Conor Oberst @ Arena

I wasn’t expecting much from Mr. Oberst, I must admit. I’ve been bored-ish of the direction his music has been going into – less honest, slightly repetitive imagery, and too much folk/country influences. I also don’t pay much attention to gossip and celebrity rumours, but I kind of believe that a lot of Conor’s genius lies in his terrible drinking habits (when drinking leads to utter sadness).
I was surprisingly not deceived by the performance. Though I was not as touched as on his other tours (particularly on the Digital Ash tour, where I spent half of the gig crying), there was a certain maturity in the way all musicians interacted with each other. People have been asking why “Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band” instead of “Bright Eyes“. Apart from the fact that Mike Moggis is not taking part in Conor’s latest project, when one says “Bright Eyes”, one always thinks of just Conor “doing his thing”. With the mystic Valley Band, it’s different. Each musician is a part of something bigger in that big picture of a bowl of oranges…
It took me two and a half songs to recognise Maria Taylor‘s brother on stage – Macey – because he seemed at least 10 years older, probably due to his long hair. He was reserved at first, the way he is when he shares the stage with his older sister;but he progressively gained importance throughout, until one of the last songs when he shared the spotlight with Conor.
I was amazed at the drummer’s skill to play while singing the main vocals; interestingly enough it took over three minutes to most people to realise that none of the musicians on stage were singing except for the drummer. Nice way to point out how we sometimes forget that there’s another talented person out there, way in the back…
Most songs that were not so interesting in the album gained some texture on stage; notably NYC and I don’t want to die (in the hospital) and other songs that I already loved (Get-well-cards and Souled Out!!!) were absolutely amazing. Milk Thistle, which I quite liked, turned out quite boring live.

Tracklist (from what I remember)


Cape Canaveral

Souled Out!!!

NYC -  gone gone
Eagle on a pole

I don’t want to die in the hospital

Milk Thistle

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