BY JEREMY HAAS
March 2nd was the night of an extraordinary show. People of all ages gathered to hear the versatile beauty that is Bright Eyes play a packed concert at the Jackie Gleason theatre in Miami Beach.
The performance opened with an interlude off of Bright Eyes’ new album that went straight into the fast paced yet oddly relaxing “Firewall.” The track was a good preview to the rest of the show. The song itself featured soft but still energetic guitar, giving the song a dance inducing, indie feeling.
The rest of the show switched between the different moods Bright Eyes’ very diverse repertoire of songs; slow songs, fast songs, sad songs, and songs that made you feel their beauty embrace you as you enjoyed them.
All the tracks were filled with the type of feeling Bright Eyes seems to strive for. The frontman, and “legend” so to speak, Conor Oberst, stood onstage, looking reserved and playing his music with the honesty that’s meant to be behind it. He had full control of what was going on, and although seeming to lack energy, still had the crowd eating out of the palms of his hands.
After the introduction and a slower song, the band broke into their country influenced track ‘Four Winds.” This is what really started to please the audience, as a violin played in harmony with the haunting vocals.
The rest of the show was filled with material from all of Bright Eyes’ albums. The setlist seemed to be a blur of exquisite songs filled with emotion, with each memorable moment seeming to eclipse the one before it. The band went through a relaxed part of the set before coming to what I saw as the best part of the show. That was when they played “The Calendar Hung Itself” off of the album Smoke and Mirrors. It really was the pinnacle of the show.
After that amazing performance came “Lua.” This was a solo song, played only by Conor with his acoustic guitar and haunting voice. It was inspirational, full of beauty and really made an impact. Conor grabbed all the attention in the room as he strolled through this superb and delicate song.
Lastly came the four-song encore. This swiftly changed the mood from relaxed to frenzied as the band blew through four perfect songs. The highlight of this though, was the song “Road To Joy.” This track really seemed to go straight to the heart of the audience.
The Bright Eyes concert was filled with everything that makes the band so amazing. It featured sounds of many genres while still maintaining the folky feeling and authenticity that Bright Eyes fans have come to expect.