Photos: Newport Folk Festival 2018

This was my eigth Newport Folk Festival, over the span of a decade now. I stood on our blanket on Friday night, watching David Crosby join Jason Isbell on stage for a rendition of "Ohio" that will never be heard anywhere else, and thought about how familiar it all felt. The surprises are all expected by now, whether it be David Crosby, Mumford and Sons covering Radiohead (that was something I never thought I'd see), Mavis Staples showing up everywhere. But it feels like home. I've stood on that blanket, in between the sun setting on the Newport Bridge and the Fort Stage a million times now and I'll stand on it a million more. It's a familiarity that I think all 10,000 other people there feel too. 

So here's some highlights -- evidence of a family that grows a little every year, one that's blissfully happy for at least three days a summer.

Photos: Phoebe Bridgers and Soccer Mommy

To me, the music of Phoebe Bridgers sounds like every person you've ever loved. It's every time you know it shouldn't have worked out, but nothing has, and so what now? Her lyrics are simple, they can be taken at face value yet somehow hold an impossible weight. On "Scott Street" she recounts a meeting with someone from the past, singing, "Anyway, don't be stranger" and it pins you under heaviness of every person you've ever reconnected with as if would change anything.

She performed songs from her album, "Stranger In The Alps," at Great Scott in Allston on Saturday -- a venue she easily could have sold out three times over. The packed room wasn't left without surprises, though; Conor Oberst, who collaborated with Bridgers on "Stranger" was there, in the flesh, to perform their song "Would You Rather." To close out the show, Bridgers and bandmates were joined by Oberst and the members of Soccer Mommy (who opened the show) for a light-hearted rendition of Sheryl Crow's "If It Makes You Happy."