A few months ago Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst dropped a surprise album under the name Better Oblivion Community Center.
This oblique moniker left a lot of fans scratching their heads.
What was this all about?
Their freshly launched website stated that they would hold meetings across the US and Europe, welcoming fans to experience a healing sound bath – live in concert.
“Let the vibrations wash you clean, realigning and resonating in your journey toward serene healing and true bliss. Come together with fellow Community Center members Conor and Phoebe to celebrate the common path toward ultimate relaxation. More news on Chosen Family Therapy forthcoming.”
If this sounds a little cult-like well you’re not far off.
Oberst has had a rabid fan base for nearly two decades while Bridgers is quickly growing a dedicated following of her own.
Throughout the evening fans were professing their love with shouts of praise and marriage proposals equally for the two of them.
Even though the album is only a few months old, every song was met with rapt attention and drunk whispers of “Oh this one is my favorite. I love this song.” as if they were on a greatest hits tour hawking their 12th album.
Neither artist is a stranger to collaborations but the ease with which the two of them traded verses and shared the stage was pretty astounding.
The evening was completely devoid of ego. In fact both of them seemed to shun the spotlight with the stage washed in deep blues and reds most of the time.
With the ink barely dry on the first album cover they are apparently already working on new material as they debuted a new song as well as a Replacements cover (Can’t Hardly Wait) a “cover” of Bright Eyes’ “Lua” and a rocking version of Bridger’s “Funeral” with Oberst shredding on guitar and vocals.
Like the ad said, the vibrations did wash the crowd clean and while the cold hard reality of the outside world brought many back to earth after the show, for a few hours there was true bliss.
Let’s hope there are many more BOCC meetings and this isn’t a fly-by-night self-help scam.
Better Oblivion Community Center is out now
They are on tour now with several sold out dates in the states and abroad.
photo by: David Iskra