Why They Split: Having begun his music career at the age of 15 in Commander Venus, indie icon Conor Oberst found himself at a crossroads far too early in his life when, at just 17, he founded his new outfit, Bright Eyes. Releasing a poorly-received collection of songs under this moniker, the group slowly but surely became one of the most highly-regarded groups in the indie-rock genre, with 2005’s I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning certified Gold by the RIAA.
Releasing The People’s Key in 2011, Bright Eyes silently went on hiatus soon after, with Oberst going on to focus his efforts on the reactivated Desaparecidos and the Better Oblivion Community Center. Despite this, Obserst maintained the group may still have a future, and expressed his uncertainty of Bright Eyes’ 2011 record serving as their last.
Last Performance: Embarking on an Australian tour in 2011, Bright Eyes wrapped up their career on the voyage home, stopping off in Hawaii for their last performance to date on November 21, 2011. Though presumably not intended as their final show, the gig featured a career-spanning set, but neglected some of their biggest and most popular tracks, much to the dismay of fans who might’ve figured they’d hear them the next time Bright Eyes toured.
Years Off: Nine
2020 Plans: As the most recent band on this list to reunite, it was only in January that Bright Eyes hinted towards their return. Launching an Instagram account and reactivating their Twitter account, the group’s posts feature the caption #BrightEyes2020, indicating that there’s something on the horizon.
Since then, we’ve received news that not only are the band set to perform their first shows in almost a decade (setting dates for New York, L.A., England, and Japan), but they’ve also got a new album in the works, having recently signed to US indie label Dead Oceans.