MITSKI AT FIRST AVENUE
By: Cassie Varrige
Mitski’s music is potent, vulnerable, and electrifying, and her October 26 concert in Minneapolis was no different. From the First Avenue stage, she shared her uniquely heart-wrenching music with the crowd. Preceded by the tender, girl-power duo of Overcoats, Mitski put on an unforgettably affecting show.
This singular talent perfectly captures the anxieties and uncertainties of young adulthood. Her self-conscious, confrontational performance was truly one of a kind. Mitski’s stage presence started as a highly controlled and impassive routine, then built to an exuberant crescendo of pure energy towards the finale. The crowd shouted praise and fervently danced along to the music as Mitski’s eerie and lilting vocals rang out above the din.
The characteristically short length of her songs gave her show a charming volatility. Mitski fluctuated wildly between her grungy indie-rock cuts, spare acoustic ditties, and synth-filled bangers. Despite the varying genres, the raw emotion in her performance and lyrical honesty remained constant throughout. The only downside? The time it took to wind through Mitski’s entire 24 song setlist passed in the blink of an eye.
While songs from her radiant, poppy fifth album “Be the Cowboy” dominated the setlist, Mitski included old favorites like “Goodbye, My Danish Sweetheart” and “A Burning Hill.” By the end of the night, she had the audience weeping to her bittersweet ballad “Two Slow Dancers.” After her final song, teary-eyed teenagers and young adults lingered in First Avenue’s Mainroom, still mesmerized by the power of Mitski’s performance.