You could feel the buzz from a few blocks away.
It was a Friday night in Benson, so Maple Street was packed as people popped between the bars and restaurants that dot the main strip.
But The Waiting Room felt like the focal point, the place that was drawing people from up and down the street.
People milled outside. Some rushed in. A few stepped out for a breath of fresh, cool air.
It was all because The Faint was inside.
It was the place to be. It was hot. A can’t-miss concert from one of Omaha’s biggest and best bands.
The Faint was back in town for a pair of hometown shows at The Waiting Room, and Friday night was electric as the sold-out club was jam-packed with fans moving rhythmically to the groove of “Take Me to the Hospital,” bouncing for “I Disappear” and shouting till their voices were hoarse for “Paranoiattack.”
When The Faint finally took the stage about 10 p.m., the excitement turned to pure joy amid a throbbing scene of pulsing bodies and The Faint’s pulsing electronic rock.
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As the band churned through its material — each song another fuzzy bassline, screaming guitar riff or digitized keyboard line — fans went absolutely crazy, dancing with abandon and their hands in the air, grabbing nearby friends to scream the words and falling into those around them, who helped them stay up and dance. And around and around it went.
The Faint is a power quartet, and it’s incredible to hear such a small squad create such a squealing, heavy, danceable wall of sound.
Graham Ulciny is a master of melody on the keyboards. Clark Baechle is a machine on the drums, continuously slamming out a precise beat better than any drum machine. Dapose is a guitar wildman, thrashing across the stage and giving the band its energy and occasional aggression.
And there’s frontman Todd Fink, the mad scientist singer bringing the whole experiment together with lyrics about fighting depression and telling off trolls and predicting the future, with even more pulsing keyboard lines and better dance moves than anyone else in the venue.
Friday’s set list was heavy with fan favorites such as “Evil Voices,” “Worked Up So Sexual,” “The Geeks Were Right” and “Your Retro Career Melted,” all worked into a well-honed succession of songs that doesn’t so much ebb and flow as continually amplify the energy and drive the audience into a dancing frenzy until everyone has their arms in the air as they scream, “Paranoia! Paranoia!” and "Like a cast shadow!" to close out the night.
It was, as The Faint always is, intense.
And we can do it all again Saturday night. If you want to dance, if you want to feel like you’re in the hottest club in town, if you want to have a good time, you certainly can.