SAO’s year end concert intimate, moving

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Phoebe Bridgers and her four-member band transported a packed house at the Ladies Literary Club with their mellow and somber performance.

Since the September release of her debut album, “Stranger in the Alps,” the 23 year old indie folk/indie pop singer has been touring the country playing concert venues with her band, featuring a variety of opening acts. For the show at Ladies Literary Club, Lomelda led the way.

Lomelda, an alternative solo indie artist from Texas, primarily used a table full of professional technology that played her premade loops, in addition to singing while playing the guitar. Her performance was unique and even comedic, as the audience was encouraged to laugh along with her.

Bridgers and her four band members were dressed in all black. These dark costumes, in addition with the album cover on the back wall of her childhood dog with a sheet-ghost pictured over top of it, aided the songs in projecting an obscure mood.

Between songs, Bridgers joked around with her band members, even commenting about her strong opinions on President Trump.

Her set included songs from “Strangers in the Alps” and two covers, one originally by Tom Petty and one by Sheryl Crow. Midway through the show, the band left and provided Bridgers the opportunity for a more intimate setting with the audience.

The band came out for an encore, which included “You Missed My Heart,” a dark and graphic cover of Mark Kozelek’s narrative retelling of a rape-murder. Bridgers, in the midst of the very emotional song, got down to the floor as she sang, allowing the audience to identify with the morosity of the song.

According to junior Alejandra Crevier, “Phoebe’s work has the ability to look darkness in the face and let it sit there for a while… Death doesn’t just go away, nor does the depression or loneliness, and I think she talks about that well in her songs.”

However, ending with a rape-murder story would leave the audience feeling sad, as Bridgers pointed out, so she decided to conclude the night with a brighter and more energetic song: a cover of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy.”  

Following the show, Bridgers stayed for a short discussion about her art. She informed the audience of her contemporary poetry influences, her appreciation for architecture and her relationship with Julien Baker, who had performed at Calvin the week prior.

In the discussion, Bridgers addressed the rather depressed mood of many of her songs. She said, “I don’t actually have that dark personality, I guess it’s just my outlet.”

Bridgers’ performance was one of the last SAO events of the year. The few upcoming SAO events include “Based on A True Story (Live Podcast)” on April 26 at 8 p.m. in the Cave Cafe and “The Shape of Water” on May 4 at 8 p.m. in the CFAC.