Indie rock artist Mitski performed back in September at this university’s Next Now Fest and was back in the area once again last night to perform on the main stage at the Black Cat. With her powerful vocals and lyrics, it’s no surprise she was able to draw such a passionate fan base to the packed venue.
Out of the two openers, Weaves seemed to stick out the most. Lead singer Jasmyn Burke mastered the stage, interacting with the crowd and showing every emotion of their music in each move she made. Obvious difference in music style aside, her confidence in her very being was comparable to that of Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.
As Mitski prepared to take the stage, I was shocked and so happy to see that rather than sitting backstage and staying out of the view of the crowd, as so many headliners do, she was right on stage with her live band soundchecking and setting up lights.
She began her set with “Dan The Dancer,” the second track off her newest album Puberty 2. With its upbeat style, the song made for a perfect intro, invigorating the crowd. A majority of her set, aside from two songs (“I Want You” and “Class of 2013” from her sophomore album Retired From Sad, New Career In Business), was made up of music from Puberty 2 as well as Bury Me At Makeout Creek (2014).
No matter what song she performed, though, her devoted audience was ready to sing along with all the angst their young hearts could possibly manage, making the show extremely cathartic. This was especially noticeable in songs like “Drunk Walk Home” as the crowd shouted the lyrics “fuck you and your money.”
During her last three songs, Mitski switched over from bass to acoustic guitar, and her band left the stage. This small change added to the intimacy she created throughout her time on stage.
Before performing her final song, speaking for only the second time during her performance, she said, “This next song is my last song and it’s also my encore song so let’s not go through that whole charade,” making the crowd laugh and sigh all at once.
She closed with “Class of 2013,” a song discussing the fear of growing up, something so real for college students. As she screamed a portion of her lyrics into her guitar, I could feel the reverberation of her voice, sending chills down my spine, leaving me sad and wanting for more.
Mitski will finish her tour with Weaves and Fear of Men in December, but will continue touring overseas.
Featured Photo Credit: Mitski performs at The Black Cat in D.C. (Cassie Osvatics/Bloc Reporter)
Cassie is a senior English major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.