The venue was a place called So What!, I've seen quite a few shows there before and it's probably my favourite venue. As a matter of fact, I've been told it's one of Europe's finest-sounding venues. The stage is in the basement of the club, and the basement fits 200-300 people. Great stuff. On to the show.
We arrived early, about an hour before Azure Ray took the stage, which bought us the time to buy a few beers. I think I would've hated Azure Ray if it wasn't for said beers. They consisted of a couple of girls playing guitar, bass, keyboards and taking turns singing. It was quite boring - zero crowd interaction, zero crowd reaction, and the girls looked scared and nervous. A few of them were quite cute, though. The music was... lo-fi pop music with a drum machine. Like I said, quite boring.
The Good Life used VERY short time to take stage. They are a... (categorizing music is not one of my strongest abilities) synth/keyboard-based pop/rock band. Well, that's my take anyway. Their music was actually quite entertaining, WAY better live than on record, since I really can't stand most electronic music. Quite entertaining, but the Good Life didn't have any crowd interaction either, and the crowd didn't bother listening, except for two drunk, old guys hanging out on the front row half screaming half singing out of key with the few Good Life songs they knew. Entertaining, but nothing memorable, but I did enjoy two or three of their songs.
I got another beer, and started hoping Conor Oberst and his Bright Eyes would take the stage soon. And they did. I assume you've all heard (or at least heard of) Bright Eyes by now - Conor Oberst, the 22-year old prodigy and his close-and-personal singer/songwriter style. The latest album, "Lifted or the story is in the soil; keep your ear to the ground", has yet to get a bad review (and I've read quite a lot of them).
Intermission. For those of you who are expecting a lengthy review of Bright Eyes' set, I must disappoint you. I've only heard "Lifted" and loved it, that's why I went to this show. Other than the few songs they played off this album, I have no clue what I was hearing, all I knew was that I loved it. So there.
They opened with a song I'd never heard before, which was quite good actually. I'd recite some of the lyrics if I remembered them, but I don't. Next up was "False Advertising", which is a damn fine song, and it sounded great, even more so than on the album. They proceeded to play a mix of old and new songs, and among them were "Nothing Gets Crossed Out", "You Will You Will You Will You Will You?", and the album closer "Let's Not Shit Ourselves (To Love And Be Loved)" the final song (Conor introduced it by saying "This song's called 'Don't shit yourself kid, it's not worth it', and it's the most important song you'll ever hear, so listen up", which about sums up the way he seems to feel about his own music.)
Perfect sound, perfect musicianship, (I counted 10 people on stage at the most) - and Conor's almost-pretentious yet damn charismatic stage presense made this show an unforgettable experience. The only downsides to the night was 1) the price of beer (44 NKR which equals about $5) 2) Azure Ray and 3) Bright Eyes not doing an encore even though 200 people were cheering "Oberst, Oberst, Oberst..."
Go see this kid and his band... you won't regret it.