Live at the Gothic Theatre!
BY TIM HINELY
I waited until the last minute to decide to go to this show. The night before Built to Spill played here and lots of my friends were at that one (or at Ty Segall at the Ogden across town) so I decided to chill on the Thursday night and head on out this Friday to see Phoebe Bridgers. Been hearing lots of good things about her so what was not to like.
Openers Daddy Issues hail from Nashville and have been on the scene a few years. You have to be careful as a few bands have that same moniker but none as good as this all-female trio who really brought the noise to the Gothic. A lot of the reviews I’d read on them kept mentioning “grunge” so I was a little hesitant (that word’s not a compliment when I hear it) but the writers who use that word are a little off base, me thinks. The band had a low growl but with pop hooks all over the place. The crowd sure appreciated ‘em and yes, they did bust out of their cover of Don Henley’s “Boys of the Summer” (slowed down version).
Phoebe and her band bounded on stage at exactly 10 PM, they were dessed to the nines (all the men in suits and Phoebe looked lovely as well in a dress). The drummer was up front to the right as was the female bassist on the left, Phobe front and center and the keyboardist and pedal steel/multi-instrumentalist hidden in the back.
Her debut , Stranger in the Alps , was released late last year on the Dead Oceans label to mucho critical acclaim and she’s been on the road ever since. Bridgers is young but she seems like she’s an old soul as many of her songs focus on love, life and especially, death. Apparently she spent some time busking on the streets of Los Angeles and was discovered by Ryan Adams. So there you go.
Opening with “Chelsea” then going into “Demi Moore” and then “Steamroller.” After that third song she took a break and chatted with the crowd a bit , thanking everyone for coming and jabbing “because I know if it was this fucking cold I’d wouldn’t go out to a show. I’d be at home!”
She and the band certainly did justice to a Tom Petty cover (“It’ll All Work Out”) then into her hit “Motion Sickness” and they ended the set with a goegeous version of “Scott Street.”
She opted for two covers for encores, Mark Kozelek’s “You Missed My Heart’ and ended it with Sheryl Crows’ “If It Makes You Happy” (not a cover I would’ve expected but ok).
With this much talent her fan base will keep growing and I could see her playing a place twice this size next time (though not sure if I’ll be there, as talented as she is, not sure I’d need to see her again, at least not right away).