Earlier this year, the great Omaha indie rock institution Bright Eyes started teasing a comeback on social media. The return of the Conor Oberst-led project, which also includes Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott, is a bit different from the standard band-reunion teaser, since Oberst has certainly been keeping busy under his own name for years now.
Last year, Oberst released toured and a really good album with Better Oblivion Community Center, his duo with Phoebe Bridgers. But seeing the name “Bright Eyes” — a name that still holds great emotional resonance for some of us — is still different than seeing the name “Conor Oberst.” And today, we see the name “Bright Eyes” on upcoming-show announcements for the first time in nearly a decade.
As The FADER points out, Bright Eyes have announced five live shows in 2020. The first is going down this March in Tokyo. They’ve also announced two shows in Los Angeles, one in New York, and one at the UK’s End Of The Road Festival, which has just unveiled its lineup. Here’s the complete list of upcoming Bright Eyes shows, as it stands right now.
3/23 – Tokyo, Japan @ Liquidroom
5/21-22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Palladium *
6/20 – Queens, NY @ Forest Hills Stadium ^
9/03-06 – Salisbury, UK @ End OF The Road Festival
* with Lavender Diamond
^ with Japanese Breakfast & Lucy Dacus
Today Bright Eyes is pleased to announce the band's signing to Dead Oceans (@DeadOceans), as well as share a run of 2020 tour dates. 🎫
— Bright Eyes (@brighteyesband) January 21, 2020
Meanwhile, Brooklyn Vegan reports that Bright Eyes have signed to Dead Oceans. The label has just posted a minute-long teaser of the band in the studio. It’s full of strings. Here it is:
Brooklyn Vegan quotes Dead Oceans co-founder Phil Waldorf saying:
Bright Eyes is not just a formative artist for me personally, but for countless people who work at Dead Oceans. To get to work with a band that is part of our own origin stories in falling in love with music is the rarest of privileges. We are thrilled to be part of another great chapter in Bright Eyes enduring legacy
Interestingly enough, Bright Eyes aren’t headlining the End Of The Road Festival. Instead, they’re listed below Pixies, King Krule, Angel Olsen, and Big Thief. But Bright Eyes still hang like a star, fucking glowing in the dark, on the lineup poster. Other acts playing at the festival include Pinegrove, Whitney, Aldous Harding, Andy Shauf, Richard Hawley, Little Simz, the Comet Is Coming, Field Music, Girl Band, Girl Ray, Dry Cleaning, and Itasca. More acts are coming later. Looks great! So much indie rock!
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We’re delighted to reveal the first wave of acts for #EOTR2020!⠀ ⠀ Our headliners this year will be the legendary @pixiesofficial, true cult original King Krule, the singular @angelolsenmusic and Brooklyn folk-rockers @bigthiefmusic.⠀ ⠀ For the nostalgic among you, 00s legends @brighteyesofficial have reformed after an almost ten-year-long hiatus just in time for their EOTR debut whilst the magnificent @richardhawley returns to Dorset 12 years after his 2008 performance.⠀ ⠀ Elsewhere, we’re bringing you some of the most exciting artists working today, including UK rap pioneer Little Simz, the apocalyptic space-funk of The Comet is Coming, the breathtaking delicate sounds of Aldous Harding and many, many more.⠀ ⠀ With more yet to come, we think 2020 is going to be a very special year. For tickets and more details about this year’s festival, head to the link in our bio 👆
Since 1998, depending on how you count things, Oberst has released about nine albums under the Bright Eyes name. The last one, The People’s Key, came out in 2011. As far as we can tell, Oberst hasn’t played any shows as Bright Eyes since a November 2011 gig in Honolulu.