Bright Eyes/The Faint/Mars Black 4/21/2005: Webster Hall, New York, NY

Corn, beef and the flat land. Until recently, when someone mentioned Omaha, Nebraska, that’s probably what came to mind. Perhaps eating a lot of corn and beef and not having very many exciting places to go, is the secret formula that has recently helped Omaha produce one of the most exciting music scenes. An appetizing sampling of Omaha’s recent offshoot, has set up a mini residency in the East Village of New York City in one of the city’s premier dance clubs and music venues – Webster Hall.

While the crowd waited in anticipation for sets from The Faint and Bright Eyes, Omaha-based rapper Mars Black warmed up the crowd with a taste of old-school hip-hop with an indie edge. While a rapper from Omaha taking the stage in the city that invented the genre in front of a crowd that mainly paid to see rock & roll could be a somewhat daunting task, Black’s up-tempo hip hop style, while far from being groundbreaking, provided a decent background for people’s early evening drinking festivities.

The Faint, fellow cohorts on Bright Eyes’ Saddle Creek record label, took the stage as much of the sold-out Webster Hall crowd began to quickly migrate through the venue that seemingly holds as many rooms as a carnival fun-house. Creating a well of sound through heavy-hitting monster guitar riffs, sultry keyboard sounds and thumping bass, The Faint quickly had the crowd moving and Webster Hall’s wrap-around balcony literally shaking. Focusing mostly on songs from their latest album Wet From Birth, The Faint tore through a number of fast-paced, yet undeniably tight and interesting songs including “I Disappear” and “Birth,

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