Phoebe Bridgers at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, TX

Toyota Music Factory welcomed singer-songwriter, Phoebe Bridgers, for her highly-anticipated North Texas concert. Starting strong, she opened with a fan-favorite song.

Derived originally from the Great State of California, Phoebe Bridgers opened up the first part of her Texas tour date for her rescheduled Reunion Tour – in support of her 2020 album Punisher – with her song “Motion Sickness.” The song has become a classic on indie rock streaming platforms as well as a fan favorite all on its own since its 2017 release from her debut studio album, Stranger in the Alps. She gently walked out to the front of the Texas stage with an almost innocent smile while strumming her guitar. “I hate you for what you did,” she sang along with a totally ready and ecstatic fan-filled crowd.

 Donning a guitar, a signature black floor-length dress embellished with a bold 3D skull, and black army boots, Phoebe took in the crowd’s thunderous applause with a smile, all while strumming and singing into her next songs “DVD Menu,” “Garden Song,” “Kyoto,” and led into her fifth song of the night “Punisher” – where she took a break from guitar to don a pink cowboy hat that a fan had thrown onto the stage. Kneeling down and looking into the crowd, she heard yells from the sea of people, “What’s that you say? Yeehaw? That’s f**king right!” An obvious nod to Texas western lingo.

“What are we doing with these old ass men in charge? My heart breaks for you guys. It just f**king sucks. But, you can help. There’s a really cool fund called the Mariposa Fund and Planned Parenthood really helped me out.” A strong stance against the recently leaked opinion draft, authored by members of the US Supreme Court, that would potentially overturn decades-old abortion rights previously upheld by Roe vs. Wade. It was apparent whose side the crowd was on by the loud boos and chants of disapproval. A solid and defining moment provided by Phoebe in an otherwise mostly conservative state, smack dab in the middle of her set.

Phoebe’s music is preciously powerful and somber. Her voice is rapturing, distant, and guarded yet so close to you all at the same time. A first-time Phoebe Bridgers listener and concert attendee will have a connection to the band’s use of atmospheric, soft-electronic, and acoustic sounds. Those sounds, interfaced with her memorable voice, permeate the ears and create an environment of conscious vulnerability. It’s just not that complicated. One would feel those same feelings, the ones that a broken Bridgers’ explains in songs like “Savior Complex” and acoustic singles like “Scott Street” where she sings, “Walking Scott Street feeling like a stranger. With an open heart, open container. I’ve got a stack of mail and a tall can. It’s a shower beer, it’s a payment plan.” Words so simple, but words that many people can relate to given the unprecedented times of the past two years.

Bridgers is aware of her surroundings. In an ever-changing world of politics and fighting for basic human rights, she doesn’t let you forget that a fight for what is right is a constant and ever-revolving door that one should never give up the fight for. She sings, “I’m not afraid of anything at all. Not dying in a fire, not being broke again. I’m not afraid of living on a fault line. ‘Cause nothing ever shakes me.” Halfway through her set, it’s evident that she is not afraid to voice her opinion, even if she’s the only one with the guts to do it. Respectable.

In one of the last songs of an ethereal show, “In the End,” Phoebe calls back to the stage, Sloppy Jane, (her Reunion Tour opener and longtime pal from Pasadena – who also dons a pink cowboy hat) “I want to clarify something. I do not hate Texas. I f**king love Texas.”

She starts the song and sings, “Somewhere in Germany, but I can’t place it. Man, I hate this part of Texas. Close my eyes, fantasize. Three clicks and I’m home.” She later explains to the crowd (and for the first-timers who would otherwise be offended), “The joke is that you are in Germany, TX and you get off the bus and you go, ‘Man, I hate this part of Texas…”  Germany, TX is famously isolated and full of nothing to do. From the overall crowd reaction at this particularly non-isolated Phoebe Bridgers’ concert – it appears that she doesn’t hate Texas at all. And Texas? Well… They love her.

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