Sunday, July 05, 2009

Conor Oberst @ Battery Park

Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band
@ Battery Park
New York, NY - July 4, 2009

Let's not dance around it. I missed Jenny Lewis. As unpatriotic a thing one can do on Independence Day, I missed America's second finest redheaded alt-country singer (y'all know who's number 1). I did, however, catch a decent chunk of the set by the pride of Omaha, Conor Oberst. Bright Eyes never truly became my thing until "Four Winds" came out a couple years ago. When Oberst put Bright Eyes on the backburner to work on something called the Mystic Valley Band, I thought "Oh know what hippie dippie mess is this going to be?" But alas, the Mystic Valley Band project is an alt-country-with-a-twist-of-rock machine. The ballads are pure country, but a lot of the more swingin' songs can be real barn burners. Perhaps best of all, Oberst has tamed his voice, a voice once so shrill that many dubbed Bright Eyes to be an emo thing. But Oberst has come a long way, playing very digestible music and having an easy-going presence on stage.

I still can't believe I missed Jenny Lewis.

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