On Friday night, Phoebe Bridgers entered the Upstairs Room of White Oak Music Hall around 10 p.m. and performed for one of the larger crowds to grace an Upstairs Room in some time. It was amazing to see the diverse group of people that flocked to embrace the melancholic singer-songwriter’s haunting lyrics and subtle instrumentals. Most hauntingly of all, however, was the seeming “ghost” that plagued Bridgers’ set throughout the night with discomforting feedback, misplaced capos and other, minor technical difficulties often associated with the early performances of a rising musician. Though some may relate the mishaps to unpreparedness or simply being a novice performer, the crowd seemed to buy into the idea that a ghost was humorously plaguing Bridgers’ set on Friday night. From the audience’s perspective, the “ghost” was more than just technical difficulties. It was a sign of Bridgers’ human nature, the fallacies that plague each one of us daily, and ultimately a reflection on the themes of Bridgers’ recent album, “Stranger in the Alps.”
Marshall Heins II for Cooglife
The “ghost” haunting the evening provided a means for Bridgers’ to escape the chains of stardom that gradually separate performers from relating to their fans during live performances. It allowed for connecting on a personal level with all those in attendance. Continuing with the push to relate with fans, Bridgers dismissed her fellow bandmates in the middle of the set and performed solo for a brief period, divulging little snippets of her life story with the crowd and sharing a few laughs in the process. Impressively, throughout the solo-performance, and the remaining portions of the set, Bridgers even remembered the names of several audience members that had shouted out to her at the start of the show and bantered with them playfully throughout the evening.
Towards the end of the night, several large black balloons were tossed out into the crowd and fans proceeded to bounce them around – often with considerable force that threatened to cause some damage the lighting displays overhead. Although a bit of a distraction from the music resonating from the stage, the balloons lightened the mood of the end of the set and surprised fans who accidentally popped them with a burst of silver confetti that rained down from overhead.
Marshall Heins II for Cooglife
Once most of the balloons were popped, Bridgers left the stage briefly and awaited the chants of the crowd for an encore. To no surprise, the audience immediately erupted into claps, whistles, and yells to signal that they were not ready for the night to end. Per usual with modern shows, Bridgers returned to the stage and then jokingly noted that she literally had only one more song to play – referencing her recent entry into the music industry with only one album of original music under her belt.
After the show officially ended and the house lights turned on, the subtle murmurs of audience members began to overtake the room as the exodus from the venue began. Soon enough the air was filled with praises like “amazing,” “incredible,” “wow” and “unbelievable” – all in reference to Bridgers’ voice, her performance, her ability to relate to the audience and the overwhelming satisfaction of all those in attendance.
Bridgers’ continues her tour this week with shows in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia before moving onwards to the North East before several shows abroad. Catch her in a city near you! http://www.phoebefuckingbridgers.com/