I had the opportunity last night to see one of the greatest songwriters around today perform at one of the coolest venues in New York City. Bright Eyes ended their two night stint at Radio City Music Hall on March 9th to a sold out crowd of something like 6,000 fans.
In an effort to push Bright Eyes’ latest album, The People’s Key, the show opened with the eerie, mysterious and bizarre opening track “Firewall.” This exploded into an incredible performance of “Jejune Stars.” This set the stage for the rest of the evening: a superb two hour show.
Conor Oberst seemed to be in a great mood, as well he should’ve been. He was playing a sold out show at a historic venue. How could you not be happy about life? As you can see, the set list covered a lot of his career and seemed to appease the audience completely. The only drawback? The time limit. Apparently the show had to finish at midnight which left us with only three encore songs (compared to the four the night before). I’m sure little of the audience felt slighted, though, as we got a rocking performance of “Road to Joy,” with Oberst focused solely on singing (his amp and back-up amp all of a sudden quit). This allowed him to jump down into the audience and give a handful of fans a very memorable experience.
The highlight of the evening? I loved “Hot Knives,” “Bowl of Oranges,” “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” and “Ladder Song,” but the epitome of Bright Eyes had to be the performance of “Shell Games.” Not only is this one of the best tracks off of The People’s Key, it was without a doubt the best song of the night.
Besides the time limitation (and the first opening band, Wild Flag), this show was flawless. The great performance of Superchunk definitely had everyone in the crowd excited to rock, and Bright Eyes definitely delivered. The band does an exceptional job of performing every song with an infinite amount of passion. Even the slowest of songs blast out over the crowd and keeps every single person engaged and thrilled to be present for the show.
If you haven’t picked up The People’s Key, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. Seriously. Go. Buy it now.