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Phoebe Bridgers inspires a sold-out crowd in her hometown at LA’s Lodge Room

Phoebe BridgersBy Rochelle Shipman //

Phoebe Bridgers with Gold Star //
Lodge Room – Los Angeles
December 16th, 2017 //

Phoebe Bridgers’ debut LP came out in September, but her album release show got pushed back two months. But for the eager fans who attended her sold-out concert at Lodge Room, Highland Park’s newest venue, it was well worth the wait.

The praise for Stranger in the Alps has only gotten louder since it dropped, and the LA native’s debut has found its way onto — and at the top of — a handful of year-end lists. Bridgers’ songs revolve around her stark storytelling, in a way that comes off as deeply personal, yet still feels relatable to the listener.

During much of Bridgers’ show last Saturday, the intimacy weaved within her songs spread far throughout the crowd. Little else could be heard as she worked her way through most of the album, pausing every now and then to acknowledge her band or shoot fans a coy smile.

Phoebe Bridgers

Even if she had been alone onstage the entire time, the audience’s rapt attention still wouldn’t have wavered, but halfway through her set, Bridgers brought out close friend Conor Oberst as the two delivered a transcendent performance of “Would You Rather”. Opening act Gold Star, the solo project of LA-based singer-songwriter Marlon Rabenreither, later joined Bridgers and Oberst onstage for a cover of “Christmas Song” by McCarthy Trenching, a band from Oberst’s native Omaha.

The only thing disappointing about Bridgers’ performance was being close enough to see the setlist. She was supposed to perform her devastating version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, but the guitar gods unfortunately threw a wrench in that. Instead, she ended the night quietly with just keyboardist/Stranger co-producer Ethan Gruska, performing a ringing rendition of “You Missed My Heart” by Mark Kozelek (aka Sun Kil Moon).

From the older couple right next to me to the 18-year-olds standing dead center, the eager eyes in the audience captured it best. Incredibly, Bridgers’ album release show will likely be one of the last times we’ll be able to catch her in such an intimate setting.

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