Phoebe Bridgers at Coachella Review: A glorious gothic fantasy complete with surprising Arlo Parks cameo

Most folk musicians don’t take to the festival stage to the pounding strains of heavy metal, but Phoebe Bridgers isn’t the most folk musician. The Los Angeles singer-songwriter wields a custom-tailored black guitar battle-axe and wears a glamorous, diamond-tipped version of her trademark skeleton outfit — which is more gothic high-fashion label Vampire’s Wife than trick-or-treating tonight — the singer-songwriter from Los Angeles has managed to create a world that is all hers.

Bridgers is among the high-profile musicians who took the stage at Coachella on Friday (April 15), returning to California after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In front of a screen of twinkling stars reminiscent of the cover of their second album from 2020 punisherBridger’s incredible video backdrop at the festival – now underway – unfolds into a lavishly illustrated storybook as she plunges into her breakthrough hit “Motion Sickness” and the sonic elegance of “Scott Street,” which brings a sad fiddle to the saddest horns in California join.

For Bridgers, who hails from Los Angeles, this show is something of a homecoming. “Imagine it; Coachella — it’s 2011, I’m wearing a Two Door Cinema crop top and I have pink hair,” she says, before quipping, “Don’t actually imagine it.” few hours on the freeway and adds, “I’m from LA so I can’t tell you how much I dream of it,” before thanking her mom for driving her to the festival seven years in a row.

The driving, upbeat “Kyoto” is fun, but tonight it’s Bridgers’ emo numbers that really impress, especially when British singer Arlo Parks casually takes the stage to deliver razor-thin backing vocals to “Graceland Too” and ” I Know The End”. , ending in an explosion of baby pyrotechnics and an almighty howl from a beaming bridger.

Also airing is the brand new song “Sidelines,” which premiered earlier this week as part of the soundtrack for author Sally Rooney’s upcoming new TV adaptation of the YA phenomenon conversations with friends. “Now we’re going to pretend we live in a fictional world where people come to a concert to hear a new song,” Bridgers laughs. It’s another sad girl special, a slow-burning ballad brimming with dreamy nostalgia and more than a hint of darkness.

As the warm night suddenly turns a little chilly, this mass therapy session — harking back to Bridgers’ 2017 debut Stranger in the Alps as well as its 2020 follow-up — provides a moment of much-needed catharsis amidst the bass and beats the heavy Coachella bill . It really is a very special show.

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