What are we in for tonight at The Orpheum? Going to a Bright Eyes show used to be like going to Sunset Speedway to see something blow up good. Will Conor be so loaded that he’ll barely be able to stand up? When will he throw something at the audience or spit on someone? Will he stumble off the stage halfway through his set? Will he smash his guitar after the encore? Will he accidentally insult half the audience or the entire state of Nebraska? The operative words here, however, are “used to be.” Bright Eyes sets these days are rather tame affairs. Maturity has caught up with our boy, and he seems to now understand that most of the crowd is there to hear his music, not see him hoist a jug of wine over his head like a pro.
Others from around the country apparently go to his shows with the same level of gruesome anticipation. Check out this review from The University of Washington-Seattle Daily of a recent show on this tour. The lead: “The question on most fans’ minds as they wait for a Bright Eyes show to begin usually has something to do with front man Conor Oberst’s level of inebriation.” Bravo, Keegan. I suspect Conor will be on his best behavior, this being The Orpheum, Omaha’s version of Carnegie Hall, a special, regal place to most people who grew up here (God forbid it should be torn down or turned into condos now that the World Herald got its precious Holland Center). Doing the math, I suspect the show will start at the strike of 8 p.m. with Willy Mason and his guitar, followed by Dave Dondero, then Spoon, with Bright Eyes coming on stage at 10:30. If you’re still hungry for music afterward, stumble down to Ted & Wally’s for Tomato A Day (helps keep the tornado away) featuring Dude Wyoming, Abigail Fishel, and Doug Wray with Morning at Sea and Nick Hugg — I have no idea what any of these bands sound like, but you’ll be downtown anyway…
Look for a review tomorrow, along with a preview of Saturday night’s show here tomorrow.
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