The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 07, 1988, Page 7, Image 7

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    Nexus taps into the ‘primal soul of humanity’
By Micki Haller
Senior Editor__
Echoing the patterns of heart
beat, of breath, of conversation and
the activity of the world, Nexus, a
Canadian percussionist group, pul
sated with the basic rhythms of life
Friday night at Kimball Hall.
The casually dressed ensemble
consisted of Bob Becker, William
Cahn, Robin Engleman, Russell
Hartenberger and John Wyre. The
percussion instruments littered the
stage; from conch shells and rattles
to marimbas and snare drums, the
number of instruments was truly
Sometimes playing four or five
different instruments each in one
piece, the musicians evoked a vari
ety of moods and tones.
During “Music For Pieces of
Wood” by Steve Reich, the five men
each played rhythms on a pair of
Happy,busy sounds—the music
sounded like crickets during a hot
summer twilight. The clacking
stopped suddenly and was replaced
with thunderous applause.
“Rain Tree” by Torn Takcmitsu
was a gentle piece played on a vibra
phone, two marimbas and crotales,
which look like small cymbals.
Dreamlike and sometimes a bit
ominous, the players led the audi
ence through a rainstorm, then the
aftermath caused by trapped water
droplets on tree leaves before fading
to nothing.
John Cage’s “Third Construc
tion” was performed by four of the
percussionists standing in a circle.
Incorporating cricket callers, a
conch shell, rattles, graduated tin
cans and drums of all types, the
piece sounded like a very talented 4
year-old beating on kitchen utensils,
but evolved into a sophisticated
frenzy of construction.
After intermission, Nexus per
formed two traditional African
pieces, “Mbira” and “Kobina.”
“Mbira” was an easy, flowing
piece highlighted by a 22-key
thumb piano and accompanied by
marimbula, iron bell, rattle and a
variety of drums.
“Kobina” was Nexus’ synthesis
of a popular recreational dances
performed by the people of Ghana.
Starting with a tattoo that
sounded like a call to war, drums,
cowbell and a rattle settled down
into a dance beat that could have
come from many cultures.
“Clos d’Audignac” by Bruce
Mather was a serious piece comm is
sinned by Bob Becker. Very spooky
and almost death-like, the piece
featured marimba, vibraphone,
glockenspiel and cowbells.
“Novelty Ragtime Music” was
written by George Hamilton Green,
who was bom in Omaha and hailed
as the world’s greatest xylophonist
while still in his teens.
Cheery and cute, the pieces were
a perfect ending to the program.
The only regret, and a minor one
at that, was that so much was going
on that it was impossible to see
Ncxus^ performance was bril
liant and tapped into the primal soul
of humanity.
Nugent infects
Omaha audience
with guitar fever
By Michael Deeds
Staff Reviewer
“Motor City Madman” Ted
Nugent played an ear-splitting con
cert Friday night at the Music Hall in
Nugent, who performed in front of
a mostly seated audience, proved that
he still has plenty of energy, even if
the crowd didn’t. He played it safe,
sticking to old classics such as “Cat
Scratch Fever” and “Free For All.”
He performed only a couple of songs
off his new album, “If You Can’t
Lick ‘Em ... Lick ‘Em.”
But that is what everyone came to
see — the old Nugent. The Nugent
that jumps around stage like a schizo
phrenic on No-Doz. The Nugent that
gets off on his guitar solos even more
than the audience does. The Nugent
whose enthusiasm for rock ‘n’ roll is
simply infectious. And that is what
everyone got
Nugent s band changes oiten, but
with the re-acquisition of vocalist
and guitarist Derek St. Holmes, the
music was solid. Holmes superbly
sang about half of the songs played.
He gave Nugent’s voice a rest from
all his obscene screaming and self
approving yowls during guitar solos.
The sound system was supersonic,
and Nugent used it to its fullest. His
guitar solos simply ripped. Unlike
most performers, he sounded better
live than on record. Songs like “Yank
Me, Crank Me” and “Wang Dang
Sweet Poontang” were so humor
ously obscene that everybody had to
like Nugent whether they were old
fans or not.
The concert was well worth the
money. Even seeing Nugent by him
self would have been worth the
money. If you’re slightly inebriated,
a little deranged and willing to have
a great time, Nugent is the man to sec.
If you’re not, don’t worry. He will
make sure you walk out feeling that
way anyway.
Kv A TToni jjj
Coi riesy of Atlantic Records
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