Where do I begin? Mitski has to have been one of the most female/ human empowering performers I have seen because of her sheer determination to make her concert a “safe space”. In the current state of our world, it was welcoming to see a singer so kind and eager to assure her audience felt at peace in her concert/ music. She did more than ask the Webster Hall crowd if they were okay. She consistently asked if they were connected. The difference may seem subtle in retrospect but vast in thought. Mitski aims to make people stop feeling like they only exist, and to start feeling like they can be alive.
A Burning Hill
Throughout her songs, from her most recent masterpiece, Puberty 2, Mitski would pause to assure that her audience was connected to her music. She was deeply moved that people reached out to her songs like they were hands to hold, and wanted to give them a performance that matched the wonder of her album. Puberty 2 is deeply intimate/ invasive. There are no facades or “fluffy” aversions to the inner riots that can form within a person. Yes, I said “inner riots”, which is exactly what Mitski’s smokily broken voice emanates. When you look back at human history it is written according to war, and, in some ways, that is how Mitski writes her music: according to her turmoils. Each song is a discussion of the battles between light and darkness that can plague her being, particularly as a Millennial. Her song “My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars” felt like a youthful opus on wanting the world but feeling like it does not want you. Thus, Mitski is both courageously and calmly open with her struggles to not fee like she is just existing, which explains her referencing of her concert as a “safe space”, where listeners could both explore and discover their best self. It was humbling to be opened to such an idea, but even more inspiring that such a sweet person thought about my comfort without even knowing me.
I never thought “being considerate or caring” would be so impactful to a concert, especially when it seems like everyday you see a video of a megastar ranting and yelling at fans whom paid hundreds/ thousands to hear them live. The loveliness of Mitski’s wisdom and cool voice enraptured the sold-out crowd to the point that just her mere strum of one chord would induce cheers for a seeming eternity. She had the crowd’s heart because, in a way, it had hers. Again, Mitski’s writes music from the frailties and strengths of her spirit. There is no way that you will walk out her concert not feeling like you know her or that you are her. She is so human in her music and performance that she becomes a universal artist, whose sound resonates with singers like Alanis Morissette, Joan Jett, and Janis Joplin in using rock n’ roll as a platform for their vulnerability. The lighting design of her show exuded that by having two lamps on stage, and Mitski singing from lightly, neon- tinted shadows. The effects escalated the mystery and angst that Mitski sings for and in. After all, how we work as human beings is a consistent mystery even to us, which is why Mistksi is so great. She musters the ambiguity and confidence that it takes to be yourself, while never fully having a concrete idea of who your “self” is.
Your Best American Girl
Puberty 2 is an amazing album that lends itself to human connection. Live the record comes to life, in part, because you realize how detailed it is about Mitski’s spirit. As she sings about every thought she has ever had about herself, and every feeling she has tried to decipher in her being, the audience sees how common it is to be human. For More Information On Mitski Click Here, and Go See Her Concert At Villain Today, November 22. She is phenomenal!