Bright Eyes-Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was

I had a funny thought (to me) listening to the new Bright Eyes album, their first in nine years. Since the beginning, the constant trio of Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nate Walcott have been interested in taking risks in their production. They alway have weird clips of people talking and swirling mixtures of noise that seem to be completely unrelated to anything and still … Continue reading Bright Eyes-Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was

Conor Oberst at Thalia Hall 11/26/2016

Over the last decade I’ve seen pretty much every iteration of Conor Oberst‘s live show. Most recently, I caught him with Dawes as his backing band at Metro, which was great except that Dawes also opened and played a set that I thought would never end. Even better was his set with The Felice Brothers behind him in Santa Monica in 2013. He also had … Continue reading Conor Oberst at Thalia Hall 11/26/2016

Conor Oberst Featuring Dawes at Metro 5/29

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Conor Oberst @ Metro 5/29/14

I spent a little time yesterday afternoon going over setlists from Conor Oberst’s current tour with Dawes, and I can’t say I was too excited about the prospects for the show. A lot of my old favorites weren’t being played in favor of the new stuff, which I’m fine with, and I suppose for newer fans it’s good to play something like “Method Acting.” For my money I’d much rather hear “At The Bottom Of Everything,” but what do I know…All my worries were put to rest a couple songs in when I realized that Conor and Dawes make a pretty great team on stage. The split 7″ they put out for Record Store Day is fantastic, so I shouldn’t be too surprised.

Except I stood there through a full hour set by Dawes (they are acting as opener and backing band on this tour) and I never once felt a spark of excitement. Even on the song “When My Time Comes,” which everyone in the crowd knew and sang along with, it felt empty. They’re talented guys so I feel bad knocking their set, but it was like those early 90’s Springsteen albums where all the songs just kinda mesh together and you can’t really pick one out from the rest. But like I say, they’re great musicians-I really enjoyed watching the tall and lanky bassist Wylie Garber bang out some really tasty grooves. I was ready for it to end about halfway through the set, and every time Taylor Goldsmith said “We just have a couple more…” I could feel my ire rise tenfold.

It did end eventually, and after a longer-than-expected intermission Dawes returned to the stage with Conor in tow and they blazed through a couple tracks from Upside Down Mountain. Almost immediately I could tell that this matching was going to be good. For how much I did not enjoy their set, the job they did backing was astounding. They zigzagged in between solo Oberst songs and Bright Eyes tunes playing a pretty even mix of both. They hit a lot of the hits like “Old Soul Song (For The New World Order)” and “If The Brakeman Turns My Way.” They didn’t shy away from the new record at all though, with 6 of the 21 songs played coming from that. Continue reading “Conor Oberst Featuring Dawes at Metro 5/29”

Conor Oberst-Upside Down Mountain

Over the past 20 years we’ve watched Conor Oberst grow up from a boy wise beyond his years at the outset of Commander Venus, to a man finally coming into his own with his first solo record in 2008. It’s been a winding road Oberst has been traveling, from punk and emo to psychedelic folk. I’ve been along for the ride since 2002, when I … Continue reading Conor Oberst-Upside Down Mountain