The People's Key
Author: Corey Erb
3/15/11 | Chicago Metromix | www.chicago.metromix.com | Live Show Preview
Indie-folk pioneers Bright Eyes performed a two-hour set Tuesday at the Riviera Theatre to a sold-out crowd. Offering songs from the band's extensive catalog, frontman Conor Oberst had help from up to six bandmates at once, switching between acoustic folk and throbbing rock. The audience followed from entranced to rowdy, singing along for most of the night -- loudly on favorites "Four Winds" and "The Calendar Hung Itself" as well as songs from the month-old "The People's Key."The oldest song the band played, "Falling Out of Love at This Volume," blended nicely with material from the new album, sharing rock chords and synthesizer accents over the more minimalistic folk of albums in between, though Oberst's natural progression was audible. Flugelhorn accompaniments from multi-instrumentalist Nate Walcott added to several acoustic songs, aiding the transition from dissonant to sweet.The odd moments of the night were the 45-minute lull following simple indie-rock openers The Mynabirds and Bright Eyes' choice of "last" song -- the acoustic guitar-and-trumpet "Ladder Song," which meant the audience's subsequent screams and claps for an encore ruined the mellow moment. They came back for four more, though, ending their 23-song set with their most poppy song to date, "One for You, One for Me," and exiting like rock stars, stepping over thrown bras to shake hands with the front row.