Review – Bright Eyes grabbed their indie crown at Mission Ballroom

Bright Eyes brought the “highs and lows” to Mission Ballroom. The Mile High City hosted indie band Bright Eyes last Thursday night, June 30, for their first tour since the pandemic. This spring and this summer the tour supports their latest full album In the weeds, where the world once was. An arrangement of unique styles take the stage with a fiery presence. Without guitarist Mike Mogiswho had come out with COVID, the group emerged from obscurity in the eyes of their waiting fans. Their lively and funky vibes provided a thrilling release for all Thursday night angst.

The doors opened as the sun set in the cloudy sky, allowing seasoned audiences to settle in with their beers and peers. Platform combat boots and mom jeans filled the room. General admission included general seating, likely to allow guests to comfortably enjoy the show. Many have moved their party after too many Maker’s Mark hits. Fans brought everyone they could think of to the show.

Hooray for the Scum lit up the stage in pink with their a kaleidoscopic and breathtaking sound as the opening of the night. Directed by Alynda Segarra, the band floated on some tour dates. Their set of hours was filled with guests like three quarters of Canine Heart Sounds and instrumentalist miwi La Lupa from the support group Bright Eyes. Segarra’s “punk nature” voice went through the crowd like a sound wave. Each haunting note left the audience in a dreamy haze.

Bright Eyes sported a Snellen eye Cdeer in the background — the most commonly used eye chart for eye exams. The play on their nickname was inspired by a scene from Pmonkey lane. The audience lost their minds when Bright Eyes’ backing band took the stage. This crowd was ready and would not disappointed. The shirts were lost in the first three songs. And Who could pull off mic drops on the intro? Conor Oberst. He had the right after nailing a dance break and capturing the energy of the audience in seconds. “I need my oxygen,” he said with sweat sticking in his hair.

Bright Eyes quickly moved from one emotion to another. During a song, your heart would race with the sticks hitting each drum; the next day you could feel a tear rolling down your cheek. Bright Eyes took the audience through grief, trauma and survival. Oberst took a moment to remind everyone to consider the health of the next person because, as the old saying goes, you don’t know what they’re going through. “Everyone had plans in 2020,” he said. The group not only touched on political memories, but also unveiled the past two and a half years.

The mastery behind the backing band was breathtaking. The variety of instruments included clarinet, baritone saxophone, violins and more. The various style changes progressed throughout the show easily as a breeze. The band were all smiles as they played experimental indie rock featuring head-turning soloists with an obvious passion for their craft. The set list spanned the breadth of their catalog, but Bright Eyes’ emotional take on indie-folk prepared the crowd for everything that was to follow, including an emotional encore.

Photography by Adrienne Thomas

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