I’m typically not one for meetings. Especailly meetings that start at 10 o’clock at night. But if that meeting is at First Avenue? Well, that is a different story.
A sold out crowd at First Avenue felt the same way I did, attending the Better Oblivian Community Center show last wednesday. The band is the highly anticipated collaboration between Conor Oberst (Of Bright Eyes fame) and Phoebe Bridgers, who has become one of todays best female singer and songwriters. So good in fact, that this isnt her first time selling out First Avenue. She had done so only four months earlier with her other group boygenius. This show was originally set to be at the Fine Line, where it sold out, and then had moved to the larger First Avenue, where it sold out again.
The stage was a cozy atmosphere, with warm streetlamp-like lights surrounding the band, who stood in front of a painted backdrop of a community center, “It will end in tears” painted above the doors of the center, with a powerful lazer shining into the crowd from the opened doors at times. The show itself was fairly quick, only around 45 minutes, but the band were able to squeeze 12 songs into their set, both from their respective solo careers, and their self titled album released back in January. They closed out the night with a 3 song encore, closing with “Dominos” which also closed their album.
While their debut album did cover all the bases for a slow, indie album, their show at First Avenue was a bit more energetic. The audience was taken to the closest thing First Avenue could offer as a beach setting during “Exception to the Rule” with Conor lounging and singing in a beach chair, Phoebe singing next to him on the floor, and a couple of beach balls bouncing around the crowd. For much of the songs, Both artists took turns on lead vocals and guitar, but perhaps the best highlights of the night were when we were blessed witht their harmonies together.
While Better Oblivian is a welcome collaboration, I cant say for sure wether or not it is something we’ll see again. But I think it’s safe to say both artists will be back in town soon, both with their own bands. If this sold out show is any indication, then I think that Minneapolis could get used to seeing Phoebe Bridgers every four months.