Live Review and Gallery: Bright Eyes / Penelope Isles – Vicar Street, Dublin 01.09.2022

American indie band Bright Eyes made their long awaited return to Ireland’s capital this week after 20 years. They played Dublin’s Vicar Street venue ahead of their performance at the country’s largest festival electric picnic on Friday the 2nd.

Support came from Brighton based band Penelope Isle who were absolutely fantastic. Their mix of great bass riffs, solid drumming and airy reverb soaked guitars gave a fantastic vibe and had the crowd moving from early in the set. Brother and sister Jack and Lily Wolters’ vocal styles complimented each other  and made for interesting listening. Their music went from delicate spacey guitars to ferocious riffs in a heartbeat, a style not heard too often but is wonderful on the ears. Their set in an explosion of punk rock goodness and left the crowd ready to go for Bright Eyes.  They are definitely a band worth a listen  and we’re a lovely start to an evening of emo indie music.

Bright Eyes took the stage backed by a small orchestra with every instrument from guitars to mandolins to pianos to trumpets, drums and everything in between present on the stage. In an ever changing set the band opened with a constant in the set Dance and Sing to which Conor Oberst danced around the stage like no one was watching.

Attempt to too the scales was next to which Conor played acoustic guitar. The musicianship of the band was evident from early on playing their diverse style wonderfully well. Jejune stars showcased Conor’s great vocals and guitar playing while the band filled the so I space with trumpets and a plethora of other instruments.

Mariana Trench was one of my favorites on the night with it’s excellent slide guitar and twangy telecaster. Old soul song was  also fantastic showcasing t Posion he bands talent once again. Conor was particularly chatty on this night exchanging with the crowd regularly. After one of these exchanges the band We are Nowhere and It’s now which the crowd sang back beautifully.

Next up was Easy/Lucky/Free which the slide guitar was the star of cutting through the mix wonderfully transporting the crowd to a different place! Falling out of Love lifted the energy providing great guitar riffs and a fantastic rock sound. The bands energy on stage was matched by the crowd at this point, rocking along the whole way!

The rest of the set continued in the same fashion the the band keeping the energy extremely high throughout the show and playing songs such as Poison Oak, Shell Game and Ladder song. After a short break the band played a glorious 3 song encore of First Day of My Life, I believe in Symmetry and One for You, One for Me.

Bright Eyes return to Dublin after 20 years was a glorious evening of fantastic music and story telling which the crowd absolutely loved. Hopefully Bright Eyes will continue to tour for many years so we can do it again!

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