In doing the usual pre-show immersion in an artist’s catalogue (which includes full download of new release and filling in the blanks of past albums), I re-discovered that Conor Oberst has been around for a while, put out some fantastic albums, yet still remains a stalwart of the face of indie pop/folk. The crowd at the Tabernacle was large Friday night, and quite diverse in age. Makes sense since Bright Eyes is an admitted “old soul” and has been putting out albums since the late 90s–a time when most of this blog’s contributors were initially forming their tastes in music. The setlist was a treat for both the newbie and the career-long fan, as a heavy dose of The People’s Key was served along with some great “oldies” like “Bowl of Oranges” and “Falling Out of Love at This Volume” (see below video).
First time seeing Bright Eyes live, and it was pleasing yet a tad bit surprising to see how active Conor is on the stage. Not an emo-stationary-guitar player like the casual observer might surmise on a first listen to I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. He stomped and swung around the stage for a largely upbeat, rocking selection of tracks (favorite: “Jejune Stars”), and shed multiple guitars for the keys and pure solo forays towards the pit as well.
Was really impressed with the set design too. Large display of what appeared to be a sheet of LEDs (hard to tell from the balcony) showing various graphics, later to be faded in on each song with close ups of the band playing their instruments via small cameras conveniently placed on microphone stands and the like. Creative way to make sure the focus is always on the musicians.
Full setlist via setlist.fm below. Thanks to all who complimented my nose-bleed-seats cinematography on youtube.