music: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Sausalito
His name was... Conor Oberst.
OK, I stole Justin Taylor's (Queer As Folk) line, but now I can confirm that what everyone else has been saying is true: Conor is a genius, he's a god!
The concert in Brussels was absolutely amazing! (I think I've already said that like a 100 times, but anyways, no words are enough to describe the unique feeling you get when seeing Conor play live.)
Sky Larkin opened for Conor and the Mystic Valley Band and they were pretty great (it's a shame Katie's vocals couldn't be heard so well). After their performance, they rearranged all the instruments and there were three mics in front of the stage, and I just assumed the one in the middle was Conor's. So you can imagine my surprise when the band came on stage and I realized that Conor's mic was exactly the one I was in front of. It still feels wildly surreal when I think I was so close to him! During the concert I was constantly looking at him, trying to convince myself he was real and that I wasn't watching a youtube video. I can't really explain (not even to myself) what was going on in my head at the time. I didn't even get to take a lot of photos because I was so mesmerized by Conor and was enjoying the concert so much that by the time I remembered I had my camera on me, the concert was already over. I just took a couple of photos during the encore, and they're not that great (I need a better camera). Btw, during the encore there was a little weird moment, when a lady -- who must have had too much to drink -- said she was ashamed of Belgium because we were not moving enough. I don't remember exactly what Conor said, but I think he told her to apologize. But that was actually the only time when Conor talked more to the audience. (I guess it was one of those days when he didn't really feel like talking to the audience). The end of the concert was really special: Conor took Nate's place and played the keys (and sang, of course) on Breezy.
What surprised me was that I didn't see any posters announcing the concert (not even at Botanique), and that people started coming at the venue at around seven (so, just one hour before the concert). I was there at 4.30. And earlier that day, I went to Botanique -- basically to check the place out --, and when I was on my way back to the hotel (which was just a few minutes away), I saw a bus and when I realized it was Conor's, I looked back and who do I see?! (No, not Conor, unfortunately, but still...) Macey Taylor and Nik Freitas! I immediately went and asked for their autographs, but I think they are not really used to people doing that. I dunno...
Anyways, after this, I'm even more obsessed with Conor (obviously!) and I'll definitely try to see him in concert again. I hope I won't have to wait too long. But until then, "I Will Be Grateful For This Day".
P.S. More about Brussels during the following days.