Folk-rock artist Phoebe Bridgers performed an intimate live stream concert on Tuesday, the first in a series of virtual shows encompassing the “Phoebe Bridgers’ World, Tour,” ironically scheduled to take place across various rooms of the singer’s Los Angeles apartment. The first show streamed from Hooligan Magazine’s Instagram page with a live fundraiser simultaneously collecting donations for the Downtown Women’s Center.
The scene was simple and authentic, the latter of which seems to perfectly describe the 25-year-old singer’s entire musical aesthetic. Clad in celestial pajamas, the band was Bridgers and her acoustic guitar, the stage was a stool and the backdrop was a red microwave stacked atop a memorabilia-covered refrigerator.
An introduction to the first song was inessential; “Scott Street,” in its poignant, acoustic bliss, is the pinnacle track of Bridgers’ 2017 debut studio album, Stranger in the Alps. With a minor lyric change from “they’re all getting married” to “they’re all having babies,” (because time doesn’t stop for life like it does music) Bridgers’ performance was as sterling as the much-loved studio version.
After a quick break to tune her guitar, Bridgers dove into “Funeral.” The chorus, repeating the line, “Jesus Christ, I’m so blue all the time,” captures Bridgers’ talent for translating what it means to be blatantly vulnerable and human. As the singer dropped her pick in exchange for soft fingerpicking, the melody seemed to flow from a familiar place, illustrative of a group of old friends gathered around a bonfire.
The tune of “Moon Song,” an unreleased track from Bridgers’ upcoming album Punisher, is heavenly melancholic. The artist swapped her acoustic guitar for a sleek Danelectric, which Bridgers herself described as “very emo.” There’s a sense of both sorrow and forgiveness in the singer’s voice as she recited the song’s poetic lyrics, “you might be dying/ but you’re holding me like water in your hands.”
A recently released song off of Punisher, “I See You” concerns Bridgers’ long-term relationship and musical partnership with her drummer. Themes of indecisiveness and self-sabotage are brought to light as Bridgers sings, “I don’t know what I want/ until I fuck it up,” once again highlighting her distinctive prowess for relaying how it feels to be young and inconvenienced by emotion.
The performer gave viewers a brief tour of her kitchen, including an admittedly empty fridge, before culminating the live stream with an older song pulled from Bridgers’ previous indie rock trio, boygenius. After laughing about her desire to stall time so she wouldn’t have to say goodbye, Bridgers performed an acoustic version of the trio’s song, “Me & My Dog.” The track details an all-consuming love and the desire for escapism from Earth — “Just me and my dog and an impossible view.”
The live stream ended with nearly $3,000 dollars raised for the Women’s Center and a promise from Bridgers to meet again on May 28th — in her bathroom.