From their roots in the mid 90s through to the present day, Bright Eyes have grown from one man recording home made tapes to a band with lofty ambition. With a growing ensemble encompassing many points of reference to their vast musical heritage (folk, country, rock, even electronic music are thrown into the bubbling pot) Conor Oberst and co became quite a formidable act in a live setting.
Motion Sickness is a collection of live recordings from the tour they embarked upon to support their then current albums, 2005's I'm Wide Awake its Morning and Digital Ash in a digital Urn. The former, a sweet collection of modern day country songs is the most represented album on this live outing, the tour band assembled with this in mind.
The Wide Awake songs sound as you'd expect, fairly faithful to the recorded counterparts and a little rough around the edges, the band clearly having a ball. Make War (preceded by a false start jokingly credited as Make War Short) thrives in this environment, as do Train Underwater and the frenetic Road to Joy.
You also get back catalogue songs such as Scale and Method Acting, both adapted to fit in with the new surroundings, and sounding all the more vibrant for it. Tributes are paid to their peers Feist and Elliot Smith (who took his own life in 2003) with respectful readings of their songs Mushaboom and The Biggest Lie respectively.
Controversy comes in the shape of When The President Talks to God, a scathing acoustic attack on George Bush which garners ecstatic response from the audience. Performed solo by Conor it's not without its charm, but its probably the weakest track here, and dates the album to a specific era.
Overall then a fair representation of the Bright Eyes live experience, and a worthy addition to their fine catalogue. One just wishes for that elusive live dvd to accompany it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 At The Bottom Of Everything
2 We Are Nowhere And It's Now
3 Old Soul Song
4 Make War
5 Make War
7 Landlocked Blues
8 Method Acting
9 Train Under Water
10 When The President Talks To God
11 Road To Joy
13 Southern State
14 True Blue
15 Biggest Lie