Conor Oberst’s band Desaparecidos rocked Shea Stadium with The So So Glos (pics, review)
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
The last time I saw Conor Oberst in a live setting was at Radio City in 2011. Conor and his band (Bright Eyes) were in semi-formal attire, and the lavish venue was decked out with huge, elegant stage props. Fast forward to last night (6/25), and he's thrashing around Bushwick DIY venue Shea Stadium's tiny stage in a t-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap. It was the first of two NYC release shows for his punk band Desaparecidos' great new album, Payola, their first since their 2002 debut and Conor's best work in at least a decade.
It's almost hard to imagine this is a guy who just last year released an album on Nonesuch with pedal steels and clarinets, considering how natural he looked rocking the fuck out last night. I'm only guessing here, but seeing the passion Conor had playing those songs, it seemed like revisiting his punk past is something he's been dying to do. And I mean, of all the "nostalgia tours" Conor could do, it's not even possible that this could be a cash grab or anything. If he wanted to do that, he'd play I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning in full or something. He wouldn't make a new Desaparecidos album. This is Conor making some of the most energized music of his career, and having a blast playing it.
It was a blast to watch too. The whole album had only been on the internet for ten days (though seven of the songs were around much longer), but this crowd came ready to yell along to every song. We got most, if not all, of the new record, and they sprinkled in a few off the debut too. There wasn't a dull moment.
Opening were Brooklyn staples and Conor's new friends, The So So Glos, who also appear on the new Desaparecidos album. Conor thanked them multiple times during his set, and also came out to sing on a song during theirs. I hadn't seen those guys in a while, but they're still killing it. Don't miss them when they open for Desaparecidos again on their tour which includes the larger NYC venue Webster Hall on August 6 (tickets).
Desaparecidos do it again tonight (6/26) at another intimate Brooklyn venue, Rough Trade. It's with The Bandroidz, who are also on that Webster bill. Sold out.
More pictures from Shea Stadium below...
The So So Glos