Conor Oberst and Tim Kasher graced Culture Room of Fort Lauderdale with their presence this past Friday. Tim Kasher played the entirety of his set acoustically and alone. This gave his set an extremely personal touch, as did his ongoing dialogue with the audience between songs, even asking the audience what kind of songs they wanted to hear. Kasher’s setlist was riddled with songs discussing the fear of monogamy and the ailments accompanying a broken heart. He truly is one of those artists you want to sit down with and merely just say, “What happened, who did this to you?” A moment that particularly reflected this sentiment was when Kasher introduced a song that he had written, but never officially released. The opening lyrics of the song were, “The safest sex I ever had was with a hooker.” The song then went on into a diatribe about the complications of love, lust, and attachment but all with a darkly-humorous undertone, a hallmark of Kasher’s style.
Following Kasher was, of course, Conor Oberst, arguably best known for his work in Bright Eyes. Understandably, he did not play any Bright Eyes tracks (no, not even “First Day of My Life,” unfortunately), but fully embraced blazing a new trail as a solo artist. Luckily, I had been pleasantly surprised with the quality of his latest release, Salutations, so the night was not disappointing, in the least. He played most of his songs with a full accompanying band, but a select few acoustically and solo. Oberst’s between-song dialogue was nonexistent for most of the show, until he got particularly fired up discussing his fuming hatred for Donald Trump. Following his passionate speech, he played “A Little Uncanny,” which he said was about unexpected things happening, much like Donald Trump’s presidency. Shortly after this song, Oberst abruptly left the stage, finished with his set. Of course, the audience wanted an encore and persisted to chant and clap for a good five minutes or more, much longer than I have ever waited for an encore before. Alas, Conor emerged with a drink in his hand and blessed the audience with a couple more songs. At the end of the encore, Conor gave a sincere thank you to the audience, a good share of high fives and handshakes, and left the stage leaving the audience (or at least myself) more than satisfied.