Mitski is on a tear. Still riding high on the success of 2016’s Puberty 2, she has been a touring machine. The tour has taken her around the world, as well as gigs at the biggest festivals everywhere. This week she was featured at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. The multi instrumental powerhouse brought much attitude to a sold out Triple Rock Social Club on Sunday night.
First up was Brooklyn NY based Half Waif. Half Waif is the project of Nandi Rose Plunket. Plunket writes and records all of her own stuff. She took the stage to a half full Triple Rock right around 8. Nandi laid down lush electronic beats and glowing keyboards. The crowd was immediately engaged. Woven into this aural tapestry was Plunket’s soothing voice. With lyrics both innocent and worldly, Nandi had those lucky enough to come early captivated.
Next up was one of my favorite local bands, Kitten Forever. If a fidget spinner were a band, it would be Kitten Forever. These gals brought the rock right out of the gate. The band has been playing together for over a decade, and it shows. Their danceable beats had the folks in the audience moving and grooving. Their music is on the verge of threatening, but in a fun way! It’s always fun to watch the band exchange instruments practically mid song. The Rock is the perfect place to see Kitten Forever, the close proximity of the crowd to the stage allowed their hard core fans and the band to vibe off of each other, raising the rock meter to 11.
The Rock was packed and rowdy when Mitstk came on stage, right around 10PM. Mitski stood stoic and emotionless with her bass at stage left, serious as a heart attack, as the guitar and drums created a sonic hurricane all around her. Mitski gave off a damaged girl vibe, full of acrimony, and she had the audience eating out of her hand. When Mitski did address the charged crowd, it was in a gentle, maternal manner, yet all attitude. With the help of an adoring audience, her tough exterior slowly melted away. As the set progressed, the tension continued to grow and she finally let loose with soul shaking shrieks and a fiery rage that brought the crowd to a frenzy. “Fuck you and your money” she screamed! She definitely started to loosen up when the band left the stage and and it was just a woman and her guitar, engaging in more light hearted banter with the crowd. Highlights of the set were “Your Best American Girl” with it’s 90’s vibe, and “I Don’t Smoke”, a song about relationships that just hits me in the gut. “I Bet On Losing Dogs” also just flat out rocked. I was a little disappointed that she didn’t play “ Crack Baby”, but that in no way detracted from breathtaking show. She must have felt the Minnesota nice vibes coming from the audience, as she left the stage she said “ I’m going to miss you when I leave”
Mitski’s underlying question is: “What is happiness?” And while she may be searching, the sold out audience at the Triple Rock surely found it Sunday night.
Set List: Francis Forever – I Don’t Smoke – Happy – Townie – I Want You – Dan The Dancer – Once More To See You – Your Best American Girl – Thursday – I Bet On Losing Dogs – First Love/Late Spring – I Will- Drunk Walk Home Encore: This Is What We Look Like