When you hear Conor O’Brien live, you immediately get the feeling that every word that comes out of his mouth is naked truth. That when he sings a sad song, he is really sad, and when he shouts, he is really frustrated. And you wanna feed him home made pizza and wash his clothes and make his bed, just so he can have the time and space to be a sensitive artist and make more music like that. Even though he’s claiming to just be selling me his fears in the song Becoming A Jackal, that’s fine with me. I’ll buy it.
And so I did at Lido this Monday night, where he and his band Villagers were playing after a half hour warm up with Daniel Benjamin‘s sweet little songs. O’Brien started out alone on stage with In A New Found Land, You Are Free, a new song that is not featured on Villagers’ debut album also titled Becoming A Jackal, that came out this summer. After this, the band came on stage, and they continued together with a series of songs from the album. As always at Lido the sound was great. Deep bass, soft, almost physical beats, crispy guitars and the strong, but fragile voice of O’Brien in front. What bliss. And the very well articulated lyrics that bring me back to the ”it’s coming directly from my heart, and I mean it”-feeling.
Okay, the crowd could have been less talkative, especially in the beginning. And yes, ”this is a great band” and ”yeah, I just love this concert” also count as talking, so cut it out and let the guy sing, please. It wasn’t so bad though, most people were dedicated enough, and sang along, clapped along and even danced a little. And when O’Brien sang Twenty Seven Strangers alone as the first encore, everybody went completely silent. And they all went equally noisy when the whole band ended the night with the more upbeat – and loud – Ship of Promises, so in the end everything was perfect.
Conor O’Brien’s charismatic voice and poetic universe was the center of the night, accompanied by both gentle chords and howling electric guitars. It was Lido, it was Villagers and, let’s face it, it was pretty damn beautiful.