Live Review: Bright Eyes at Rock City 9/02/11

A little surprised at the last minute change of location and revised start time of 8pm (I subsequently found out this was because of a strict 10pm curfew) Bright Eyes certainly didn’t let the eleventh hours’ revisions affect their performance. Conor Oberst and company were, quite simply, beautiful.

As the band entered the auditorium, accompanied by the otherworldly opening of ‘Firewall’, the sense that this was to be no ordinary gig was apparent. The downcast fragility of Oberst’s voice sliced through the symphonic folk generated by the band, with tracks such as ‘One For You, One For Me’ illustrating this spellbinding juncture.

What with members of the crowd constantly shouting out their requests, it would have been hard for Oberst not to play fan favourites such as ‘The Calendar Hung Itself’ and ‘Bowl of Oranges’. It was rather disappointing, however, when the band played ‘Something Vague’ for the second time; given the range of material Bright Eyes could have played – I’m thinking specifically ‘A Perfect Sonnet’- to play the same track twice seemed unfair. The true highlight of the night came when the band performed ‘Lua’, with the song’s sad trumpet call marking a special moment of passing between the crowd and artist.

Having waited a good six years to see Bright Eyes in concert, the gig exceeded my expectations and more. Such was the intensity of emotion in Rock City, that it barely seemed believable that just thirty minutes later Oberst would be replaced with the Wednesday night Crisis revellers dancing to ‘Year 3000’ and the like. Alas, I don’t think Rock City will see a gig like this for a long time to come.

Rosie Kynman

…Rosie has been listening to:
WU LYF – ‘Heavy Pop’…


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