Conor Oberst / First Aid Kit
*By Shawn Grindle
The doors opened to Fairfield Theatre Company’s Stage One as the massive black front from a horrific line of thunder storms hit the Connecticut coastline. Patrons were literally blown inside of the doorway only to be later blown away by First Aid Kit and Conor Oberst.
The night for us was literally and figuratively a perfect storm. The room is really just a black box theatre holding maybe 150 people soaking wet, which many were. After some delay due to the weather dressed in shimmering gypsy dresses First Aid Kit walked onto the small stage nonchalantly. Joking this was their first time playing in Fairfield they launched into "New Years Eve" off their new record (which is fantastic) and then onto other recent songs like "The Lions Roar," "Blue," "Emmylou," "King of the World" and older staples "Waltz for Richard" and "You’re Not Coming Home Tonight." They even threw in a Rolling Stones Cover of "Play With Fire," that they did for the BBC on this the Stones 50th Anniversary Year. For those there only to see Conor it I am sure it was a treat to see these two “magical creatures” as Conor would go on to call them. After their set there was a definite lust for more from the girls from Stockholm and we would not be disappointed.
Wearing a slim blue suit an unbuttoned white shirt and long hair Conor sat center stage and began his set with a passionate version of "The Big Picture" and quickly segued into "Arienette." It was something quite special to be sitting feet from Conor as he sat in a chair trying to contain the energy he put into every song. His passion and angst often resulted in his legs stomping and swinging under his seat in reference to the lyrics he was sometimes whispering and sometimes screaming into the small Stage One space.
First Aid Kit joined him on stage for several songs most notably for me was "Classic Cars" and "Lua." If First Aid Kit were not so amazing on their own Conor would be amis not to take them with him everywhere. He joked that they had lived in his back yard for about a month and said several times how great they were. You could tell they were humbled to share the stage with him but he was equally so taken by their talent.
We were treated to three new songs last night. One a rock lullaby that Conor prefaced as being very “sentimental” to which he apologized for. The song took us on a journey through a boy’s life from birth to adulthood. Throughout with images of growing up the singer expelled advice to the child from a distant father. “You are your mother’s child and she had you for a while, and now you are grown you are making it on your own, and now that you are grown may you never feel this along.” Another was a mid tempo ballad lamenting the loss of a “Camelot” where we saw the rise and fall of someone from Hyannis Port to Stockholm a shays lounge in a therapist office and beyond. I was taken with them all immediately and cannot wait to hear more on a future album?
All in all the night was amazing, Classic Cars with First Aid Kit left chills on the room and Lua was nothing short of magic. After Conor closed the show with Lime Tree he bowed a few times and then exited through the black curtain, everyone left many silently out into the dark night where puddles and leafs had gathered in the parking lot from the passing storms. My date for the night Josslyn said to me “It was a religious experience. I'm pretty sure it will top all other events this week. I'm not joking.” Oh, those other events she was talking about? We’re getting married in 7 days. Touché Conor, Touché.
*Shawn Grindle is a corresponding writer for Officially A Yuppie. He is based in Connecticut and we wish him congratulations on his wedding!