[Bright Eyes + Jenny and Johnny]


Lug 14 2011, 12:03

Wed 13 Jul – Bright Eyes, Jenny and Johnny
Location: Leeds 02 Academy, UK

The event kicked off at around 7:30pm thanks to some seriously organised set up by the bands' road team with the country-and-western-influenced musical stylings of Jenny (Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley fame) and Johnny (Johnathan Rice) who were first introduced by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes.

Their repertoire included songs such as Animal and Switchblade. They concluded a solid and well-received set with their most popular track (according to Last.fm listings), Big Wave.

After a very brief interlude (I timed it to only be a mere twenty five minutes), Bright Eyes hit the stage with Another Travelin' Song, a song which successfully set the tone for the night. Their setlist was a clever mix of the old, the very old and the much newer; tracks from the early days of their career such as Bowl of Oranges and Lover I Don't Have to Love, favourites from Fevers and Mirrors such as Something Vague and The Calendar Hung Itself..., and of course a selection of tracks from their new album, The People's Key, including an amazing rendition of Shell Games, a haunting performance of Approximate Sunlight and a beautiful version of Beginner's Mind. There were some rather unexpected appearances of songs from Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, namely Arc of Time (Time Code) and Gold Mine Gutted. Their final song before the encore (when unfortunately, I had to leave) was Road to Joy, which lasted for somewhere in the region of around ten minutes due to some serious but nonetheless impressive ad-libbing by the band.

In conclusion, the show appeared to be well constructed and catered to both new and old fans, although the bias seemed to be in favour of the older fans or ones who had bothered to search deep into the caverns of Bright Eyes' 16 years worth of songs. There was energy abound from their singer and a certain element of endearing awkwardness from the rest of the band (especially when Conor enthused them to speak about what they'd done during the day). All in all, it was an excellent show with Bright Eyes doing what they do best - what no-one expects them to.

Rating: *****


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