Alright, maybe I’m a bit biased. I’ve been a long time fan of Mitski for a few years now, and have heard enough songs from Chai to know that they are absolutely amazing, so I was already extremely excited to come to the show. I did have my doubts, not about the performers themselves, but about the crowd that was going to be there. There were reports online about horrible etiquette* at previous shows, so I was a bit anxious, but I got extremely lucky and made it to the front barricade. It wasn’t unpleasant for me at all, though I can’t speak for those behind me.
The show began with Chai who dominated the stage from the moment they hopped on. From their costumes to their choreography and music, the four girls immediately won over the crowd with their exuberant stage presence. My attention was especially drawn towards the drummer, Yuna, whose explosive energy captivated me. “N.E.O.” was one of their songs that had the crowd constantly moving and screaming. Everyone fell in love immediately, and so did I. As Chai left the stage and Mitski walked on, the energy in the room instantly changed. Moving away from Chai’s upbeat high-adrenaline set, Mitski brought us back down to Earth. From the beginning to the end of her set, Mitski performed thoroughly choreographed dances that paired well with the songs she sang. From her facial expressions to her movements, Mitski not only is sharing her unique emotional experiences with music but also with her own body, utilizing the entirety of her mind, body, and heart. We were invited into her headspace, and we’re reliving the things she went through– all the happy and all the sad. She began with two songs from her
newest album, “Laurel Hell”, and throughout the rest of the set she performed songs from all aspects of her discography, including two very well known hits “Nobody” and “Your Best American Girl”.
By now, she has probably performed hundreds of times, but seeing her perform on stage– it was as though it was her first. You feel the music but you also see it! It was just so raw and vulnerable. To be able to revisit that part of yourself every night… that is a sort of dedication to the music that I hardly see in performers nowadays. Mitski and Chai were incredible performers. By the end of the show, I found myself completely and utterly enthralled by the experience I had. Hearing the music from your phone is one thing, but to see these performers live in front of you is just an experience unique in itself. Nothing matters but the present. Nothing else matters besides you, the people on stage, and the music being shared.
*Proper show etiquette is just human decency. If someone is pushed down, you pick them back up. If they want to leave the pit, make space. Know how to read a person’s body language if the music is too loud! There were lots of younger fans who were unaware of what’s expected at shows and were making complaints. But it happens, and we learn. :]
Written by Sarah Luu