Conor Oberst brought his current tour — which has him backed by The Felice Brothers — to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park this past Thursday (7/20). He’s touring in support of this year’s Salutations, a full-band album (also with The Felice Brothers) featuring new versions of all ten songs on last year’s excellent Ruminations and seven others. They played a bunch of those songs at the Prospect Park show and a few Bright Eyes songs (“Four Winds,” “Southern State,” “Poison Oak,” “Train Under Water”). Faced with just a bit of rain, Conor’s outdoor show also included a fired-up anti-Trump rant and a new solo-piano song (“No One Is Going To Change”) in the encore, which was a real a highlight of his set.
The openers were two great newer bands signed to Saddle Creek, the label Conor and his various bands called home for much of his career (he is currently on Nonesuch as a solo artist). The first was Big Thief, who released Capacity earlier this year. They sound good as always but unfortunately the turnout for their very early 6:45 PM set wasn’t the greatest. Then it was Hop Along, who mentioned on stage that they took a break from recording the followup to 2015’s great Painted Shut to play this show, and also that they were honored to be opening for their idol Conor Oberst. By the time they were on, the crowd had filled in more and there were plenty of energetic audience members cheering for them. They played a new song for the first time ever, and it sounded amazing, really getting our hopes high for this next album. You can watch a video of them playing the new song below.
Before the show, all three artists on the bill told us about their favorite Saddle Creek albums of all time. Big Thief and Hop Along both picked Bright Eyes albums (Hop Along picked the split with Son Ambulance), and Conor picked the Cursive-related Mayday. Read more about what each artists had to say about their picks HERE.
Conor continues on tour, and has upcoming shows with Phoebe Bridgers, whose upcoming album for Dead Oceans he sings on.
Pictures of the Prospect Park show are in the gallery above. Check out that Hop Along video and Conor’s setlist below:
Conor Oberst Setlist
Barbary Coast (Later)
Eagle on a Pole
Too Late to Fixate
Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out
Empty Hotel by the Sea
A Little Uncanny
No One Is Going to Change
Train Under Water
photos by Amanda Hatfield