Former brains behind Bright Eyes, occasional Desaparecido, and sometimes Monster of Folk Conor Oberst released, perhaps, his best album in years, Upside Down Mountain, last month, and, in support, is out on a U.S. tour with Dawes, which stops at our very own Ryman Auditorium TONIGHT. Not only will Dawes open for Oberst on this outing, but they will also act as his backing band- much like The Faint did way, way back on his Digital Ash in a Digital Urn tour a decade ago. Sounds awesome, right? Right. Even more awesome? Tickets are still available, and start at less than $30! We had a chance to peep Mr. Oberst’s setlist, and, while you can certainly expect some favorites from every stage of his career, it’s heavy on the new stuff, so give Upside Down Mountain a spin, and find out more about both bands below.
Though Conor Oberst has hardly slowed down over the years, he’s been performing with something of a permeant backing group, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, since the late ’00s, effectively retiring the “Bright Eyes” moniker that made him famous. His last true solo full-length arrived in ’08, the same year as his last Ryman performance, and, with Dawes in tow (the Mystic Valley Band appear to be sitting this one out), his latest tour promises to be even more epic! Prolific would be an understatement when describing Conor, whose influences range from folk to indie to punk to post-hardcore. Upside Down Mountain proves a balanced effort, pulling from bits and pieces of his time as a solo artist, with Bright Eyes, and with Mystic Valley, to land as his most focused, heartfelt, and polished effort in quite awhile.
Dawes might be opening (then backing Conor) this time around, but, just last summer, they played The Ryman as headliners. Let us stress this again: tickets for two bands, who are effectively both headliner status, are ONLY $29.50. Merely five years into their existence, Dawes have already managed to release three full-lengths, all of which are stellar. Channeling a rootsy, folk-rock sound, the band got their early beginnings participating in informal jam sessions in Los Angeles, many of which also included Conor Oberst. A favorite of the Nashville community, it should go without saying, but you’d be a fool not to show up early to catch them.
Conor Oberst and Dawes will perform TONIGHT, June 6, at The Ryman Auditorium. The show is all ages, begins at at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $29.50-39.50.