Back in 2019 after two successive tours following a massive LP, Be The Cowboy, Mitski took a step back from touring to focus on her own self. But time and distance has a way of changing perspective, and soon songs started to work their way back out again. With a global pandemic that put the brakes on touring, that focus ended up creating the brilliant Laurel Hell, with its name taken from thickets of rhododendron bushes that sprout white fragrant blossoms in the summer heat but are toxic. And that mirrors the complexity on the album of the same name.
Over the break between albums and touring, Mitski also found herself in the strange world of TikTok and videos that have highlighted works like “Washing Machine” and “Nobody” from Be The Cowboy, creating a groundswell of new fans that sing along to every word. And this was no more evident than at the second of two sold-out performances at The Anthem Monday night.
LP performs at the 9:30 Club, one of the best concerts of the year, on March 5, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2018 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
As we are nearing 2018’s finale, I have to say that this past year brought with it some of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. From the big production shows in large theaters to completely packed club shows, there was an intensity to most of the performances this past year that I’ll remember for years to come! Here are my 10 best shows of the year.
Mitski amazes a sold-out crowd at 9:30 Club on Nov. 16, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
Mitski Miyawaki, who performs simply as Mitski, is that rare artist who writes songs that are both musically complex and creates an emotional sympatico between herself and her audience. That skill was on display in her show at 9:30 Club on Friday, the first of two sold-out nights.
Mitski performs at the Black Cat on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. (Photo by Kristie Chua)
Mitski stopped at the Black Cat on Friday to promote her fourth studio album, Puberty 2, released via Dead Oceans in June. Music critics universally cheered the hotly anticipated new album from the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter.
Mitski released her fourth studio album, Puberty 2, via Dead Oceans in June, and she launches a US tour on Oct. 31 in Rhode Island to promote it.
Music critics universally cheered the hotly anticipated new album from the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter. She will stop at the Black Cat in DC on Friday, Nov. 18 to play new songs like “A Burning Hill,” — of which NPR Music said: “She decides to love ‘the littler things.’ It sounds like giving up, but she’s taking control, robbing her emotions of the power to capsize her wellbeing.”
Watch the official music video for “A Burning Hill” by Mitski on YouTube:
Mitski draws upon her own life experiences to sing of finding her own way in life and love, often leading observers to classify her songs as emo. Fans agree that her music is immediate and often urgent, thus lending itself particularly well to live performance. You’ll want to see her when she visits the Black Cat, although tickets have sold out.
Although tickets are not currently available, you may want to keep your ears open in case some become available.