Thursday, July 31, 2008
Music: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
Last night at a sold out and ridiculously hot Neumo's I was fortunate enough to see Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band.
How hot was Neumo's? My friend Megan left about halfway through the show because she felt like she was going to pass out at any moment. During the encore I had sweat literally running down my face as I thought, "If this was anyone else, I would leave about now."
I have been inside some really sweltering hot music venues in my life, but last night was just ridiculous. Even more so when you factor in that last night's temperature in Seattle was below 70 degrees. Seriously people, have your security crack open an exit door every now and then!
Indie heartthrob Conor Oberst was in high spirits last night. He looked much less emaciated than he had on the last couple of Bright Eyes tours. I joked to my friends that he appears to have been eating since the last time I saw him.
The girls screaming, "I love you Conor!" were more quiet than at your typical Bright Eyes show, and, as per usual, Conor no sold those catcalls all night refusing to even look up when they occurred. He only responded to things yelled from the audience on two occasions. Once during the encore when someone yelled out if he could sign their album, "I can do that," he said. And throughout the next song, which he only lang backup on, he scouted the front of the stage thanking fans for being there and signing additional copies of albums.
His other interaction happened when someone screamed out, "Do you want a cigarette?" "I do," he said, "but you can't smoke in here. I'm playing by the rules tonight."
Jason Boesel(Rilo Kiley, The Elected, various Bright Eyes incarnations) was behind the drums last night, and aside from The Faint's Clark Baechle, is probably the most exciting live drummer working today. He sings backup, he rocks out, and unlike many drummers he has the charisma and stage presence to draw your attention to him.
The Conor Oberst album doesn't actually come out until next week, so I was not familiar with most of the songs. I have a few of the songs from last year's gigs at Minneapolis' 400 Club. Those two shows were the public debut of Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. There is a song from there called, "Breezy" which is not included on the album, but they used that as the encore closer last night. It's a quiet tune about wanting to feel at home, wanting to be home. You know, some of those reoccurring themes from a 28 year old musician who has spent most of the past 10 years on the road.
All in all the band played 16 songs and played for over an hour and a half(subtracting the encore break). Which is all pretty awesome considering that the album only contains 12 tracks.
You can preorder the Conor Oberst self titled release direct from MERGE here.
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band continue to tour the world through November. You should definitely check them out on one of these dates:
07-31 Bend, OR - Midtown Ballroom *
08-01 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill *
08-02 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill *
08-03 Santa Cruz, CA - Rio Theatre *
08-05 West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour *
08-08 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge !
08-09 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle !
08-10 Norfolk, VA - The NorVa !
08-11 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero !
08-12 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom !
08-17 Saratoga, NY - Saratoga Music Festival
08-22 Leeds, England - Leeds Festival
08-23 Birmingham, England - Academy 2
08-24 Reading, England - Reading Festival
08-26 Portsmouth, England - Wedgewood Rooms
08-27 London, England - Electric Ballroom
08-28 Manchester, England -Academy 2
08-29 Argyll, Scotland - Hydro Connect Music Festival
08-30 Belfast, Northern Ireland - Spring and Airbrake
08-31 Stradbally, Ireland - Electric Picnic Festival
09-02 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
09-03 Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
09-04 Luxembourg, Luxembourg - Den Atelier
09-05 Zurich, Switzerland - Rote Fabrik
09-07 Munich, Germany - Backstage Werk
09-08 Zagreb, Croatia - Studenski
09-09 Vienna, Austria - Arena
09-10 Prague, Czech Republic - Roxy
09-11 Cologne, Germany - Gloria
09-12 Dorset, England - End of the Road Festival
09-13 Paris, France - Nouveau Casino
09-14 Mannheim, Germany - Alte Feuerwache
09-15 Berlin, Germany - Columbia Club
09-20 Omaha, NE - Anchor Inn
09-21 Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium %
09-22 Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theatre %
09-23 Fayetteville, AR - George's Majestic Lounge %
09-24 Oxford, MS - The Lyric %
09-25 Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom %
09-27 Austin, TX - Zilker Park (Austin City Limits Festival)
10-02 Melbourne, Australia - The Palace
10-03 Brisbane, Australia - Tivoli
10-04 Sydney, Australia - Enmore
10-05 Sydney, Australia - Great Escape
10-21 Los Angeles, CA - Music Box @ Fonda
10-22 Los Angeles, CA - Music Box @ Fonda
10-24 San Francisco, CA - The Warfield
11-08 New York, NY - Terminal 5
11-09 New York, NY - Terminal 5