Reviews

The People's Key

Author: Jess Gronewold
6/6/11 | Buzzinemusic.com | www.buzzinemusic.com | Live Show Preview
(Sunday, June 5, 2011 in Denver, Colorado) "I've been fucked. So what?" from "Hot Knives" sums up nicely the new feel of Bright Eyes and their live performance. Much of the music past from Bright Eyes has been spent wonderfully dwelling in depression and self-loathing. With their new album, The People's Key, they have found a sense of hope and an idea of peace. And with this newfound optimism, Conor Oberst came to the stage more a confident and charismatic frontman. The set started off with "Firewall," a moody song that kept you wondering what the setlist would contain. The dimly lit stage with hues of red added to the ambience of this opening number. The band then began ramping up with "Haile Selassie" and "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)," making the Denver crowd a bit uncertain of what to do and if they should dance. Yet the band continued to rock with "Jejune Stars," an uplifting song about remaining young at heart and remembering "...every day is a gift of redemption." Pulling from Lifted, the band moved on a little later to "Bowl of Oranges," one of the more positive tracks in a fairly dark album. Here they added an extra touch of fun with the keyboard player doubling as a trumpet player, which was a nice touch from the six (and occasionally seven)-piece ensemble. They slowed it down a bit after that with "Something Vague" from Fevers and Mirrors. They also added the accordion, played by Laura Burhenn of the Mynabirds, to this beautiful yet very sad song. But they quickly headed back to the land of the more optimistic with "Hot Knives." The set continued to bounce back and forth between albums and moods, creating a sort of schizophrenic path through the growth and history of Bright Eyes. Near the end of the set, they unleashed "The Calendar Hung Itself" from Fevers and Mirrors. It was a burst of angry energy with a beat so strong, it consumed you and forced you to dance, despite the fact that it is about getting your heart broken. The encore showcased even more emotional ups and downs, beginning with the slow, heartbreaking "Landlocked Blues." This song was definitely a treat for loyal fans of the band, with subtle lyrical changes and a heavy focus on Oberst's vocals. It was sort of like finding the Easter eggs in your favorite movie or TV show. You wanted to cry a little as you remembered your own worst breakup. Next up in the encore was "Lover I Don't Have to Love," which was prefaced with "It's okay to go to the dark place sometimes, but you don't want to move in there." This song is basically a tale about being in a touring band and having one-night stands. Not only is it catchy, but it takes you into this slightly seedy encounter along with the band. And finally, they ended the set with "Road to Joy" and "One for You, One for Me." This show was a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows, and musically, a really fantastic rock show. If you have the chance to see them, do yourself the favor. With a cast of rotating greats (producer Mike Mogis, Laura Murhenn) and a huge catalog to select from, every show is unique and amazing. Whether you enjoy the heavier, wearier songs or the slightly more positive rock and roll, there is something for you. Bright Eyes have been maturing and impressing audiences for years. You get to see just how it happened, all in one great 24-song set. Standout Tracks: "Bowl of Oranges," "Jejune Stars," "Landlocked Blues," "Hot Knives," "The Calendar Hung Itself" For Fans Of: Conor Oberst, Modest Mouse, Mountain Goats, Cursive
The People's Key

The People's Key

LP / Deluxe LP / CD / Deluxe CD / MP3




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The People's Key

The People's Key

LP / Deluxe LP / CD / Deluxe CD / MP3