so, i went to lawrence last night. a town i hate to love and love to hate. (because of my alma mater, of course.) but anyway, i went. to see bright eyes. to watch connor oberst in all of his angsty glory. and boy, was i ever excited.
i've seen some good shows this year. like ben harper, mewithout you, wilco and the avett brothers. but i was jumping up and down when i learned i had tickets to this show. yes. i jumped up and down and clapped my hands. and while i was doing that, i announced to my co-workes that i was going to see bright eyes. and i stuck my tongue out a little bit.
back to the subject at hand, doors opened at 7. and after a quick dinner at local burger, i was off to the lied. the show was supposed to begin at 7:30. and the not-well-publicised event never mentioned an opener. but there was one. simon joyner. and i can't seem to wrap my head around what happened while he was on stage. from my seat in the first balcony, he appeared young. his lyrics were good, but his singing was sub-par. he couldn't stay on key. he seemed amateurish. so, when the band came out to play with him, i was confused. i figured maybe he won some local contest. you know an, "open for bright eyes" type of deal. turns out, connor has been obsessing over simon since he was 12. simon is 34. connor is 22ish. anyway, yeah.
by the time bright eyes took the stage it was late for a school night. but i was determined to be moved, shaken and stirred. and i was. but, i also wanted to slap the 13-year-olds behind me. it was like they were at a beatles concert in 1965. screaming, singing every. single. lyric. at the top of thier lungs. badly off key. and occasionally one would scream, "oh my god, i can't believe it. that is connor oberst. oh my god. i love him." i'm surprised they didn't pass out.
bright eyes played for about an hour and a half and did the typical encore. it was memorable, but could have been better if it wasn't for the bizarre opener and the screaming kids behind me.
but connor oberst is something to behold. a talent. a tortured artist. a lyricist like non other. he began recording albums at 15 and has released around 11. if you haven't, check him out.
i leave you with lyrics to my bright eyes song "center of the world."
At the center of the world
There is a statue of a girl.
She is standing near a well with a bucket bare and dry.
I went and looked her in the eyes
And she turned me into sand.
This clumsy form that I despise
It scattered easy in her hand.
And came to rest upon a beach,
With a million others there.
We sat and waited for the sea to stretch out
So that we could disappear into the endlessness of blue.
Into the horror of the truth.
You see, we are far less than we knew.
Yeah, we are far less than we knew.
But we knew what we could taste.
Girls found honey to drench our hands.
The men cut marble to mark our graves.
Said that we will need something to remind us of all the
Sweetness that has passed through us (fresh sangria and lemon tea).
The priests dressed children for a choir (white-robed small voices praise Him)
But found no joy in what was sung.
The funeral had begun.
In the middle of the day
When you drive home to your place
From that job that
Makes you sleep back
To the thoughts that keep you awake
Long after night has come to claim
Any light that still remains in the corner of the frame
That you put around her face.
Two pills just werent enough.
The alarm clock is going off but you are not waking up.
This isnt happening.