So this past Coachella was my fifth year at the festival. It was also the second time Conor Oberst has played. He(as Bright Eyes) played back in 2005, the first year I attended, although I missed his set. I can actually remember arguing with my girlfriend at the time over who to see...she won, and we saw Nine Inch Nails. Yeah, that relationship didn't work out. But I digress. The reason I bring that year up now is because I have since seen several clips from that and other Bright Eyes shows over the years. The quiet, sullen kid dressed in the black hoody, hiding behind his guitar is no more.
The performer I saw last Friday was someone completely different. It's like Mr. Oberst has met his musical soul mates and has totally reinvented himself. I really do think that he is as close as our generation will get to a Bob Dylan. His sound and approach may take drastic turns from time to time, but the songwriting and the music just keep getting stronger.
Conor and his Mystic Valley Band have a new record coming out on May 5th entitled 'Outer South.' They played several of these tracks at Coachella this past weekend, and they were incredible. This tune was their set closer...and it blew me away!
* Conor Oberst - 'Roosevelt Room' MP3