July 6, 2022

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Bright Eyes singer Conor Oberst walks off stage after two songs at Houston concert

3 min read

Frontman Conor Oberst of indie rock band Bright Eyes abruptly left the stage after performing only two songs at The Lawn at White Oak Music Hall in Houston Sunday, leaving the audience to perform some of the band’s songs themselves. 

After reportedly performing the songs “Dance and Sing” and “Lover I Don’t Have to Love,” Oberst walked off the stage, according to a report from Brooklyn Vegan. Oberst’s bandmates then reportedly enlisted fans and “tall boy-drinking men” from the audience to sing karaoke for a few more songs while backed by the band, according to Jezebel Senior Reporter Caitlin Cruz.

“Bright Eyes played two songs. Conor Oberst walked off. And now the band is suggesting Bright Eyes karaoke with Bright Eyes for the crowd,” Cruz tweeted, following up with clips of audience members taking on the karaoke challenge. “This is a disaster and I appreciate the attempt at triage but Jesus,” Cruz later added. 

Other audience members also documented the moment on social media. Despite the band attempting to continue performing, Twitter user @destielegant said “the rest of the band was scrambling and seemed very done with it all.”

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“This Bright Eyes show feels like a fever dream,” wrote another attendee on Twitter. “The Bright Eyes concert is just audience-led karaoke with the band,” wrote another Twitter user. “Congrats Houston on being a decent enough audience to figure out how to have fun no matter what.”

Oberst never returned to the stage, and the venue refunded and emailed ticket buyers, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Bright Eyes was unable to perform.”

Fans on social media also noted other recent instances of similar behavior from Oberst during the band’s current tour, including allegedly scolding audience members for clapping during a quiet part of a song and his tour manager tying Oberst’s shoes on stage.

Bright Eyes has not issued any statements addressing the incident. Representatives for the band have not responded to a request for comment at the time of this writing.

Bright Eyes had previous tour stops in Texas over the weekend, performing in Austin on Saturday and Dallas on Friday. They are scheduled to perform Monday at New Orleans’ Orpheum Theater.

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