Phoebe Bridgers Thrills Cleveland’s Jacobs Pavilion


Gracie Duchon

Phoebe Bridgers plays Jacobs Pavilion in the Flats.

Well known for her February 2020 album Punisher, Phoebe Bridgers performed some of her most well-known songs to an audience of all ages at Jacobs Pavilion in Cleveland.

 A diverse group of concertgoers filled in before the show. Everyone was so friendly and bonded over their excitement. Everyone talked to everyone and cooperated well. Entering the venue went super smoothly, despite covid restrictions. Getting there two hours early, we sat and waited to be let in and everyone grouped and made some new friends.  Opening for Phoebe Bridgers was MUNA, most well known for their song, “Silk Chiffon”,  which features Bridgers. The energy and upbeat setlist they brought to the stage was a good mood setter for Bridgers’ performance.

 Coming out onto the stage, Bridgers, the guitarist, the drum player, and the bass player, were all smiles. Bridgers opened with her most popular song, “Motion Sickness”, followed by a few more of her hits, including “Kyoto”, “Smoke Signals”, and “Garden Song”.

Being in the Flats right on the river, the atmosphere was open and airy. It got a little cold once the sun went down, but being in a big group of people, nobody felt the need to put anything over what they were wearing because we were all so warm. It was a crystal clear night out so the stars were twinkling above our heads. Everyone was singing along to every song. Bridgers herself was smaller than everyone thought she was, but she still filled the space with her presence. For each song there was a different background on the screen on stage.

 In between each song, she would talk to the audience a little, and she’d change her guitar for each song. She explained what each song was about and what pushed her to write it before she performed it. The best part was that she sounded the exact same as if you listened to the recording because none of the songs were super technologized or autotuned. Ironically, she closed her set with “I Know the End”, and in the background was a house going up in flames as the song went on. To leave things on a happy note, she encored Bo Burnham’s “That funny feeling”.

The most meaningful part of the whole experience was that each individual person had a different connection and memories associated with each of the songs, especially the part of “Graceland Too” when she sings,

“So we spent what was left of our serotonin to chew on our cheeks and stare at the moon, she said she knows she’ll live through it to get to this moment”.

Yet all of us were there experiencing it together this time.

I suggest listening, or even seeing Phoebe Bridgers live when you get the chance, to people who like more rootsy folk or mellow rock music, but still want melodies that will get stuck in their heads. Someone who really listens to the lyrics and what she has to say through her songs.