November 15, 2005
The Chill of Bright Eyes
Listen to this and then continue reading.
The stage was dark, save for a spotlight on a single harpist (?). It was like a fairytale. You can get a good idea from the sound clip. First applause for the solo, second applause for Conor appearing on stage. It was definitely the best start to a set I’d ever witnessed. The rest of the band joins in with the harp, and Conor’s vocals just cut across the softness with their rough edge. And that set the mood for the rest of the show. Conflicting melodies and tones that came together for something grand and left this listener feeling this strange emotional mix of love and bitterness.
The band was amazing: harp, trumpet, keyboard, slide guitar, drum set, other random drums, clarinet, piano, guitars. There was no fancy stage props, just this glorious display of instruments. If only every show could be like that.
The sound clip is from the opening song, Sunrise, Sunset from Fevers & Mirrors. Live version was insanely better than album. He had really evolved it over the 5 years. It was slower and powerful with beautiful instrumentation. I hope it’s on the live album.
Everyone was so in to the music. It was so powerful. I attempted to record the show, but vocals didn’t lay down very well but it’s not bad when I set my EQ just right. Too bad my battery died for the awesome encore. I’ll attempt a track list, but I don’t know the names of the new songs:
- Sunrise, Sunset
- You Will. You?Will. You? Will. You?Will.
- Over the right or the left (new song, title unsure)
- False Advertising
- Hit the Switch
- Never Gonna Be Happy Again
- The Calendar Hung Itself…
- Oh, you are the roots that sleep beneath my feet and hold the earth in place
- Napoleon’s Hat
- Falling Out of Love at this Volume
- Old Soul Song (For the New World Order)
- Nothing Gets Crossed Out
- Let’s Not Shit Ourselves (To Love and to be loved)
For Lua, it was just him on stage and it was so intimate. The encore was great. Nothing Gets Crossed Out is one of my favorite songs. And well, the show just wouldn’t have been complete without ending with the Let’s not shit ourselves… anthem. It was a crazy jam, ending with Conor climbing on top of the drumset. But it seems like I’m missing a track or 2 from the list…maybe there was another encore track. Either way it was a great set. I really hope to see him again. I half debated the trek down to Louisville tonight.
But back to the beginning, there were two openers, Willy Mason and David Dondero. Both were excellent, but it was a little too much indie-folk all right in a row. My recordings of their sets are much better because they weren’t so loud. They were perfect.
Willy had this great song, Simple Town, which was so beautiful. I’ll provide the download of the live track until someone yells at me. Listening to it had me in a complete trance, and for a song to hold me for nearly 5.5 minutes says something. There were full seconds of silence after it ended before we all applauded. I recall just turning to my sis at the end and saying “that was amazing,” and she just quietly nodded.
David was also great, but I couldn’t help but think how much his style and timing reminded me of Conor. Well, during Conor’s set he talked about David, and said how he saw him play back when he was 14 and he wanted to sing just like him, so it seems Conor sings like him. Now I told my sister that the crowd would probably get a little crazy but not in the way that most crowds get crazy. Sure enough, about halfway through David’s Pre-invasion Jitters the craziness I spoke of came out. I think in the clip you can even hear me say “this is what i meant,” but yeah, crowd went crazy for it, especially when conor ran out on stage to sing the chorus with him at the end. The performance definitely sparked an energy in the room. It was great.
All in all, I think that night topped the MMJ show. If Bright Eyes had also been at the Vogue, it would have totally killed it. IU venue was just too big and rigid for him, but I still left on a major fricken high. Even my sis, who really hates his voice, said the music and the passion was really something. Definitely worth leaving Florida a day early for :)
Our seats were sweet. Center, 21st row. We were basically the front of the second section back so we had railing and it was like our little box seat. The railing worked as a stellar tripod too. Derek was just 10 rows behind us. We were both stoked about this show. It was great to get a few hours to hang out with my sis and see her new place prior to the show too. I was glad she had a good time at the show. We made a spectacle of ourselves trying to take our own photo. We totally lost that game.