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Eric Church

Eric Church performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival on Setp. 20 in Las Vegas. His Lincoln concert on May 20 at the Pinnacle Bank Arena is expected to break an attendance record.

Eric Church’s Pinnacle Bank Arena concert isn’t sold out yet. But it’s getting close.

And when the May 20 show takes place, it could top the arena’s record concert attendance, set last year when more than 14,500 turned out to see Elton John.

The new record is possible because, like John’s show last year, Church’s stage setup allows for seating behind and on the sides of the stage.

Even if it sells out, which is almost certain, Church’s concert won’t come close to being the highest grossing show at the arena. That belongs to Paul McCartney and likely will be so for a very long time.

Church’s show is one of three PBA concerts now on sale. The Feb. 13 Florida Georgia Line show is sold out. The March 15 Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band concert is selling strongly.

Yet to go on sale are the May 10 concert by Rush and Kenny Chesney’s July 16 show. Ticket prices and on-sale dates for that show should be announced soon.

The strong performance of shows in Lincoln also would have extended to the Linkin Park concert that had been set for Feb. 7.

The show was canceled last week after frontman Chester Bennington severely injured his ankle and had to undergo surgery. He attempted to perform, rocking from a scooter during an Indianapolis concert. But the group ultimately canceled the remaining dates on its Hunting Party tour, which included the Lincoln show.

That show was among the better-selling Linkin Park concerts and was steadily moving tickets until the cancellation. Because Linkin Park essentially ended the winter portion of its tour, the show won’t be rescheduled immediately.

But given its sales here, there’s a good chance that Lincoln will be included on Linkin Park’s next tour.

No other PBA concert announcements are expected in the near future. Announcements of shows at Pinewood Bowl, which also is booked and operated by SMG-Lincoln, should begin in the next couple of months.

Mark Kozelek at Vega

Beginning with the drum-pounding opener, “Hey You Bastards, I’m Still Here,” and continuing for close to two hours, Mark Kozelek delivered a strong, well-received set of his very personal, distinctively played songs Monday at Vega that, at least to some measure, spanned his career.

Playing a nylon-stringed Spanish guitar, Kozelek provided gorgeously rendered, delicate backgrounds for the songs taken from his life, like “Truck Driver,” the story of the death of his uncle that’s one of the songs from “Benji,” his critically acclaimed, death-obsessed 2014 album.

During the show, Kozelek said he’s about halfway through the followup to “Benji” and played a new song, “Possum,” that had a spoken-word passage, something he said would be prominent on the new record.

For more than half of the show -- its middle section -- Kozelek was joined on stage by Vega’s Eli Mardock, who played a stripped-down drum kit, giving the music some percussive drive as he followed cues from Kozelek. Mardock, who played drums early in his musical career, didn’t know he was going to be playing with Kozelek until a couple of hours before the show.

Kozelek was engaging between songs, telling stories about reading the Satanic Bible and the first time he saw an albino, which led to the display of an old Edgar Winter album given to him by a fan.

That said, Kozelek is known for being prickly about crowd chatter or other sounds “interrupting” his performance. Monday, he called out a woman who he thought was making too much noise. That kind of diva move, which Kozelek has in common with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, always bothers me. You’re playing a bar, not Carnegie Hall.

A couple more observations: The show was seated, which makes for a more comfortable intimate affair than the usual crowd standing in front of the stage. That was a benefit for audience and performer, but maybe not so much for the bar, which did very little business during the performance.

There were signs around Vega that read “Absolutely No Photography” and that, rather miraculously, appeared to have been observed throughout Kozelek’s performance. It’s rare to go to a show and not see phones raised to snap pictures or record songs. It was refreshing, to say the least. And, with any luck, other artists will request the same going forward.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.


Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott is an entertainment reporter and columnist.

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