Show Lineup: Phoebe Bridgers w/Christian Lee Hutson
Venue: Arizona Federal Theatre
Photo Credit: Trey Cardi
On April 13th, 2022, Phoebe Bridgers opened her “Reunion Tour” in downtown Phoenix. Lines began forming outside of the Arizona Federal Theatre early that morning with thousands of fans eagerly awaiting the much-anticipated show. The sold-out venue quickly reached its capacity and introduced the opening act, Christian Lee Hutson, with a wave of applause.
Christian Lee Hutson is an indie-folk artist from Los Angeles, California who is credited with co-writing multiple Bridger’s songs such as “Garden Song,” Halloween,” “I Know the End,” and more. Hutson was able to captivate the crowd with his zephyr-like sound matched perfectly with his witty and insistent lyrics. Hutson surprised the audience at the end of his set by bringing out Phoebe Bridgers to perform “Rubberneckers.”
What felt like an eternity later after a prolonged intermission, Bridgers’ band finally entered the stage wearing the iconic Punisher skeleton costume. A couple of seconds went by and Phoebe Bridgers walked out dawning a black skeleton dress covered with sparkles. They commenced the set with “Motion Sickness” and the crowd abruptly got to their feet and remained that way for the rest of the night. Without a moment to spare, Phoebe astonished the crowd with her angelic vocals and the heavenly high note she hit at the end of the song. The ambient “DVD Menu” soon played which set the tone for the remainder of the concert after its perfect transition to “Garden Song” and “Kyoto.”
(Apologies for the iPhone quality)
The stage design was nothing short of breathtaking; curtain-like lights draped down over the stage while a huge LED screen worked as a backdrop. It quite literally felt like Halloween in the middle of April with black, orange, and purple being the dominant colors of the set (very fitting from an artist who has a song titled “Halloween”). The highlight of the set was the visuals, such as the pop-up book animation which cohesively tied all of the songs from Punisher together. Bridgers premiered her new single, “Sidelines,” towards the end of the set accompanied by a music video. “Sidelines” is everything you would expect from a Bridger’s single and more: haunting vocals, ambient instrumentals, and hard-hitting lyrics touching themes such as fear.
My highlight of the show was when Phoebe ended the set with “I Know the End,” which is my favorite Phoebe Bridgers song. The crescendo caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up and left me in what felt like a state of dissociation. Initially, I was a little skeptical prior to the show, only because I was not lucky enough to get general admission tickets and my seats were 30 rows from the stage, but any doubts that remained quickly left once Bridgers began to sing. Phoebe Bridgers once again demonstrated how talented she truly is; the constant stream of high-quality music she is putting out exemplifies how one can go from a cult artist to selling out venues.
Reviewer Name: Javier Mendoza
Date of Review: 4/19/22