Music lovers descended upon Marymoor Park wearing Dr. Martens of all styles on Aug. 23 — a common sighting at Phoebe Bridgers concerts.
The 28-year-old American indie rock musician took the outdoor stage after Christian Lee Hutson opened for the crowd. Not only is Bridgers friends with Christian Lee Hutson, but she also produced two of his records. A majority of the opener’s songs brought a relaxing rhythm, but then exploded onto the crowd with classic rock-centric guitar solos.
By the time Bridgers took the stage, the lawn and pit at the venue were both jam-packed, and the skies shifted from blue to a cotton candy pink. She opened her set with a crowd favorite, “Motion Sickness,” which reeled in the most singalongs from audience members.
For “Garden Song,” performed next, a screen at the back of the stage showed a garden-themed pop-up book opening and closing by the end of the song. The pop-up e-books catering to each song’s symbolism were consistent theme throughout her performance.
“Did anyone bring their dad to this concert?” Bridgers asked as an introduction to her hit-song, “Kyoto.”
Bridgers is open in both her music and press about her strained and evolving relationship with her father, who is the inspiration of the upbeat song. The drum beat in “Kyoto” is one of my favorites because it drives the entire song. The crowd seemed to agree because, at that point, the crowd in the pit began jumping to the booming rhythm.
Although I was lost in the sound, I never miss a pup sighting. This has not been confirmed, but a crew member was spotted strutting past with a black pug — the exact type that Bridgers owns — and took it to the sound booth. Regardless of whether it was Phoebe’s dog (whose name is Maxine) or not, it certainly was serenaded by her smooth, honey-sounding voice as I have never seen a non-designated service dog act so calm, cool and collected during a concert.
Bridgers got real with the audience prior to her song, “Funeral,” when she talked about struggling with depression, which at one point or another, a majority of us concert-goers may have experienced. She brought up how meeting a friend — who also had depression — and talking about it to each other made her feel less alone.
In addition to taking time to normalize depression, Bridgers pulled attention to an issue that has been sweeping the nation: abortion access.
“I love abortion,” said Bridgers. “I love it — it’s the best.”
For her 2022 Reunion Tour, Bridgers is donating $1 per ticket purchased to the Mariposa Fund, which assists undocumented individuals with obtaining abortion access. I enjoyed seeing this — a 28-year-old who fell into stardom use her platform to advocate for human rights.
“I Know the End” was the final song of Bridgers’ set. The steady melodic build, then crescendo drop in the song and the energy that comes with it — and the bouts of anguished, yet liberating screams — was the moment I had been waiting for. Part of me wanted to run up to the stage and start mosh pitting and singing, but I didn’t want to leave my friend on the grass alone; I looked over at my pal and their eyes widened with a “whoa” look on their face. Me too, bud.
“I love playing here,” Bridgers said to the crowd. “It’s my favorite part of the country.”
For the encore, Bridgers performed “Me & My Dog,” which is a song centered around panic attacks and feeling overwhelmed. I didn’t expect to hear this song during the concert, let alone for the encore. “Me & My Dog” was released in 2018 by Bridgers’ band, Boygenius.
On the way home, while riding the high of the concert, I couldn’t get it out of my head — that one line from the final song Bridgers left us with. Upon opening my door and greeting my own mutt, Clifford, I started singing to him:
“I wish I was on a spaceship. Just me and my dog and an impossible view.”
The Marymoor Park Concert Series takes place until Sept. 24. To check out what gigs are left for the summer, visit marymoorconcerts.com/events/.