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12 RODS at Duffy's Tavern
Duffy's Tavern
Lincoln, NE
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12 RODS at Duffy's Tavern
Minneapolis dream pop O.G.'s 12 RODS come to Lincoln on the heels of their 2023 comeback album 'If We Stayed Alive,' with support from indie pop tourmates Launder.

Local support TBD.

May 11
Duffy's Tavern
Doors at 7 p.m. | Show at 8 p.m.
$10 advance | $12 day of show

When Ryan Olcott, songwriter and frontman of Twin Cities iconic indie rock band 12 Rods, found unfinished Rods demos during lockdown, he was surprised. When he realized they were good, he was shocked. He quickly set to finishing and recording the compositions, which became If We Stayed Alive, the first 12 Rods album in twenty-one years. These are songs that I forgot about, he explains, but upon finding them, I thought, Wow, these are actually okay. That was the easy part. Reacquainting himself with a twenty-year-removed craft and technique took some getting used to -- some parts longer than others. He recorded all the instruments in a week, but the vocals took a bit longer. Oh my god! he laughs, it took a couple of days to get my voice back with that range and that power, but I could do it. Any cobwebs that needed dusting are long gone. If We Stayed Alive is everything longtime fans have wanted, and the perfect introduction to what some called Americas Radiohead" and what others have called one of the best indie bands of the 90s.

Despite these songs being written twenty-two years ago, their sound, themes, mood are evergreen. Lead single, pop nugget My Year (This Is Going To Be), is both the appropriate ticket to a new era and a souvenir of the past, gussied up in self-awareness, humor, and perhaps the faintest bit of hope. Cause with all my calculations/Everything looks so, so clear/This is going to be my year. Which of us didnt watch the dawn of 2020 thinking the same, only to have confused stellar light with nuclear flash? Everything magnetic in vintage Rods -- pitch-perfect, Beach Boys-esque harmonies, clean, rhythmic guitar, grooving bass, steady drums -- and that clear, plaintive voice invoking our deepest, silliest wish: that everythings going to be okay.

And thats only one of the albums seven bangers. From album opener All I Can Think About, with its subdued inner monologue musings that meander from world-weary to awestruck, to the grunge-indebted Comfortable Situation, to the smooth, loungey The Beating, its clear that Olcott isnt just picking up where he left off, but having fun while doing it.

To be honest, Olcott says, I think its the best material Ive had to offer so far. If you had asked me a few years ago whether the reunion 12 Rods album could be their best, I dont know how I would have answered. But if you had shown me videos of UFOs cruising the globe and told me an Air Force general didnt rule out extraterrestrial responsibility, I would have called shenanigans on that. 2023 is weird as hell. And its about to get weirder. What else can I say? Its 12 Rods. Its new. Its everything weve waited for.


Duffy's Tavern (View)
1412 O Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
United States


Music > Indie
Music > Rock

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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