Conor Oberst is a man of many coats. A founding member of Saddle Creek Records, co-founder of Team Love records, business owner, and of course all the bands that he is in or has been a part of. I have been lucky to have seen him in many of his incarnations, Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, and with his Mystic Valley Band. So when I heard that he was coming back to St. Louis I had to go. I really was not sure what to expect seeing as he just released two albums in the past six months. Ruminations last October and Salutations back on March 17th. Salutations has all the songs off of Ruminations and a few more but they were recorded with a full band as opposed to the stripped down solo versions found on Ruminations.
I was unsure if he going to stick to mostly new songs or cover some of his other projects. Conor came on stage with The Felice Brothers as his backing band, they also opened the show. He kicked things off with Afterthought off of Ruminations / Salutations and it took no time for him to go into more familiar territory with the Bright Eyes song Four Winds. Over half the set consisted of songs off the two new albums with a sprinkle of Bright Eyes, Mystic Valley Band, and even Map of the World from his supergroup Monsters of Folk sprinkled in for good measure. A little over halfway into the set Conor thanked the crowd and talked a bit about the last time he was in town with his band Desaparecidos. He said that they ended up bowling down the street at Pin-Up Bowl. At some point he decided that it was a good idea to go running down the alley and turn himself into a human bowling ball like in the cartoons. He slid down the alley and crashed through the pins and said that it was like in the cartoons and the pin machine had big mechanical teeth that were about to eat him but he was pulled out by band mates. The crowd laughed and applauded and he said his mom probably would not like that and said that we were all enablers. He ended the set with Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out. A two song encore consisting of Train Under Water and the rocking Napalm closed out a perfect night.