Not only does 24-year-old singer / songwriter / bass player Mitski Miyawaki know how to pack a room — what with a sold out show last night at Boot and Saddle and another tonight at PhilaMOCA — but within that crowded atmosphere, there’s a very intimate quality to her performances. Mitski’s gripping eight-song set at World Cafe Live’s Free At Noon today was both sonically and visually stimulating. Observing Miyawaki’s quiet yet unmistakable confidence on stage, a fan smiling and singing along parallel to another overcome with emotion, and watching those discover Mitski’s music for the first time; each group brought an inherently interesting dynamic to the show that truly made it a spectacle.
Playing mainly older material from 2014’s Bury Me At Makeout Creek and two new jams from this year’s breakout album Puberty 2, each song evoked a stirring string of emotions I didn’t even know I was feeling until the words came out of her mouth and the riffs oozed from the guitar and bass.
Starting strong with the deceivingly peppy “Townie,” (she sings, “I want a love that falls as fast as a body from the balcony”) the band shifted gears, opting to slow things down a bit with fan favorite “First Love / Late Spring.” Her voice is without a doubt mesmerizing, somehow making 2013’s Retired from Sad, New Career in Business‘s track “I Want You” feel like a personal serenade. With the queasily honest line, “I just need a quiet place where I can scream how I love you,” this is the quasi-love song we all deserved to slow dance to at prom.
“Thursday Girl” and “Your Best American Girl” were awesome showings from the new LP, the frantic synths paired with unwavering vocals made “Thursday Girl” a standout track for me.
Finishing the set with the track “I Will” was the perfect way to reduce the crowd into a puddle of emotional goop, piercing our hearts with every longing, loving plea and declaration. Like it was discussed in our recent interview with Miyawaki, every line she writes hits just as hard whether you’re reading it or hearing it sung aloud, and that’s certainly what puts Mitski on another level.
Check out a slideshow of photos from today’s Free at Noon, check out the setlist and listen to Mitski’s Free at Noon in its entirety below.
First Love / Late Spring
I Want You
I Don’t Smoke
Your Best American Girl
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- FREE AT NOON