Monday, June 5, 2023

Phoebe Bridgers closes the spring semester with concert


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Featured Photo by Jordan Reining

Story by Jordan Reining

After a weekend at Coachella, Phoebe Bridgers and her openers performed for students on the last day of classes before finals begin.

On Wednesday, students lined the sidewalk outside the Murphy Center for hours in hopes of making the front row for Middle Tennessee State University’s annual spring concert.

MTSU Signature Events, a combination of SPARE and SGA members, hosted the event. Many students saw the show as a deserved break from the semester.

“It’s definitely still in the back of my mind, everything I have to do,” Anne Nguyen said. “I’m sure I’m gonna forget about it when she walks on to the stage.”

Match Records artist, Aslin, and her band opened the show. They performed covers as well as original songs. Cheers rose from the crowd as Aslin finished her set with a cover of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. 

While waiting for Bridgers, screams rippled around the venue when students noticed she had walked on stage unexpectedly to announce a secondary opener and friend, Harrison Whitford. Accompanied by two others on stage, Whitford serenaded the crowd with soft, somber melodies. 

Eventually, the wait was over for the 4-time Grammy nominated artist concluded. Surrounded by her band dressed in glow-in-the-dark skeleton onesies, Bridgers welcomed the screams as the first chords of “Motion Sickness” rang out through the speakers.  

The set was an hour long. For one moment, Bridgers hopped off the stage and met the audience on the other side of the barricade after running a loop.

Holding hands and giving out hugs to a few fans, Bridgers handed the microphone to Ashley Barrientos to sing a few lines. 

Ashley Barrientos gleaming at Phoebe Bridgers. (Photo by Jordan Reining).

“It was such a fantasy come true,” said Barrientos. “She is like, my number one favorite artist.” 

Barrientos is a senior and has listened to Bridgers for years.  

“Her music has defined my college career in so many ways,” she said. 

As one of the students who had waited for hours upon hours to get a spot at the barricade, Barrientos felt ecstatic when Bridgers reached out to her. 

The last song Bridgers played before coming back for an encore had students screaming in relief during a break in the lyrics.  

Taylor Lawson, a longtime Bridgers fan, hoped for “I know the end” to play during the set. 

“I love anything from ‘Punisher,’” said Lawson. “It’s my favorite album.” 

Bridgers preceded the song telling the audience to scream during a later part, which several readily obliged. 

Walking back on after a brief break, Bridgers told the audience she would play one more time in honor of her favorite alumna, Julien Baker, who is also her fellow Boygenius bandmember.

When the last song finished and the lights flickered back on, students were brought back to reality with tears of joy sneaking out of their eyes.  

Although finals week is here, the memories of the spring concert will last far longer than the stress of exams and group projects for several attendees.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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