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Bright Eyes Touring New Zealand In November

Bright Eyes Touring New Zealand In November

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Shawn Brackbill / Friday 8th September, 2023 9:31AM

On hiatus for nearly the entirety of the '10s, Conor Oberst and his reunited Bright Eyes bandmates Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott are finally journeying to Aotearoa for the first time since performing here with R.E.M. eighteen years ago. Collaborator with fellow US superstar songwriter Phoebe Bridgers on 2019's Better Oblivion Community Center project, Oberst founded Bright Eyes back in the mid-'90s, achieving critical darling status with 2002's breakout album Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (their fourth album).

Featuring contributions from drummer Jon Theodore (The Mars Volta, Queens of the Stone Age) and bassist Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Bright Eyes made an auspicious return with 2020's Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, their first studio record since 2011's The People's Key, launched just as the entirety of the planet was going into lockdown due to the global pandemic. Now unshackled from international travel restrictions, the trio will treat fans in to "a celebration of the decades-ranging Bright Eyes canon: early material, re-works, fan favorites, and covers, as well music from their most recent album" — details below...

Bright Eyes
For The First Time In Forever Tour

Tuesday 7th November - The Powerstation, Auckland
Wednesday 8th November - Ngaio Marsh Theatre, Christchurch
Thursday 9 November - San Fran, Wellington

General public tickets on sale at

Hit play on 'Mariana Trench' from Bright Eyes' 2020 album Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was...

Watch the wholesome official video for Bright Eyes' 2005 hit 'First Day of My Life'...

Press release:

Welcome back BRIGHT EYES! The revered American band make their long-awaited return to New Zealand this Spring. Having last toured the country 18 years ago in support of REM, it’s great news that the three friends - Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nate Walcott - are back together, bringing their vast career-spanning repertoire down under.

The national tour will be a celebration of the decades-ranging Bright Eyes canon: Early material, re-works, fan favorites, and covers, as well music from their most recent album Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was (Dead Oceans, 2020). With a wide-traversing sound that ranges from fuzzy folk to rock n roll, country twang to electronic inflections, the sharp songwriting and musicianship is all anchored in Bright Eyes’ singular ability to flip deep intimacy into something universal.

Eyes began in 1995 in an Omaha basement as a recording moniker for a then 15-year old Conor Oberst’s work with producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis. Mogis and composer/ arranger/multi-instrumentalist Nate Walcott became fully fledged members in 2006.

Over the last two-plus decades, as Bright Eyes has released one after another time capsule LP’s – urgent dispatches from transcendent, fleeting eras of our collective lives – they’ve also simultaneously been assembling a robust, mature, narratively cohesive discography, currently receiving the reissue treatment via Dead Oceans. Since 2022, they been slowly re-releasing their nine albums as part of a “companion” series, with each album accompanied by a new EP made up of re-recorded songs featuring new musicians (including Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings, Waxahatchee, First Aid Kit, Phoebe Bridgers, and more), as well as a cover song.

Over the course of 23 years the Bright Eyes' impact and influence has been significant throughout pop-culture, appearing in countless films and television shows. Their songs have been covered by dozens of artists including Lorde, The Killers, Mac Miller, Phoebe Bridgers, Jason Mraz and beabadoobee, and sampled by rappers like Young Thug Lil Peep. ​For a band that’s often been perceived as an outlier, the depth, breadth, and impact of the Bright Eyes canon is remarkable.


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