Conor Oberst played the golden threaded concert stage of Carnegie Hall on November 23, and the packed house was eager to receive this modern-day Bob Dylan. With scintillating lyrics on the distress and depreciations we can carry in viewing ourselves, I did not expect the night to be such a spectrum of soothing and uproarious. Although, I had recently reviewed Conor Oberst’s latest album, Ruminations, seeing the singer in concert expanded his self-reflectiveness, along with his personality. There are not many live shows that you walk out feeling like you got to know the artist as a person, yet Oberst’s concert allowed viewers to know him as a human being and genius.
First, I must applaud Oberst for playing near 2 hours and 30 minutes of both his entire, new record and classic hits. Seeing him give songs the same amount of weight and love you would hear on the record was very moving. Moreover, it allowed for the lyrical wisdom and potency that defines Oberst’s career to really strike the audience. “You All Loved Him Once” has to be one of the most powerful songs I have ever heard played in my life. Seeing Oberst play it live was tear-inducing as its message was doubled by both the acoustics and his emotional dedication. To the singer/songwriter, the track is in homage to the suffered life of Jesus, and all the heroes of history, like Martin Luther King Jr, whom were beloved and betrayed by the world they were trying to save. For Oberst, now more the ever we need such self-sacrificing heroes. Seeing his honesty and eloquence, in terms of his creativity and virtuous thoughts, was incredibly impressive. While we all may go to a concert to be entertained, it is a real luxury to walk out impressed by an artist whom you already loved. Thus, Oberst moved me as a person watching a fellow human being manifest their talent and mind to feel more connection to the world. This is a universal, noble cause, human connection, but Oberst does it through wonderful musicianship.
You All Loved Him Once
As he riffed on the harmonica, pulsed on the piano and guitars, and sang songs from the writhes of his soul, I witnessed the hypnotic genius of Conor Oberst. Absolutely every person their adored Oberst with an admiration, which you would think to expect. Yet, this admiration came form the unique blend of his talent with his intellect. Oberst is a detailed poet with his words, and not one lyric is sung without being felt in his soul. When you hear him live his songs are enlightened by the crackling fire of his voice. It as if his throat is actually a furnace, and through it you can either be warmed or burned by the emotional smoke he emanates. Such vulnerability is what makes you open to the tears his songs can ignite, but also the laughs of his jokes. Oberst is NOT a Trump supporter, AT ALL!, and the New York crowd loved it. He joked about his drunken experience election night, and his adamant conclusion that he lives in an insane world. Let me just say that, for those that complained about Hamilton’s thoughtful speech to Mike Pence, you would have hated Oberst’s witty, but seething jokes towards Trump. His humor was a major, surprising bright-spot of the concert. I, like most of the crowd, did not know he was so funny as a person, which only added to his intelligence and endearment towards the crowd.
The Rain Follows The Plow
From his amazing cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Passing Through” with opening act, Simon Joyner, or his passionate, heartfelt rendition of “Night At Lake Unknown”, which he wrote when he was 21, there were several highlights to Conor Oberst’s fantastic concert. Oberst has come so long and far in his life, and each of his songs are proof that his life, so far, is a great one. Moreover, it is one worth the listen and the concert. So Click Here To Learn More About Conor Oberst, To Buy Ruminations, Or To Buy A Concert Ticket To His Future Show.