music: june 9-12
innovation: june 9-10
content: june 6-8

10 Conor Oberst Songs We Hope to Hear at Northside 2016

Standard music industry lore has it that throughout the late 90s and early aughts, Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes won the affection of sad, lost, broken-hearted kids the world over. There were the hyper-earnest songs about lost love, depression, and generally trying to find one’s place. There was the voice, fragile and quavering one minute, desperately, angrily screaming the next.  And there was the hair–oh man, the hair–hiding him from a world he wanted to but couldn’t quite embrace. The magazine articles seemed to write themselves, and thus his fate was sealed as an artist who would forever be inaccurately linked to the world of emo.

As we’ve (often very loudly) maintained over all these years, to allow this decidedly surface reading of his career to stand as the default is to do a grave injustice to one of the most gifted, insightful, and engaging songwriters of the past 20 years. Oberst has proven himself versatile and curious as he’s experimented with all sorts of styles and allowed his lyrics to grow along with his worldview. We are thrilled to have him performing at Northside this year, and have spent the better part of the past month making lists of all the songs we hope he’ll play. Here’s the most recent version.


10. NYC Gone Gone, Conor Oberst 2008


9. If Winter Ends, Bright Eyes 1998


8. Waste of Paint, Bright Eyes 2002


7. Map of the World, Monsters of Folk 2009


6. The Calendar Hung Itself, Bright Eyes 2000


5. Hot Knives, Bright Eyes 2007


4. Double Life, Conor Oberst 2014


3. Lua, Bright Eyes 2005


2. Souled Out!!!, Conor Oberst 2008


1. From a Balance Beam, Bright Eyes 2002

Conor Oberst will perform a project-spanning set at Northside on June 11 as part of a co-bill with kindred spirit Kacey Musgraves. The show, taking place at McCarren Park, is a benefit for the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA), a nonprofit dedicated to building a stronger North Brooklyn by improving 45 parks and playgrounds and getting neighbors involved in their parks. Grab tickets (guarantees entry) or a Music badge (grants entry to all Northside shows, subject to venue capacities) now. 

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