How Bright Eyes Opened My Eyes.
Show Lineup: Opener: LALA LALA Main Set: Bright Eyes
Genre(s): Alternative, folk, electronic and rock.
Venue: The Rialto Theatre
Reviewer Name: Kyla McDole
Date of Review: 11/01/2022
This is by far one of my favorite concerts I have been to. Bright Eyes has been one of my favorite bands since I first listened to their "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning" album in 2013. I have always wanted to witness them preform live since I first started listening, and I finally got the chance to last week.
I jumped at the opportunity to get press from this show the moment I could, so the night of the concert I was anxious to do photo press. This was my first time doing press so I was already panicking; on top of thinking about being a foot away from Conor Oberst. This was also my first time going to the Rialto as well and I can say I enjoy it a lot more than other concert venues I've been to in the past. It was small but I didn't feel like I was going to be crushed or had to worry about being shoulder to shoulder. Everyone was just present and not trying to cause trouble; it was very peaceful.
LALA LALA was the opener and I had suprisingly never heard of them before. The music style was just like Bright Eyes but more electronic. They were the perfect opener to an act like Bright Eyes. From the moment they started playing their first song, it felt like I was in a dream (seriously). It was like I was floating throughout the theatre and it made me do something I don't often do, to listen. I stood there not jumping, not moving, just listening to the human experience of just listening to the music. The chemistry between the singer and the drummer made it better as it felt like I was just watching two friends have fun on stage. Their stage presence was unmatched. I felt like I was able to connect to the lyrics and actions of their performance.
Finally it was time, the lights dimmed, the smoke flooded the stage and the steady hum of peoples excitement filled the room. At this point I was past the barrier and able to see every part of the stage in its beauty, including Conor. The feeling I got when I saw him for the first time is indescribable. It was like seeing your biggest idol in person for the first time and it honestly made me really emotional. Even though I was trying not to make noise and move too much I couldn't help it. I began to scream his name and flail my arms. I was having a true fan person moment. As they went through the set I was singing along to every word. Conor then played a cover of Double Joe by Simon Joyner which had so much emotion behind every word that it felt an original Bright Eyes song. That is what I love about Bright Eyes' music, their ability to describe indescribable things. They then moved into one of my favorite songs, Old Soul Song (for the New World Order). This song is about Conors experince with a protest and the reciprocations of it. The lyrics punched harder than they normally did with everyone joining in to sing "Yeah, they went wild". The room was filled with so much emotion from everyone in the room, even from those who didn't know the song.
Finally, the most iconic and one of my favorite Bright Eyes song began to ring out, First Day of My Life. This song is already a ball of emotion from its simplicity and beautiful lyrics but, it was elevated even more with a live violin playing. This violin sounded like a second voice trying to describe the powerful emotion of love. I obviously cried during this song as this song so perfectly describes what love is and what we will do to love someone. It was just such raw human emotion hearing not only Conor and the violin but the entire audience as well. This is the best I've ever seen a song be performed on stage and I wish I could relive it over and over again.
One of the last songs they played they brought back out LALA LALA to sing a cover of The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry". The second I heard that guitar riff I was filled with childlike joy. Everyone started to have this fun energy not only on the stage but off as well. It was such a nice way to end the show and left us happy after the emotional rollercoaster that is Bright Eyes (in a postive way). I was jumping and yelling the lyrics along and it felt like I true concert experince as I left.
Overall I adored this concert. I would reommend anyone to go to a Bright Eyes concert, even if you aren't a fan. Every aspect from the opener to the closing song where amazing. This was a 10 out of 10 and I was so glad to be able to experince my favorite band live.