Two days before we head out on vacation, I decided to start a little early. We started with a good breakfast at Luis M's Burger Lust and a visit to the Farmer's Market in the old market area of Omaha. In the afternoon I went to the 2nd annual chalk walk in Papillion while the Wife talked garden with a friend.
The chalk walk is similar to Santa Barbara's I Madonnari Festival but at a much smaller scale. Santa Barbara had hundreds of chalk drawings. Papillion had six or seven. I think I'll give them some slack as this is only the second time they've done this and there is only one professional chalk artist in Omaha. The few that they had were pretty good. Here is a sampling of the art. Along with the art there was live music and a fire truck for the kiddies.
Since the chalk thing was less than I expected, I had some extra time on my hands before the Memorial Park Concert that I was going to attend started. So, in an attempt at killing time I drove downtown to see if I could get some pictures at the Sandcastle contest. When I got there the whole downtown area was packed. Along with the sandcastles there was a Taste of Omaha food festival going on. Driving around a bit I realized that by the time I found a parking spot and walked the distance to the sandcastles, it would be time to turn around and head back to the car. I seem to have bad luck with Sandcastles. Maybe next year.
I ended my day with the O! What A Concert held at memorial park. The concerts are open air and free. I found a spot fairly close to the stage and set up my folding chair. I ate a subway sandwich waiting for the first act. I must have been getting tired as I forgot three things in the trunk of my car: Bottles of water resulting in me buying three dollar water; sunglasses that I thought I didn't need until the sun came out of the overcast and made me squint until I got a headache; and a hat which also would have helped with the whole squinting thing.
The concert had four acts, one more than last years. The three warm up acts were all local Omaha bands. The first was Brad Hoshaw and the Seven Deadlies. I'd heard Brad solo last year and wasn't that impressed - he was a little too mellow - but he was a little more energetic backed by his bad The Seven Deadlies.
The second act was Mal Madrigal. They were okay but none of their stuff really grabbed me.
The third act was Sarah Benck and the Robbers. She was closer to the style I like. A bit more of an energetic rocker feel. The melodies were catchy but the lyrics seemed a little amateurish. Even so, I think I enjoyed her the most. One factoid: The Seven Deadlies are also the Robbers. If Brad Hoshaw hadn't pointed that out, I probably wouldn't have noticed. I can be bad with details like that.
The main act was Britain's indie rock band Gomez. Again I was just barely impressed. Not bad - just okay. Like Feist last year, I ended up leaving half way through their set.
Pictures of the concerts can be found here.
The crowd at the concert seemed thinner this year. I suspect that fewer people knew Gomez who don't have the American exposure that Feist had. On top of that there had been rain in the forecast (a forecast that was very wrong - it did rain an inch and a half over night though). Based on this description you would think I had a bad time. I didn't really. I was hoping for more and ended up with enough. What more can you ask for the price of FREE.