Conor Oberst is joined by First Aid Kit for an achingly lovely, sunlit version of a Bright Eyes classic.
High on my list of things I’d like to do once normal life resumes properly… oh, please tell me normal life is going to resume properly… is go see Conor Oberst play live. I’ve missed seeing him a couple of times and it still rankles with me. It’s my own fault. I’m useless at sorting out tickets for gigs and rely too much on kindly and organised friends to spot what’s coming up and include me in their plans. Once normal life resumes properly, I’m going to be better at this.
I was a slow learner with Oberst and only properly connected with his music through his albums with the Mystic Valley Band. From there I worked through his back-catalogue with his various bands, especially the magnificent Bright Eyes. I found it full of beautiful and clever lyrics, thoughtful and well-worked arrangements, and powerful, impassioned performances. It was around this time, as I was really getting into his music, that I first saw this clip.
Oberst was in Germany to play a gig at the Haldern Pop Festival. As well as his usual bandmates, he’d invited Johanna and Klara Söderberg from First Aid Kit to join him on stage. Their whole concert performance is available to watch on youtube, but this particular clip was shot as part of The Cardinal Sessions. Oberst and First Aid Kit are joined by Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes on guitar (best avoid looking at him if comedy guitar grimacing upsets you), as they perform ‘Lua’, a beautiful song from the Bright Eyes album ‘I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning’.
By the water’s edge, with the late-summer light diffused through the trees, it’s a lovely reminder of summers just gone.