Live Review: Conor Oberst – BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn, NY

The mood and vibes of the concert atmosphere were already in place before one note was played at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn last Thursday, where Conor Oberst performed a two hour show, half of which fans spent their time dancing and singing along in  torrential rain. Something about the grittiness of Conor’s music and vocals mixed with the pouring rain, which fans probably felt was a luxurious cool off from the sweltering heat wave that has been plaguing the New York City area of late

Conor began the night with Barbary Coast (Later), a song from his latest album Salutations. The song begins with a suspenseful, edgy drumbeat which builds the momentum for the rest of the layers of the song to being. One of the first few lines of the song is “There’s a barefoot child playing in the rain” which the audience let out a big cheer during as they continued to get soaked by the down pour. Fan favorite Four Winds was one of the highlights of the night because even though it’s one of the older and more familiar songs, the energy during this track was enormous and everyone found themselves singing and dancing along. Further performances included Get-Well-Cards and Eagle On A Pole, taken from Conor’s self-titled solo album, continued the active indie-rock energy that started at the beginning of the show

Conor introduced the next song as a song about “trying to go to sleep at 2:30 but staying up until 9 and then only sleeping for two hours.” This became the inspiration behind his song Too Late To Fixate – another track off his latest album Salutations. Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out, a shout out to his New York friends and their favorite Manhattan bar, followed. Its specific lyrics like “be careful with your headphones on when you cross the FDR” made Oberst’s song truly relatable to the crowd and more fun to connect with. Next Conor and his band played Southern State, another Bright Eyes song that’s tucked away in their hidden repertoire

As the end of the set neared, Conor played Roosevelt Room, a Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band song, and after this came Cape Canaveral from his self-titled solo album. As the rain began to subside, Conor jammed into Artifact #1, a track from his solo album Upside Down Mountain. To close out the set, Oberst played the title track of his latest album Salutations, a Bright Eyes song Poison Oak, and finally another new release, A Little Uncanny, which was preceded by a classic Oberst rant, this time about how much he hates President Trump and how uncanny it is to swallow the fact the Trump is president

The first song of the encore was a solo piano performance that Oberst said was brand new. The song was called No One Is Going To Change and it featured beautiful piano melodies and a range of notes to keep listeners excited and entertained. To cap off the evening, Oberst played the last Bright Eyes song of the night, the beautiful Train Under Water, and after this the very final jam of the night, in the form of Napalm from Salutations

With the help of his supporting band members, which included some of the Felice Brothers, Conor Oberst and his band are a must see indie-folk-rock act this tour. Be sure to catch them while you can

Scott J. Herman