Bright Eyes Brought An Early 1900s Instrument To Their Moving NPR Tiny Desk Concert

Bright Eyes brought their music into a new decade this August when the band regrouped, sharing their latest record Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was. The album arrived with a handful of firsts: their first new music in nearly a decade, their first time playing a (virtual) show since their 2011 album, and their first time performing together for NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series.

Coming together in the studio, Bright Eyes performed a medley of songs off their recent album. Kicking off the set with “Mariana Trench,” the band broke out a special marxophone instrument to perform “Pan And Broom,” a mandolin-like instrument that was patented in 1912 and was most famously used by The Doors. To close out their set, the band offered an alternate version of their The People’s Key track “Shell Games.”

While their Tiny Desk performance was the first time the full band played in the series, Bright Eyes vocalist Connor Oberst has actually appeared on it twice before. His first time was back in 2014, when he tapped Dawes brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith as a backup band. Most recently, Oberst graced the Tiny Desk stage with Phoebe Bridgers in 2019 as part of their duo Better Oblivion Community Center.

Watch Bright Eyes’ NPR Tiny Desk concert above.

Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was is out now via Dead Oceans. Get it here.