This week, Mitski blew the crowd at Gramps away with a stellar performance.
The show opened with Weaves, a Toronto-based indie rock quartet who set the night off on an electrifying start, followed by Fear of Men, an English dreampop female-fronted band who converted every person in the crowd into an immediate fan.
The Puberty 2 singer took the stage and immediately launched into tracks from her latest release, including “Dan the Dancer”, “Once More to See You” and “Thursday Girl.” One thing about Mitski is her powerful stage presence, which the crowd responded to in a way that alluded to none of them wanting to miss a single second.
The highlight of the night was Mitski’s moving words midway her set, addressing the crowd about the recent political election. “Who else is fucking devastated? I hear you. I’m with you. Please don’t let go,” she told the crowd. “We’re not done yet.”
At a show in Athens, GA earlier this week, Mitski reportedly asked everyone who voted for Donald Trump to leave the crowd with the offer of refunding their tickets. “This is a safe space. Voting for him was a violent act.” She later clarified the statement on her twitter, “This is not about difference in beliefs, this is about giving the people at my show, many of them queer/people of color, just one night of feeling safe + free from harm.”
As a music journalist, but first and foremost a woman of color – I will always think back on this show and feel perpetual fondness for the way music will always provide a safe space for those who seek one. As Mitski floated her way into a tear-inducing rendition of “Your Best American Girl,” there was a vibe in the room that I now realize was everyone’s complete and unwavering understanding – so much so that it began to feel as if the song was written for that very moment, that very point in time. “Your mother wouldn’t approve of how my mother raised me, but I do, I finally do.”
Thank you, Mitski, for the push to keep going and for the reminder that, no – we’re not done yet.