So Bright Eyes performed a free show at Art Park yesterday (Art Park if you must know is in Lewiston NY about 45 mins north of Buffalo) and of course "free show" and Bright Eyes means that entire towns and villages came. And why shouldn't they? It's very rare that you get to see Conor Oberst in the flesh and not have to pay for it! Although this is where I get to be a big downer...I was actually really disappointed with the show. And I feel really bad saying this! I went with a group of friends, and they were all really amped up to see him--as was everyone else in the crowd, everyone except me. Now, don't get me wrong I have my fair share of Bright Eyes records I even have "Noise Floor Rarities" but I really listened to Bright Eyes when I was 16 (yeah just like that post below...which I still would like to point out was a joke...what cool sixteen year old wears pig tails?? Hint hint...) and I think that at 16 I needed a band like Bright Eyes way more than I do now, I felt really out of place at the show. First off I guess I was still expecting the Conor Oberst I remembered, skinny and boyishly handsome, the man who appeared on stage was no longer this person, which is fine people change, and hell they should change. The problem was the man I saw was a Conor Oberst who still wanted to look like this boy, the black matted hair in the face, the skater shoes and ripped black skinny jeans, but This Conor is now 31 and slightly heavier (not by much...but enough) and 31 year old Conor just looked out of place in his 17 year old Conor costume. It made me sort of sad, as I gazed upon a guy who no longer fit the profile of the music he was essentially writing since he was 17. And while they did put on as solid a show as they could, I also realized that I was uncomfortable with the performance because the music of Bright Eyes, at least for me doesn't lend itself really well to a stadium. When I listen to Bright Eyes it's always an intimate experience, I'm in a dark room on my bed listening to "Lover I Don't Have To Love" not gazing at the band as they shout the lyrics through blaring speakers. I formed an intimate relationship with the music which at least in my opinion couldn't be conveyed in a crowded concert setting, it just didn't feel right, that's not to say that I wouldn't have ever wanted to see him perform, but for me a more intimate location like a small club venue would have been a better experience. Obviously I was grateful that the performance was free, but it bothered me that Conor had to keep shouting "It's Coors Light Wednesday!" and "We love Coors Light and HSBC!" While I understand that Coors Light and HSBC sponsored the event and you don't bite the hand that feeds you hearing Conor shout it across the audience cheapened the experience even more, that isn't to say I regret going, I think I would have regretted not going more. Lastly, the concert made me want Bright Eyes to break up even more, not because I think that the individuals in the band have nothing left to offer creatively but I think the purpose of "Bright Eyes" the band has exhausted itself, Conor is a different person than when he was 17, 20, and 25 and so is everyone else in the group and that's fine. But I feel like Bright Eyes limits all of them creatively, they all desperately want to create happier music and you can tell by the new songs they have produced on their latest record, however I feel as though the Bright Eyes discography creates an expectation among older fans for a "sound" that they might no longer be able to produce, or want to. All and all the concert just weirded me out, I was frustrated I couldn't get into the music and be as excited as everyone else appeared to be and sad that the music no longer moved me the way it used to.
Oh and they never played Lua! Small complaint I know...posted below are songs I desperately WISHED they played and never did....
Favorite Bright Eyes Song:
New Outside Column!
2 days ago