While she was in town for ACL, Phoebe Bridgers played a late night show at Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin. She was preceded by her opening act, Gracie Abrams who sang some of her songs that were released and also had not yet been released. From the songs that she played, my favorite was her latest single “Feels Like”. For only her 10th live performance, Abrams was able to hold her own and showed great potential for her future career.
Bridgers came on stage at around 11 o’clock, walking on stage to the Black Eyed Peas’ “I’ve Got a Feeling”, which I think was unique and added some fun as she walked up on stage and got ready for her performance.
Bridgers started out with fan favorite “Motion Sickness”, and after hearing this song live, I can definitely say I understand why this is a fan favorite. Not only did the song set the mood for the upcoming show, but Bridgers immediately cast a spell on the audience, enchanting them with her songs of vulnerability that can be contrasted by upbeat tempos.
One of the things that was different was that Bridgers performed arguably her most popular song, Kyoto, at the beginning of the show. Typically, I’ve noticed that artists will play their most popular song last, but I liked how Bridgers played it in the beginning like it was just another song. It kept the energy up, and kept the audience engaged and I think that’s really important when playing for events like ACL or late night shows like this one.
I think my favorite part of the show however, was the connection that Bridgers was able to create between her and her fans. It did not feel like she was an indie superstar who has influenced countless people, it felt like you were watching your friend Phoebe perform at a small, local venue. As I said before, I think this in part was because of the charisma that she gives off, captivating the audience and leaving them wanting more.
Although Bridgers is most well known for creating slower, more ballad type songs, she is still able to bring a large stage presence and have the crowd engagement like much bigger artists. I think this is a testament to her singing and songwriting ability as well as her ability to create that connection with her fans that allows them to feel like they know her. Overall, she gave a great performance and if I was just a casual listener before the show, I am definitely going to put more time into listening to her music now.