Phoebe Bridgers: Concert Recap


Ben Burton, Staff Writer

Singer-Songwriter Phoebe Bridgers had a stunning performance at Express Live! in their outdoor venue Saturday, September 18th, 2021. This night was the first of many that Express Live! will be requiring a vaccination card or negative COVID-19 test from the past 48 hours before the event. The pop-rock group MUNA opened for the Punisher artist. While I personally have never heard of the group, I have quickly fallen in love with many of their songs like ‘Number One Fan’ and ‘Stayaway’. The lead singer Katie Gavin’s voice live compared to her more edited pop-rock centric vocals of the album on streaming services was so interesting to hear before I actually listened to their music. They brought an eccentric, upbeat energy to the show, and even surprised fans with a performance of ‘Silk Chiffon’ in which Phoebe Bridgers came on stage early for.


As this being my first of hopefully many concert reviews, I want to discuss something that is typically not included in the review’s I have read: the merchandise. Going into the concert, I saw many people wearing Phoebe Bridgers merchandise, which got me really excited. The pieces I saw went along with her skeleton/ghost aesthetic, which is something I love about her overall aesthetic. When me and my friend walked up to the merchandise tent, I had a very, and I mean VERY, hard time deciding on a final piece. We were in the rush to make a decision because when it was our time to buy something, MUNA had surprised the crowd with an early entrance of Bridgers and played their new song ‘Silk Chiffon’ featuring Phoebe Bridgers. I decided on a simple black tee shirt with pink neon-light esque font and a bright pink guitar. 


On our way out of the concert, we decided to revisit the merchandise tent. After buying our shirts, we really regretted not buying the black gym shorts that resembled a pair of boxing shorts, which had Ms. Bridgers’ name on the back of them and skulls on the side. I also purchased the vinyl pressing for her latest album ‘Punisher’.


No later than 20 minutes after MUNA’s perfect opener performance, Bridgers took the stage. As she walked onto the stage donning her classic bedazzled skeleton bones costume, ‘I Got A Feeling’ by the Black Eyed Peas bounced through the speakers of the venue. It was a fun and playful introduction into the concert as she laughed and smiled at the crowd. After she played her hit from ‘Stranger In The Alps’ ‘Motion Sickness’. The crowd sang along with excitement, to the point I could barely hear her voice. After the upbeat ‘Motion Sickness’ performance she played a couple of songs from her 2020 album Punisher such as ‘Moon Song’ ‘Kyoto’ and my personal favourite ‘Savior Complex’. She performed the apocalyptic finale ‘I Know The End’ which sounded like the whole venue came crashing down. The deafening guitar solo at the end and the whole crowd bouncing around made the aesthetic of the song sound even more real.


Phoebe Bridgers’ performance was exactly what I expected. Oftentimes something being exactly what you thought it would be can be bad, but in this case, it wasn’t. Bridgers’ music isn’t the kind of thing you go to to boost your mood, get you hyped up or anything like that. Her music is so intimate and seeing her perform my favorites made it so much more that.