It’s a bright day for Bright Eyes



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The tall glass doors of the Zellerbach Hall were a warm welcome from the chilly Berkeley air. The front entrance way was bustling with angst filled “emo-kids,” anticipating the performance of their beloved Conor Oberst, the lead man of the band Bright Eyes.

I weaseled my way through the crowd, grabbed a “Hieny,” and headed to my stage-side seat. M. Ward, the opening act, was probably half-way through his set of bluesy harmonica and finger-picking folk guitar. During his solo set, he gave the crowd a single serving taste of the bitter-sweet fruit that is Oberst, when they performed a duet, as well as a later duet with other Bright Eyes guitarist, Mike Mogis.

The second act, Jim James, joined M. Ward onstage for a few songs together, and then continued solo for a few more songs. During a pause between songs, he educated the crowd with a short informational lecture about the history of the man the hall was named for. He then invited the three musicians back onstage as the “Monsters of Folk”. He claimed this to be the first time they’d been together since 1975, though it seemed to be more of a running joke.

The rest of the night was filled with an intimate expression of Oberst’s wild stories. He even graced our ears with a brand new song from his upcoming album, apparently being released sometime next year. The other musicians continued to make guest appearances onstage until reaching a moving finale.