Still reeling from the awesomeness that was venturing to California for a Huskers game last weekend, it feels only appropriate I shed some light on the connection two of my loves, college football and music, share.
It was great to see Lincoln mentioned, especially in honoring the brilliant hometown boy Matthew Sweet. It reminds that while the schools of these football powerhouses may be overloaded with proficient athletes, they also tend to teem with artistic talent, as well. As I attended the University I was surrounded by impressive musicians, artists and writers at almost all times. Music, especially, was a big deal in the Star City, and we cared about local talent as much as Omaha’s Saddle Creek, who was flourishing and finally getting deserved recognition.
There was also such a level of cool to Star City groups like Once A Pawn, The Balance, Fashion Coasters, Eagle Seagull and The Show is the Rainbow. Lincoln was a small town, and you almost always knew someone in the band. The Balance might have been my favorite back then – everybody knew the members, and the band developed one of the largest and most devoted fan base I’ve ever seen for a small-time group. Their imaginative, jam electro-rawk sounds didn’t hurt their cause either, and it motivated a large bunch of us to rent a bus for a debaucherous trip to Omaha once, just to see them play.
My friends in Somasphere would carry on the torch once the band broke up, and I was devastated to leave Nebraska at that time and miss their rise to fame. Homesickness still overwhelms me whenever I think back to all those fantastic shows I saw in tiny little bars, on and around O Street. There’s just something so vibrant and wonderful in seeing an unsigned band, swarming with talent and ability, play their hearts out. While they may not make it big someday, it’s likely they’ll never forget, or regret, the work they put into those shows that captivated the crowds from their hometown. And that’s where the connection lies with college football – a large majority of players will never see a paid day of play, but it’s almost inevitable they’ll cherish those days they had fans by the thousands.