Jim James solo live at the Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, October 14, 2004

"An evening of solo & collaborative performances featuring
 Bright Eyes, Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) & M. Ward"

Review and setlist as posted on the My Morning Jacket mailinglist:

Subject:        [mymorningjacket] MONSTERS OF FOLK - LA Setlist 10/14/04
Date:           15-10-2004 17:59
From:           Erik Koral
To:             mymorningjacket@yahoogroups.com

AMAZING SHOW.  So incredible to see such talent like that collaborate on stage.

Jim joined M Ward for a few songs..

One in the Same(w/ M Ward)
Hopefully
The Bear
It Beats 4 You(w/ Bo Koester on Keys)
Oxen(w/ Carl Bromel on Steel Guitar)
Always on My Mind(with Bright Eyes and M Ward)
Golden(with Bright Eyes and M Ward)

Jim joined Bright Eyes for a few songs

Encore
????(Monsters of Folk)
Girl From North Country(with Bright Eyes and M Ward)


And in reply to the review and setlist of the show one day before: Subject: Re: [mymorningjacket] MONSTERS OF FOLK - SD Setlist 10/13/04 Date: 15-10-2004 19:32 From: Erik Koral To: mymorningjacket@yahoogroups.com Yeah, Bermuda Highway in LA too. forgot about that.

Los Angeles CityBeat / ValleyBeat

HIS BRIGHT EYES ARE BLUE

by Steve Appleford

Visionary and versatile, Conor Oberst brings dark relief to the Orpheum

Conor Oberst is hurt. You can hear it in his voice, the fragile sneer betraying anger and injury, and in the songs of rejection and frustration and anger and joy. He calls himself Bright Eyes onstage, a young troubadour from Omaha, Nebraska, who has a wild, expansive range of sounds and potential, of pop melodies performed with a raw, offhand intensity. The vision is dark, the wounds self-inflicted, the result somehow comforting.

At the Orpheum Theater last Thursday, October 14, Oberst and a band jokingly named the Monsters of Folk preferred the lights low. Young Mr. Bright Eyes is not shy, but maybe he craved a setting suited to his subtle variations of mood and texture, with musical flourishes both dark and hopeful, beautiful and broken, unloading songs from his bedroom recordings and studio epics. He is still best with an army of players behind him, a large band ready to lift his music to its greatest power, but Oberst does not need them. And he is equally adept with few words or far too many, jumbled together in a stream-of-consciousness ramble that never drags.

Itís exactly the sort of vision and versatility Ryan Adams is supposed to have, as the ultimate misunderstood rock auteur, but he rarely seems anything more than a master of well-crafted, derivative rockínífolk. Oberstís material is his own. The music is too personal, only vaguely familiar, with lyrics that capture a scene or a moment in words as crisp as photorealism, or shift into a sudden surreal twist: a favorite neon sign, a yellow bird, a handful of pesticide, parables of love and violence, the obligatory plea to vote our current president out of office.

His 90-minute set began with the unreleased song "Train Underwater," mixing the real and the unreal, offering endless metaphors of raindrops and vivid emotion: "If I could tame all of my desires, wait out the weather that howls in my brain/because it seems that itís always changing, the windís indecision, a sorrowful breeze." It was a delicate tune, a weary confession that soon kicked into a dreamy rave-up, Oberst slashing at the guitar strings as the band played behind him with a vaguely carnival flavor.

Oberst was just as powerful when entirely alone, or with the light accompaniment of mandolin on "We Are Nowhere and It Is Now" ("If you hate the taste of wine, why do you drink it till youíre blind?"), or cruel and unusual to a girlfriend as he sang "Youíre like a basketball/boys pass you around."

The sold-out crowd at the Orpheum responded with hushed attention and knowing or lustful comments ("I want to have your baby!"). Others threw notes or gifts of T-shirts at the stage. He mostly ignored the interruptions, or replied with a cryptic comment between numbers: "This is a love song. I donít know if you guys are into that shit."

Aside from Bright Eyes himself, the Monsters of Folk included M. Ward and Jim James of My Morning Jacket, who opened the night with a rich, worthwhile set of their own. They were like a pair of scruffy Dylan disciples, standing at opposite ends of the stage and strumming jangly, awkward chords, with the occasional flourish of Spanish guitar or a wheeze on harmonica from Ward.

The echoes of Neil Young could be heard in Jamesís sweet, fragile voice as he sang of grim realities and better days. And it was later, during the Bright Eyes set, that the Monsters slipped into the sturdy love ballad "Always on My Mind" (a standard for both Elvis and Willie). Oberst stepped back to pick up a bass and play from a high-backed chair, while James sang the confessional tune as sad and happy as the night itself Ė another rugged, accidental masterpiece.


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My Morning Jacket Live 2004