By Jordan Stovka

Assisted by a warm acoustic guitar, shrill harmonica and conversational vocal style, Conor Oberst brought a vibe to 9:30 Club that an early Bob Dylan would have been envious of.

Embarking on a solo career from his indie folk/rock/electronica project Bright Eyes, the Omaha singer/songwriter brought with him nothing less than an air of authenticity. Dressed humbly with a graciously rugged aesthetic, an emphasis was clearly placed on his empathetic lyrics and empowering instrumentalism to satisfy his audience.

Philadelphia indie-rock group Hop Along set a strong tone for the evening. lead singer Frances Quinlan’s beautifully raspy vocals belted tracks from the group’s two studio albums Get Disowned and Painted Shut, most notably “The Knock” and “Tibetan Pop Stars.”

Frances Quinlan of Philadelphia indie-rock group Hop Along opens for Conor Oberst at D.C.’s 9:30 Club Wednesday night (Jordan Stovka/Bloc Reporter).

Oberst and his band then received a warm welcome from the near sold-out crowd, taking the stage with the gentle “Barbary Coast (Later),” building colorful imagery with every fragile word.

It wasn’t long before declarations of “Fuck Trump” were thrown from the audience, a moment Oberst chose to handle by transitioning into “Time Forgot.”

Woven in between his solo tracks were stray Bright Eyes momentoes, such as “Four Winds,” “Something Vague” and “Poison Oak,” which arose a chorus of audible appreciation from his fans.

Comforting, laid back tones of inclusivity and intimacy were felt in the venue, due both to the solacing accompaniment of fiddle, piano and drums to Oberst’s dreamy melodies, as well as the anecdotes he shared.

The tranquil mood Oberst set was just as reminiscent of summer nights as a flickering campfire under a star-filled sky: both ease any and every stress and worry from surfacing, making late night chills and anxieties go ignored.

Featured Photo Credit: Singer/songwriter Conor Oberst (previously of Bright Eyes) pleased a near sold-out crowd with indie-folk to 9:30 Club Wednesday night (Jordan Stovka/Bloc Reporter).

Jordan Stovka is a junior journalism and graphic design double major and can be reached at


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