The Boston stop of Mitski’s “Be The Cowboy” tour proved that a rising artist doesn’t have to forego intimacy for success.
Awaiting entry to her show Saturday night (October 20) at The House of Blues, one could overhear the eager fans trading set speculations, their favorite past gigs, and even a few choice stories of relationship strife. Long wait be damned, the crowd brought in an amiable ambiance held together by their mass appreciation of one Mitski Miyawaki.
Overcoats, the NYC-based duo of JJ Mitchell and Hana Elion, kept things positive with their minimalist soul. Rarely does an opener seem to have such a good time, but they made the most of a set time many would simply occupy by phoning it in. Their fluid beats and synchronized dances translated the self-possessed sounds of their 2017 record YOUNG, as well as songs from their upcoming album, to a live setting well.
Mitski’s set was, to say the least, a spectacle. Moving up to The House of Blues from previous stops at the significantly smaller Brighton Music Hall and Paradise gave more space to expand the production. And while it’s usually preferable to see an artist whose music commands such an intense emotional response in a smaller setting, her talent and charisma cannot be contained.
With this new scale, Mitski and her crew rose to the challenge to fill the room with not just her sound, but also the stage show to match. Choreography and a well-coordinated audio visual experience created an even more ethereal atmosphere to songs old and new. And, with the crowd enthusiastically singing along to every song, it couldn’t have been more perfect.
New songs from this year’s quick classic Be the Cowboy sprung to life alongside a fair amount off Puberty 2 and Bury Me at Makeout Creek. But the dedicated masses were treated to earlier rarities like “I Want You” and set closer “Goodbye, My Danish Sweetheart.”
It’s difficult to pin down the effect of a Mitski show. Every song appeared to mean the world to someone in the crowd. Mitski was able to provide concise insight. Before “Your Best American Girl,” she remarked on her fear of people being that she knows just how potentially awful that they could be. But, she added that these live shows keep some faith in others alive when faced with the kind people that do somehow exist.
The feeling was mutual.
All images by Victoria Burmeister for Vanyaland.