Whether it’s your first or 50th time on the road, being on tour is a roller coaster. Phoebe Bridgers, a 2018 Slingshot artist, is not new to this wild ride — nor will she be hanging up her guitar any time soon. Her headlining tour, playfully named “The Farewell Tour” in support of her debut album Stranger In the Alps, has continued non-stop since its release in 2017. Across countless cities, she’s chronicled some of the friends, Whole Foods outlets and a few good dogs that have kept her afloat in the whirlwind of life on the road. —Mike Henry, VuHaus
Entry 1: Omaha, Nebraska
April 7, 2018
A surprising number of my favorite people have chosen to live in this giant frozen cornfield. We played at O’Leaver’s Pub last night, with Daddy Issues and one of my favorite songwriters of all time, Dan McCarthy of McCarthy Trenching. The name comes, of course, from his family’s trenching company. They already had T-shirts with McCarthy Trenching on them he could sell at shows. Today, I went into ARC studios to do some recording with Mike Mogis. Conor [Oberst] stopped by, too.
Entry 2: The 24-hour drive from Fargo to Vancouver
April 23, 2018
A hellish experience. I’m very thankful to podcasts and audiobooks. My favorite podcast right now is Reply All, but when I’m feeling homesick or just need to turn my brain off for a minute, I listen to Harry Potter audiobooks. I basically have them memorized, so I don’t need to listen very hard. I’m on Prisoner of Azkaban right now.
Entry 3: While traveling, there is something extremely comforting about any sort of consistency
February 27 - April 26, 2018
When I was mixing my record in Nebraska, before I really knew anyone there, I drove myself to Target on Halloween and spent three hours walking around. I think I bought socks. In The White Album, Joan Didion writes about the role of malls in the “sedation of anxiety.” At shows, there is always a weird amount of time between load-in and soundcheck. Not enough to do something, but too much to do nothing, so usually I go for a walk. Nine times out of ten, if I see a CVS, I will go in, and nine times out of ten I will buy nothing. Whole Foods offers this same comfort, plus healthy food, which can be hard to find on tour. That being said, the slight variance of layout and amenities in different Whole Foods around the country can really throw me. Sometimes, there is no smoothie bar. Sometimes, they take hot-bar breakfast away at 10 a.m. Sometimes there is no coffee bar, and you have to buy a cup at the register and fill it yourself from the air pot on your way out. Sometimes, the air pot is empty. But if you’re going for the food and the coffee, you’re missing the point.
Entry 4: I love San Francisco
April 27, 2018
I spent all day yesterday just walking around. It was uncharacteristically sunny and flowers were flying everywhere in the wind. If it’s possible to die from seasonal allergies, I will, but I walked to one of my favorite spots, The Sword and Rose. We played Bottom of the Hill last night — one of my favorite shows of tour. Mark Kozelek got onstage with us and called me out about mispronouncing his name. Red House Painters played the first-ever show at Bottom of the Hill, which he said made him feel old, and he told us that someday we too will get a letter in the mail telling us that we have to get a colonoscopy. Some guy shouted out “Grace Cathedral Park!” and he crouched on the ground and screamed “F*** YOU.” Then we sang “I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love” and “You Missed My Heart.” I must have been nervous, because then I f***** up the words to my own song, “Motion Sickness.” Last night was our 40th show this year, and I f***** up the words for the first time. We’re on our way home now to play our 41st show at The Troubadour. And tomorrow, we will sleep for an eternity.