Live Review

Conor Oberst Band at Prairie Pride Brewing Co., Grand Island, Nebraska

Conor Oberst on August 18, 2016

Conor Oberst

“Anybody here like Loretta Lynn?” Asks Oberst. “You’re goddamn right you like Loretta Lynn!” At this Conor Oberst’s wife Corina Figueroa Escamilla jumps in to sing “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad” recorded by Tammy Wynette and later by Loretta Lynn. She also sang “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’” by Wynette. And Conor covered Randy Newman’s “Jolly Coppers on Parade.”

Other than those few covers, this free concert - sponsored by Hear Nebraska and Prairie Pride Brewing Co. - was all pure Conor Oberst. Backed by a 8 piece band, including his wife, Conor performed songs from several of his incarnations, from Bright Eyes to The Mystic Valley Band. The crowd, many raised on his music, ate it up. Finally, Conor was venturing out from the edges of Nebraska into his own state before leaving to play Lyons, Co., Carnegie Hall, and Ryman Auditorium for paying folks.  “I’m ashamed to say I’ve never ventured into Grand Island proper before. Let’s make a habit of doing this more often.” And I hope he tries Kearney, my home, down the road.

The venue wasn’t really a venue at all. It was a parking lot in downtown, Grand Island, Nebraska outside of the Prairie Pride Brewing Co. Didn’t matter, though. It was a beautiful night and folks either brought their own seats or stood. And by the end, everyone was on their feet for the four song encore.

Welcome back home from your wayward years in NYC, Conor. Nebraska is where you belong.