On Saturday night David and I were able to head to Austin to see Conor Oberst live. We have seen him once before in Champaign, IL as Bright Eyes, but it was completely different. The Bright Eyes show was indoors in a theater on the U of I campus and it wasn’t general admission.
General admission tickets can be annoying at times, and I’ve seen my fair share of shows that I was actually glad to be able to just sit down and enjoy the music (Death Cab for Cutie comes to mind) but this show had a mood and attitude to it. He described it best himself as “sultry.” I’ve seen a lot of bands perform and have never experienced this before. Being 25 years old I don’t get very excited about music anymore, and seeing him kind of reignited my love for him, not that I had entirely ever lost it in the first place.
He played at Stubb’s, which is this garbage BBQ joint with truly terrible food and a gargantuan cockroach on the wall which really made me want to eat even more. Even their coca cola classic was bad. Conor played outside, which was basically like a hole in the ground with a stage at the front of it. People lined up a few hours in advance, but of course being 25 I know better than to stand in the unforgiving Texas heat at 5 PM, so we hung out at a bar that employed Dan Kranz’s doppelgänger. He was a bro. It was open to the street which was lovely because it was gay pride day and there were a lot of amazing people in drag. And you know I love drag.
The show started at 8 so we went in at 7:30 and grabbed a couple of Dos Equis. We found a great spot about fifteen people from the front in the center which was plenty close. The gentleman who opened for him was just okay in my opinion, but he definitely helped set the tone for Conor. It was extremely hot and humid, which I think is what most made it feel sultry. Everyone was smoking weed and a heady cloud settled over the crowd. Honestly, we probably had quite the contact high as the night progressed.
I really hate to use a word as common as amazing to describe Conor’s performance Saturday, but really what word is better? He played a great mix of his songs, old and new, and I doubt that anyone was disappointed. I was slightly surprised we didn’t get Lua, but Old Soul Song for the New World Order was definitely one of my favorites.
I’m so glad that we were able to see him, and if ever I could say anything to him, it would be thank you for being brilliant and thank you for coming to Austin so this new mom and dad could have an evening with you.
© Carli Garrison and cllgarrison, 2014