Oakley Hall was onstage and I think I counted 6 people on stage. I would call them alt-country but a little less on the "alt" side and more on the "country" side. Maybe "roots" is a better descriptor? They still won't be on the stage with any of those contemporary country cheeseballs. The songs we saw had mixed vocals from one female and two guys, all mixing it up with each song. At times, the girl's voice reminded me of a young Dolly Parton but then would change to something more gritty like Lucinda Williams. I liked the instrumentation, particularly the fiddle and the one-time (?) use of the banjo. They were a good indicator that this night would probably lean to the twangy side of Bright Eyes' repertoire.
When they finished, there was a half hour for people to push and shove and try and pretend like their best friend/girlfriend/mom was in the front row. Thanks to a seecurity guard pushing through to get outside and then pushing back up, I managed to get a little closer to the stage. When Bright Eyes finally came on their flower adorned stage, everyone in the band was donning white. White suits, white shirts, the guitarist had a white hoodie with some sort of pattern on it...All this, of course, for a black light. So despite being relatively close to the stage, the lighting was awful from the standpoint of a 6 megapixel camera carrying blogger.
I hung in the back for most of the set and watched Jack? John? I don't remember. Anyway, this dude hangs in the sound area with an overhead projector and plays with various props under the light to project on to the back wall of the venue. He was shaking and moving plastic straws, color chips, a oiuja board and compass, water in a concave dish with food coloring drops, markers, and on and on. It was cool to watch but was also one of those things that make you think, "I want that job!" Anyway, before the encore, I asked if I could have his setlist at the end of the show, so here it is. I like the notes because it tells him which props to use for each song. The show was only 14 songs; on this list they skipped #14 (marbles) and instead, song 15 ?? ended up being about an 8 minute version of Road To Joy (I'm Wide Awake It's Morning). It was an amazing finish to an amazing show.
Bright Eyes setlist:
Bright Eyes backdrop projection props: