Review: Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridges, live at George's Majestic Lounge 5/23

Review: Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridges, live at George's Majestic Lounge 5/23

Last night, Conor Oberst took me back to 2006.

That was the year when I first received my brother’s U2-edition iPod, and all of his music on it — including the seminal Bright Eyes record, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. Being the young emotional teenager I was at the time, Oberst’s vivid songwriting and feeble singing really registered with me and my psyche, like many others.

About 90 percent of the show featured newer, much more country/Americana flavored music from Oberst, but the most special moments of the night for the audience were undoubtably his performances of “Lua” and “Poison Oak” from I’m Wide Awake. I can only imagine how many times he’s played these songs in the more than a decade that record has been out, but they were bonafide crowd pleasers. People screamed and sweetly sang along, likely reliving their own flashbacks to the mid 2000s.

Staff Photo Nick Brothers Phoebe Bridgers performs at George's Majestic Lounge, Tuesday May 23.

Staff Photo Nick Brothers

Phoebe Bridgers performs at George’s Majestic Lounge, Tuesday May 23.

As emo as his Bright Eyes music used to be, Oberst has taken on a new musical identity with his most recent records. His band, the Felice Brothers, brought in a fantastic southern/country/rock element to the show and the band was operating on all cylinders. Their performance of “A Little Uncanny” from his newest record, Salutations brought the house down.

Opener Phoebe Bridgers did a fine job opening the show. Sort of like a Los Angeles version of Julien Baker, Bridgers charmed the audience with her casual commentary on her songs, “This one’s about sexting”, “I give Conor beef for his songs, because he’s always getting laid in them. If he’s sad about a girl, he’s getting laid. If he’s mad at the political climate, he’s getting laid.”

Bridgers came out and sang a few verses of “Lua” with Oberst, and it made for a real special moment.

Since Oberst is a known liberal, he took a second during his set to speak his mind about the current presidential administration. The room cheered when he said, “I don’t give a shit, not one bit, if you don’t agree with me… because I know I’m right!” as the band rolled into the next song.

Oberst seemed to be visibly drunk during the performance, but I could tell everything he was doing was second nature to him. Really, there’s little I could criticize about his set, other than a solid chunk of his set seemed to blur together into a lot of indiscernible country rock songs.

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