I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
for Nebraska's Bright Eyes. Main man Conor Oberst captivated the
audience with his narrative songs and slightly warbling voice, from
the tender "Land Locked Blues" to the fiercely political "When the
President Talks to God."
But while Oberst and his six-piece backing band were solid, the two
opening bands provided the greatest surprises.
The night kicked off with Tilly and the Wall, the spirit squad of
Oberst's Team Love label. The quintet marched onstage stomping and
clapping in rhythm, leading the audience in a cheerleader-like
call-and-response. When the group burst into song, its jubilant pop
melodies were literally toe-tapping: The band's percussion was
provided by a tap-dancing Jamie Williams, adorned with silver
wristbands that turned her bursts of energy into a sparkling blur.
The second act, CocoRosie, performed a more experimental folk that
contrasted with the other groups' straightforward pop. The duo --
sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady -- were joined by a vocal
percussionist sporting an Indian headdress.
The sisters' voices were complementary, in an unorthodox way: One was
sweet and operatic, while the other sang with a scratchy soprano that
mixed Macy Gray's grating sing-speak with Joanna Newsom's childlike
While there were bursts of energy during their set -- the male
vocalist stood and rapped in French during one song -- for the most
part the sisters were restrained. On "Buffalo Skins," their vocals
were as fragile as the whooshing percussion and faint keyboard
tinkling below them.
LP / CD / MP3
LP / CD / Deluxe CD / MP3