Bright Eyes @ Great American Music Hall, 3/9/07

It’s my birthday, and I’m going to see Bright Eyes for the third time. What better place to see him than the Great American Music Hall?

The Conor Oberst I saw this night was a longer haired, more confident version of the one I had previously seen. Though it’s impossible to say that at the ripe age of 27, he’s coming into his own…since he’s been writing and performing for 15 years. He’s already achieved critical acclaim as one of the best living songwriters. I believe he’s one of the best storytellers.

Whenever I see Bright Eyes or The Faint, both on the Saddle Creek Records label, I begin to think about how Omaha must be cooler than I think. Bright Eyes has the ability to be many things at once. It’s country, it’s folk, it’s electronic. It can be the past, the present, and the future. It’s music you can play with mom and dad in the car, as long as they don’t listen to all of the words (hey, they’re Republican).

This set featured greatest hits as well as three new songs from their upcoming album Cassadaga, which releases April 10th. The new songs were all in the country folk vein. Matt Ward came on stage for a few songs. The crowd is mesmerized-between songs there are shouts of excitement, but during songs you can hear someone’s stomach growl on the other side of the room. I know that they know they are hearing something profound, and they are hanging on to every word.

For this year’s Bridge School Benefit, I’d love to see Oberst share the stage with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Neil Young. Hey, a girl can dream.

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