Phoebe Bridgers Proves No Stranger in Fargo

FRANK OCKENFELS| Photo Courtesy

Indie folk/pop artist Phoebe Bridgers and supporting act Lomelda may have left the warmth of their home states to tour the Midwest, but the crowd’s warm reception at The Aquarium April 21 helped make up for the difference in temperature.

Indie one-woman-act Lomelda took to The Aquarium stage first. Set up at the front of the stage with a pedal board and synth on a table, armed with an electric guitar and a sweet mousy voice she played her set to a receptive crowd. In between songs she engaged with the audience, at one point laughing about the hilarious conversations she was hearing in the crowd. When she struggled to find the starting pitch of a song, the crowd encouraged her and cheered at her success, yelling that they missed her. The final song of Lomelda’s set, “Bam Sha Klam,” a song named after a secret society her and her brother invented when they were younger, was greeted with earnest cheers and applause.

Dressed in a retro styled black gown while her bandmates sported black suits, Phoebe Bridgers commanded the small stage. If the attire sounds like the band is attending a funeral instead of playing a show, it should come as no big  surprise for an artist with a penchant for sad folk/pop tracks; not to mention a song aptly named “Funeral.”

Starting off gently strumming her acoustic guitar through “Chelsea”, she was surprised when an audience member correctly guessed that crowd favorite “Georgia” was next on the setlist. Bridgers’ joked with the audience between songs; at one point telling everyone to look up at the ceiling and tell her if it didn’t look like the upside down. It was an observation everyone had to admit was humorously accurate.

Switching to her attractive electric guitar, which she confessed was a cheap guitar but that she likes it a lot, she performed more hits to the eager crowd. Bridgers ended with her most popular song off of “Stranger in the Alps”  and their most upbeat,”Motion Sickness.” As soon as they left the stage it was a given they would have to encore. The crowd erupted into chants of “one more song, two more songs, three more songs, play more songs.” Bridgers agreed; Starting off with “You Missed My Heart” which tells the emotional story of a vindictive heartbroken lover who kills her lover’s man before dying in prison herself of gunshot wounds. Even Bridgers admitted she couldn’t end a show on that “sad shit.” She elected instead to end with one of her favorite “pick me up” songs, an emotive feel-good cover of “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow.

There is no doubt the F-M area is eagerly awaiting both Lomelda and Phoebe Bridgers return and will greet them warmly once more with a sold-out show.

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