Music · Show Reviews

Northside Festival Show Reviews – Conor Oberst and Brian Wilson

Conor Oberst – McCarren Park, June 12th

I had never seen Conor Oberst during his solo touring, but have seen his other projects, the notable Bright Eyes, and less notable Desaparecidos numerous times.  When I got offered free tickets to his Northside show at McCarren Park, i thought why not, even though I had a birthday dinner to attend that night as well.  Timing couldn’t have worked out more perfectly, as his set ended just as we needed to leave Williamsburg and make our way to the East Village.
As one can imagine, the set included many Bright Eyes songs, a few from his various solo records, and a cover of a Felice Brothers song (which was sung by the lead singer who was also a backing member of Conor’s band), and a Kacey Musgraves song with Kacey (who headlined the show but we had to miss due to said dinner plans).  HIs live band show is always a great time and brightens up a lot of his recorded music, but I feel like Bright Eyes shows have a bit more energy and excitement.  Maybe he plays “harder” songs or the music is tighter, but it seemed lighter.  Desaparecidos is another story as their post-punkish style differs greatly from his other compositions.  Overall, definitely worth price of admission and would love to see Conor headline his solo act, which I assume would have a bit more extended setlist.

BV Review with Pics and Video:

Brian Wilson – McCarren Park, June 13th

Definitely a nice thing to cross off that you saw Brian Wilson play all of Pet Sounds(albeit 50 years after it was released) and other Beach Boys classics.  His voice wasn’t as good as it used to be, but the harmonies still sounded dope, primarily due to the help of Al Jardine’s son, who sang through most of the performance.
Wilson was sharp as hell though, inciting lots of banter with the crowd, including a “Row Your Boat” singalong, and admitting he forgot the lyrics to one of the sounds towards the end of Pet Sounds during its performance.  I liked how they started off with some Beach Boys hits, then played the album, then closed with some more hits.  Most of the top songs were played, although a few missing (namely “Help me Rhonda” even though they were selling shirts with that on them).
Opening act was Rostam, former member of Vampire Weekend.  We were waiting in line during his set (security was amped up due to the Orlando incident the night prior), so only got to hear from the outside.  Sounded decent and I am told he has a full string section and other surprises during his set, so would have been nice to actually witness this in action.

BV review with pics and video:



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