‘Christmas Pageant Tour’ brings holiday cheer to Omaha

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By Rachel George – Entertainment Editor

As I approached the entrance to Sokol Auditorium, it was almost impossible to tell that a show had begun only minutes before. I breezed through the entrance to find a very short, hardly memorable set by alternative pop-rock band Shoreline Ends.

After a short wait, Secondhand Serenade’s John Vesley took the stage, blowing the crowd away with his acoustic guitar and heartfelt vocals.

Vesley kicked off his set with the 2008 hit “Fall For You.” He followed with “Something More” and other tracks from August-released album, “Hear Me Now.”

“Your Call,” “Awake” and “Vulnerable,” from his debut album “Awake,” also made appearances in his set.

He even played a fun, pop version of “Feliz Navidad” to re-inforce the Christmas theme of the tour.

Before the next set, I had a chance to talk to Vesley, who had nothing but positive things to say about the city.

“I love Omaha,” Vesley said. “I’ve been here, like, eight times. [It is] always a good time in Omaha.”

Atlanta-based crunk-rock band Family Force 5 took the stage next. Dancing was in full effect as the band performed funky groove song “Dance or Die” and a power-pop electronica cover of La Roux’s “Bulletproof.”

Band members tossed presents into the crowd during a stirring techno rendition of “Carol of the Bells.”

Powerpop band Forever the Sickest Kids ended the night with a set stuffed full of fan favorites, such as “Way She Moves,” “Hey Brittany” and “She’s a Lady.”

They announced that they had just finished recording a full-length album with a ‘secret’ release date of March 3, 2011, and gave the crowd a taste of their new track “Life of the Party.” The band put its own spin on “Jingle Bell Rock” before handing a gift bag to the person they deemed the best dancer in the crowd.

Though the bands put on an entertaining show, the high school-age crowd was a slight disappointment.

Only a couple hundred fans attended the concert, allowing the crowd room to breathe as well as a deeper connection with the entertainers on stage.

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