I have seen Mitski multiple times. This past Saturday was different. My heart was broken earlier that day. I felt lifeless and considered skipping the show. I am glad I did not.
This was her best performance to date. She literally didn’t miss a beat. It helps that the sound at the 930 Club is as crisp as it is loud and it’s very loud. Sound alone doesn’t convey the power of Mitski even if her bass rumbles like rolling thunder. Her presence on stage captivates me every time by freeing me to simply feel. And as I wrote previously, she achieves this with seemingly little effort by simply being. In fact, this is the least she has ever spoke. And just like each time, the words she utters the most are “thank” and “you”. Her gratitude to her fans remains as endearing and strong as ever.
It’s something unlikely to change even as she becomes more popular and plays larger venues. For this tour, she brought along stage props for the first time. Three rows of boards covered in seemingly aluminum foil serve to reflect off light. All of which confirms my fear that she will soon be priced out of my budget. It’s bittersweet given I will definitely be sad not to see her again but happy that her success continues to grow.
After just over an hour, she retired only to return very shortly after for a one song encore. It was and will likely remain the most impactful encore of my life. She began by expressing her severe disappointment in not having wrote the song. It’s penned by Personal Best which she urged everyone to check out on bandcamp after the show. The song is brilliant and the chorus goes like
I wanna kiss you in the street
Where everyone can see
‘Cos this is what we look like
The refrain repeats several times and listening to Mitski voice those words exacerbated the pain in my chest. I stood alone, squished on all sides in the sold out space, longing for a connection, wondering what it would look like. By the end of the song however, I felt less turmoil. The pain lingered but there was a tranquility that emerged. Like time, Mitski heals.