainstay Spoon delivered an impressive response with its closing act. The group reproduced an evenly assorted collection of hits from its layered discography seamlessly, and even followed with an encore that carried into the early minutes of Sunday.

For complete photo coverage check out our Maha photo album here.

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