by Andrew Crisp
On Aug. 7, the Neurolux stage was dominated by the soulful voices of Laura Burhenn and Rebecca Marie Miller, frontwomen for Omaha, Neb.'s The Mynabirds. The women stood on raised platforms, which functioned both as stomping boards and soapboxes.
In between endearing asides, lead singer Burhenn belted out tunes and played the keyboard, while Miller shook tambourines and provided backing vocals, and drummer Nicole Childrey tapped out a bouncing, driving beat.
"Generals," the title track off the band's latest release from Saddle Creek Records, required a call-and-response from the crowd. Participation waned as the song finished, but the overall sound was indistinguishable from the band's album.
"Omaha, which is like Boise, I'm sure, is like an island in the sea," Burhenn told the crowd.
Boise has often been overlooked as bands drive between Salt Lake City and bigger venues in Seattle and Portland, Ore. Burhenn said Omaha is similarly skipped over between Minneapolis and Chicago. But that's changing.
"I went to Big City Coffee for breakfast. It reminded me of Omaha in the way that there's a ton of support for local art and local music," said Burhenn after bounding off stage around 11 p.m.
And that support is paying off. Omaha is expanding its homespun music scene, and even beckoning touring bands to stay a while. Burhenn said it seems like that same phenomenon is taking place in Boise.
"It's truly like Field of Dreams: 'If you build it they will come,'" she said.
[ Video is no longer available. ]