Bright Eyes

Live Shot

Phases & Stages
Photo By Gary Miller

Bright Eyes

Bass Concert Hall, May 13

Closing out the 25th season of UT's Performing Arts Center and Bass Concert Hall's final show before the 3,000-seat venue undergoes an 18-month, $14.7 million makeover, it took only two songs for Bright Eyes to unseat the crowd. As Oberst shouted, "I've made love, yeah, I've been fucked, so what?!" on "Hot Knives," he met a zealous rejoinder, and, striking into "First Day of My Life," it became clear that since 2005's I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, Bright Eyes has securely tapped the sing-along suburban demographic more commonly charged to Ben Folds. Opener McCarthy Trenching had a tougher sell, overwhelmed by the vast venue and still-scattered crowd, though the Omaha quartet still plied a solid folk-rock set from their self-titled debut on Oberst's Team Love label. Oakley Hall, meanwhile, attempted to start the theatre's renovations early, peeling paint in a swirl of four psychedelic guitars distilled through Sixties San Francisco harmonies. Clad in white suits, Bright Eyes emerged outfitted as an indie prom, complete with bandstand risers and flowers at the footlights, as a full-length screen projected real-time art accompaniment. The band primarily held to material from their latest release, Cassadaga, highlighted by "Four Winds" and "If the Brakeman Turns My Way," with a sixpiece orchestra and three drum kits accenting the set. "Texas taught me a lot about forgiveness. I love Texas," Oberst conceded, though he frequently seemed annoyed with the audience's enthusiastic chorus, especially their un-ironic singing to songs like "Soul Singer in a Session Band" and "False Advertising." Prematurely dismissing the band from the two-song encore, "Lua" justified his disdain, however, as the crowd's shouted lyrics overpowered the hushed acoustic tune. Oberst's popularity is now even more than he can stand.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Curtis Roush
Cosmic Campfire Music (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, Oct. 12, 2018

Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Trampled by Turtles
Life Is Good on the Open Road (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

More by Doug Freeman
ACL Live Review: Charley Crockett
Live Shot: Charley Crockett
Austin crooner pulls off Doug Sahm-like blend of country-soul

Oct. 14, 2018

ACL Fest Interview: Charley Crockett
ACL Fest Interview: Charley Crockett
Local country-soul man samples his wares on the BMI stage

Oct. 12, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bright Eyes

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle