Reviews

I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

Author: Gabrielle Salerno
11/30/2005 | Merge | Live Show Preview
The triple threat indie show at Philly's Academy of Music on Nov. 19 was
comparable to bad sex; it ended too soon and was sorta underwhelming. But it
was still pretty good.

Britain-based Magic Numbers were on and off the stage in a flash. They
performed a short sampling of their indie-pop for a sparce crowd that slowly
grew denser through the second act -- Feist.

Leslie Feist, a Canadian singer-songwriter with a strong-but-feminine sound,
sang, strummed her guitar and stomped her high-heeled foot with a feistiness
befitting of her name. She also played to the crowd that heckled her to no
end, calling for each of the historic theater's tiers to elect one heckler
and giving each loudmouth his or her turn to scream out everything from
"Yeah girl. You're so good" to "Canadian beer sucks."

She muffed up the lyrics on one song, but kept playing and whispered "yeah"
into the mike when she got it right the second time. The audience was
forgiving. And after her last song, "Mushaboom," -- which she performed as a
duet with Connor Oberst -- they showed their love.

When Bright Eyes took the stage, though, they really went wild and continued
to throughout the set, despite it being largely underwhelming. Between
Oberst's angsty indie rock, the crowd called out everything from "I want to
f@ck you right now, Connor" to "Marry me, Connor" (from a guy).

The lack of respect for the musician made me feel awkward, but Oberst didn't
acknowledge it at all. In fact, he largely ignored the audience until the
end of his set, before he performed a long, acoustic number.

Finally, during the encore, Oberst came to life. He crushed a soda can on
his forehead, tossed it down and stomped on it. He sang emotively, tossed
his head rock-star style and jumped up on his amp. If he had pumped as much
energy and passion into all his songs that night, and played for a bit
longer, I might have reached the big "O" moment.