To be frank I don't know how to write this concert review without sounding like a huge fangirl. I looked at Mitski with my own freakin eyes. I saw her. I looked at Mitski. I don't believe I had ever witnessed a performance so angelic, so profound. Endless videos of her past performances flood youtube, but having been there, feeling my heart race, my voice crack, it was indescribable.
Prior to her graceful walk upon the ACL Live stage on February 26th, I waited with 70 other stans (super fans) for 4 hours before the doors opened. There I sat in Mitski's realm, surrounded by others just as passionately in awe of the beautiful poet. Doors opened and there were squeals, applause, the whole shabang. Luckily, I stood in the 2nd row of the general admission floor. I'm five feet tall and I didn't even have to tippy-toe to watch the most unforgettable performance.
Adorned in a purple dress, singer-songwriter Mitski blessed us with a setlist that combined tracks off her recent album, Laurel Hell, and countless others from her past discography, provoking tears and yells in myself and many others around me. The most significant songs that she sang, in my personal opinion, were “I Bet on Losing Dogs”, “First Love/ Late Spring” and “Drunk Walk Home.” I consider these the most significant because I have held them all so close to me for so long. Being able to experience them live was bizarre, even now I am still processing it. “Drunk Walk Home” ends with a 30 second screaming monologue, one the artist did not partake in live, but the crowd was more than happy to do the job. Other tracks like “Francis Forever'' and “I Will” were a dream to watch performed. The encore was a beautiful shared experience, for the first time the crowd finally went silent. We knew what was about to happen, the Mitski show was coming to an end, and all we could do was stand, watch, and cry.
I have streamed her numerous performances online, and I observed a clear discrepancy between her past concerts and the one on Saturday. Before this worldwide excursion, she had not stepped on a stage since 2018 in her Be The Cowboy tour. Her previous shows involved intimate connection with the audience, as she would thoroughly describe the meanings to her songs, what she had felt when writing them, and how they continue to apply to her life. This concert uttered an entire lack of that. She didn’t use her usual hot pink electric guitar, or her black bass, or even a keyboard. Instead, she gave us the most beautiful gift: interpretive dancing. Her body language throughout the show matched her singing so perfectly, each move corresponding to every lyric. Mitski gracefully skipped along the stage, laid her body flat on the floor, used her hands to illustrate the touch of another. Her movements made the crowd freak! So many instances where the audience could only squeal in amusement at the sights of her intricate sex appeal; one I will never forget, mostly because its engraved in my camera roll and memory, is when she lowered her mic to appear above her as she knelt, followed by the opening of her mouth and licking of the mic. The audience went wild. Mitski then lowered her entire body to the stage as her hands crept down her chest, lifted her arms near her laying head, and appeared sighing in pleasure. Even as I describe it I feel as if I've returned to my Wattpad fanfiction days. Her sensual dancing added another layer to her performance, allowing the audience to engulf themselves into her intimate musical analyses, as translated by her body.
If it wasn’t emphasized enough, let me say it once more, this concert was absolutely incredible; her song choices, her interpretative dancing, her sole existence! I genuinely feel beyond blessed to have witnessed such a performance. I may have sold my soul to Mitski at this concert; I definitely feel consecrated, or maybe redeemed. Either way, I am completely rejuvenated. All I can utter now is, thank you; thank you so freaking much, Mitski.