From the outside, the Barley Street Tavern looks like any other pub situated in Omaha’s Benson’s district on North 62nd Street. Yes, there’s a bar that is visible from the entrance door, but the Barley Street Tavern is more than a bar. It is a venue for the performing musician in mind, offering live music performances every night.
And once one passes the bar that welcomes the crowd, a first door on the right leads to the concert room. A small stage, big enough for instruments such as microphones, an acoustic guitar, a drum set, an electric guitar, and the musicians themselves, is located to the left of the entrance. The concert room, small, but big enough to fit a crowd of 40, is full of stools, circular tables, and chairs. The walls are decorated with various photos of famous musicians and posters advertising drink specials.
On Friday, April 11, Jeromy Darling, from Minneapolis, MN, along with Candlewood’s own London Yang, Matt O’Malley, and Naomi Whitney played to a live crowd at this venue. The event was an opportunity for members of the Candlewood Working Singles (CWS) Ministry to invite co-workers and friends as well as members of The Rock, the college ministry, to enjoy a night of music. Because the concert was held at a tavern, only those 21 and older were allowed to enter.
The location and age restriction did not take away from the purpose of the event. The night was simply about the music, showcasing songs written by Jeromy Darling and the story behind them.
Around 10pm on that Friday night, after an opening act by John Larsen Guitar, who performs acoustic songs, Jeromy Darling took the stage, joined by Yang on electric guitar and O’Malley on drums, and later by Whitney on vocals.
Darling, with a love for Jesus and music, performed songs that were inspired by people he cares about. Songs about drug abuse, addiction, betrayal, shattered dreams, and how they were tearing apart some of his closest friends made the set list that night.
“Ferris Wheel,” a song that uses allegory for addiction, is about a man who hears from God while going through the ruins of a city, destroyed by a natural disaster. “Lifted,” written with a friend in mind, is about someone feeling abandoned by God. “In Their Absence” captures the feelings of those who feel a void and disappointment from a mother, father, sister, or brother, sending the message that in the absence of these individuals waits a loving and caring God.
To end Darling’s session, he asked the crowd to stand and sing along with him to “Closer Than I’ve Ever Been.” Many, familiar with the song, joined in unison, voices echoing beyond the doors into North 62nd Street.