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Phoebe Bridgers made every skeleton in Waterloo Park cry

Kelsey Bradshaw
Austin 360
Phoebe Bridgers performs May 20 at Moody Amphitheatre in Waterloo Park, accompanied by a band dressed in glow-in-the-dark skeleton outfits.

That was a crowd of crying skeletons you heard downtown on Friday night.

Phoebe Bridgers took the Austin crowd at the Moody Amphitheatre at Waterloo Park through an emotional wringer with moments about love and heartbreak and depression. She was equal parts rock star and quiet emo goddess. We loved it. 

Bridgers was accompanied by a band dressed in glow-in-the-dark skeleton outfits. Sloppy Jane, whom we absolutely loved when we saw them at South by Southwest, opened for her.

We found ourselves at the very front and center, arms hanging off a silver barricade.

As audience members filed into the pit in front of the stage, they spread out their arms and legs to save spots for friends. Security came around to make sure everyone knew they could ask for help during the show.

"This is real! This is really happening," one of those pit members with outstretched limbs shouted as we lined up in the heat.

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Photographers moseyed back into the space in front of the pit, which meant Bridgers was nigh. The crowd, full of teens dressed in their best skeleton gear, quieted until Bridgers was spotted. That's when the screams began and they didn't end until everyone was sure Bridgers was not coming back for a second encore.

Bridgers, dressed in black suit shorts, a jeweled skeleton-esque crop top and a black blazer, kicked off the show with mega-hit "Motion Sickness."

Phoebe Bridgers also performed in Dallas and Houston.

No big choreography, save for some small stomping-in-place moments, was spotted. But Bridgers didn't need it. She had the crowd by their throats. Is that dramatic? Maybe. But the girls behind us were crying, mascara running down their faces, like they were Kim Kardashian ending her 72-day marriage. 

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The blubbering and wailing and sniffling could be heard from every direction as Bridgers walloped the crowd with song after song that she introed with: "This is a love song."

In "Halloween," Bridgers sings: "Baby, it's Halloween/ There's a last time for everything/ Oh, come on, man/ We can be anything/ Whatever you want/ I'll be whatever you want."

She was reaching right into my 28-year-old heart and my 13-year-old one. 

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At some point during the show, Bridgers took a moment to address the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade. 

Bridgers told the crowd she had an abortion in October, which was just after Texas' law banning abortions as early as six weeks went into effect.

"I think it's going to be poor people who are affected disproportionately. Living in LA, I'll always have a certain amount of access. It's literally so (expletive) up it makes me want to cry even talking about it. So, my heart goes out to you guys," she said. 

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Phoebe Bridgers performs May 20 at Moody Amphitheatre in Waterloo Park. Bridgers had the crowd screaming, and crying, from first note to last.

Before launching into "Funeral," Bridgers explained that she and guitarist Harrison Whitford worked on the song together during a time where they thought they'd never feel better. 

The chorus goes: "Jesus Christ, I'm so blue all the time/ And that's just how I feel/ Always have and I always will/ I always have and always will."

It was a cathartic moment for the crowd.

Equally cathartic was the moment during "I Know the End" when Bridgers sang, "Man I hate this part of Texas." Everyone screamed that lyric. Bridgers was impactful both in her near whispers and when she screamed into the mic. Her voice is quiet and light and makes you lean in.

The night felt like therapy for all involved, including those watching from the parking garage across from Waterloo Park. 

Now, if you'll excuse us, we need to go call our junior high boyfriend. Just kidding. Maybe.