Conor Oberst Keeps It Short and Sweet

Bright Eyes Frontman Stops By SOhO on Four-Date Tour

Conor Oberst
Autumn De Wilde

As if temperate, picturesque coastal living wasn’t enough, we Californians have yet another reason to praise our beloved state this week. On Thursday, September 30, Bright Eyes mastermind, Monsters of Folk contributor, and Mystic Valley Band leader Conor Oberst makes a stop in Santa Barbara as part of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tour of the Golden State. As venue two on a three-date trek to San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, SOhO is sure to provide a delectably intimate setting for Oberst to do his thing. (Remember, this is the man who single-handedly brought the Bowl to its feet back in 2005.)

In addition, the night promises to be full of surprises, as Upstate New York folkies the Felice Brothers will be on board, both as an opener and, later, as Oberst’s backing band. For those not familiar with this rising quartet, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. A mix between the Avett Brothers (for more reasons than the sibling connection, we promise) and the Hold Steady’s bar-ready, sing-along-worthy harmonies, these Brothers know how to get a place up and moving. (Think foot stomping, hand clapping, and the potential for some good, old do-si-doing.)

As for Oberst, it’s a mystery as to what we’ll get. While we’d rule out all that Digital Ash in a Digital Urn stuff, the rest of the Bright Eyes/Monsters of Folk/Mystic Valley catalogue is pretty much up for grabs. Back in 2008, this very pairing made some big waves in the blogosphere, following a handful of shared Felice Brothers/Mystic Valley Band bills that boasted big onstage collaborations, plenty of surprise guests, and hoedown-style jams that sent even the biggest Oberst fans into fits. And, based solely on this tour’s final destination, we’re only betting he’s going to keep things good and, well, bluegrassy.

Conor Oberst and the Felice Brothers play SOhO (1221 State St.) this Thursday, September 30, at 8 p.m. Call 962-7776 or visit for info.


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