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Hear Nebraska concert review - the 4onthefloor

Published on 13th June 2015
From Hear Nebraska news update, 5/26/15.

Contributing writer Jeff Lawler was at O’Leaver’s on Saturday for The 4onthefloor:

In 20 seconds, you will either be on the dance floor, or buying a drink from one of the fine bartenders. It’s a simple choice. Time to make some decisions,” said Gabriel Douglas, lead singer of Minneapolis-based rock band The 4onthefloor. This pretty well sums up the raucous atmosphere at O’Leaver’s Pub on Saturday night.

The night kicked off with local act Sons of (O’Leaver’s, in this instance), who turned in a set of bright, mid-tempo rock. The official band name is Sons of, and they simply adopt the name of whatever bar or venue they’re playing at. Driving, jangly guitars, combined with a no-nonsense vocal approach, got the evening off to a solid start.

Fellow Omahans Clarence Tilton followed up with a different, but no less energetic, sound. Sporting a pedal steel player along with guitars and a rhythm section, they ripped through a set of rock-infused alt-country, wowing the crowd of around 100 with rollicking guitar licks, pedal steel flourishes and gritty vocals.

Headliner The 4onthefloor took the stage around 12:30. The band was formed in 2009 in Duluth, Minnesota and has steadily grown their popularity from the upper Midwest to the rest of the United States, playing small clubs and opening for high profile acts such as Willie Nelson and Drive-by Truckers. They play in a slightly unusual formation — all four members play in a straight line, each with a kick drum at their feet, creating an extremely close-up, intimate atmosphere. The kick drums were deployed throughout the night, giving the songs some added drive.

They opened their set with “King of the Jungle,” a bluesy rocker that gave the the crowd an introduction to the band’s aggressive sound. Most of the set consisted of fast paced, searing rock songs. The drummer provided a steady back beat, and the guitars and bass created a crunchy, distorted wall of sound.

A highlight of the set was “On Tuesdays,” a boisterous drinking song dedicated to the bartenders at O’Leaver’s. They closed out out the show with “For Pa (For Ma),” the aforementioned dance number. Douglas took off his guitar and ran around the bar, herding everybody onto the dance floor, ending the show on a rousing high note.