Thursday, November 01, 2007

halloween with bright eyes.

So Bright Eyes happened to hit town on the 31st, which made me anticipate perhaps a more festive performance than their visit last year.
The opener was a fellow Nebraskan, Simon Joiner. Him and his band (the same band that backs up Conor Oberst) played more of a folk/country set, but I still really enjoyed them. We were fortunate enough to be right in front of the mike in the second row, this really enhanced the experience. To add some Halloween factor, there was a couple jack-o-lanterns and a blow-up ghost placed on the stage. Conor joined Simon for a couple songs on keyboard, and Simon played a couple solo songs. During the intermission, some of the roadies threw out candy, supporting the "Halloween theme". Didn't manage to get any, can't say I really would've cared for a Reese's Piece at that time.

So Bright Eyes came out wearing orange t-shirts, with black sharpie drawings (ghost, fish, pumpkin, snake) I understand they were supposed to be Jack-o-Lanterns. I thought it was a valid effort at festivity, I appreciated it. They launched into "At The Bottom Of Everything" from I'm Wide Awake It's Morning which is the song I listen to when I'm on a plane that's taking off. Oberst was a good deal more exuberant than the last time I saw him, and his mood picked up as soon as he placed his wide-brimmed hat atop the blow-up ghost. There was a good deal of confrontation with the audience, but he used distortion on the mike (cause it's spooky) so you couldn't really here all of it. The audience confrontation included the tall guy throwing a pair of panties onstage, people (including me, oops I hit his guitar) throwing glowsticks onstage when he requested them, requests (Bowl of Oranges, No Lies Just Love) were pretty much ignored (he did respond when someone asked him to play a Christmas song), there was also the girl who told him that she loved him more than Holden Caulfield. In some ways, I can draw a comparison between Oberst and Caulfield. I'm not sure if this Calgary performance was better musically for Conor, but I was certain I could sense some charisma last night and it was much better standing closer to the stage. There was a long wait for an encore, but it was obvious they would open with a piano, and I wasn't surprised when the band broke into "Lover I Don't Have To Love". The end of the performance somewhat surprised me, although I could tell that that blow-up ghost and the jack-o-lanterns were asking for it. To the tune of a edgy rock and roll song, the keyboardist brought the ghost down, and Conor proceeded to slam it into the amp, the few jack-o-lanterns on the stage were smashed, and Conor opened a beer can on the floor, and stomped on it, hitting the first couple rows (including me). I was there for the music, but it was certainly interesting to observe.

so highlights and lowlights now.

+

  • four winds
  • poison oak
  • when the brakeman turns my way
  • at the bottom of everything
  • the pedal steel guitar was pretty rad
  • conor's voice was great
  • I really enjoyed simon joiner, especially the last song they played
  • the people in costume were interesting to observe (the joker, link from zelda)
  • the jack-o-lantern shirts

-

  • girls who talked during the show
  • i always smell unpleasant-smelling weed during poison oak
  • i would've been pleased to hear "first day of my life"
  • mac hall ranges from really hot to really cold

Finally, the roadies handed out a couple set lists from the stage, and I managed to grab one. So here is what the list says:


1. AT THE BOTTOM
2. ANOTHER TRAVELLIN
3. FOUR WINDS
4. POISON OAK
5. CLASSIC CARS
6. YOU WILL
7. ARC OF TIME
8. METHOD ACTING
9. SPRING CLEANING
10. BRAKEMAN
11. HIT THE SWITCH
12. OLD SOUL SONG
13. SONG TO PASS TIME
-----------------------------
1.????????????????
2. WALLS
3. ROOSEVELT ROOM

17 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Why is there always someone who talks during the entire show? Always about something inane and always loudly. And Bright Eyes have some pretty quiet songs too.

It sounds as though you got ideal positioning for the show though! Did you dress up as well?

hilary m. said...

Yeah, quiet song+loud talking+front row= not polite in the least.

It was very ideal indeed! No, but I wore a shirt that I made with a Day Of The Dead skull on it saying "Dia De Los Muertos!". It wasn't exactly Day Of The Dead, but it was festive.

Kathryn said...

Ohhh I was there in the front too.
Thanks for the set list, I have been looking for it.
I tried to get one, but obviously you girls were faster/taller than me.
:]
But if that's what it says, then they changed it. Because he definitely played Lover I Don't Have to Love.
Maybe that's the question marks, I don't know.

hilary m. said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure 'Lover I Don't Have to Love' was the question marks, cause he played it after that very extended encore...

I just was at Stars, and I didn't manage to get a set list. =(

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