Nothing quite says the holidays like Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes and a 1940s Christmas classic. OK, that's a bit of an overstatement; still, this recording of Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson's "Blue Christmas," cut by Bright Eyes in 2002 and recently reissued by Saddle Creek, rings out as charming and sincere as a silver bell.
"This song is about being broke," Conor Oberst began. He peered down at the audience, tuned his guitar and finished, "I'm rich as fffuuuccckkk, so it doesn't directly apply to me."
It would be myopic to say that people only go to concerts to be entertained. Any music nerd who saves his or her ticket stubs could tell you that.
Bright Eyes took the Pageant stage in front of a sold-out crowd last night. Technicolor lights and Conor Oberst's undeniable stage presence held the set together as fans pumped their fists and sang along, song after song. Dawes opened the evening with a solid set and no doubt won some new fans by the end.
For a minute there, I was worried. After two days and close to 900 or so page views, I had received only two (2) entries to the Bright Eyes Notebook Scribble Contest, for this Monday's sold out show at The Pageant. "Ambition, I've found, can only lead to failure," sang a tiny Conor Oberst voice in my head. Was I asking too much from readers for a simple pair of free tickets? Nay, THREE pairs of tickets (Surprise! I just scored an extra pair)? And then, something magical happened...
Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst is a lot of things to a lot of people: a wildly talented and prolific songwriter, a tween hearthrob, a dart board for punk rockers and an icon to introspective music fans. And, like it or not, a haircut trendsetter. But let's ignore all this for a second.