Mitski took Black Cat by storm on Nov. 18, performing a memorable set in support of her fourth album, “Puberty 2.”
Indie rock band Weaves kicked off the night with an opening set that kept the crowd moving. Lead singer Jasmyn Burke’s distinctive voice and charmingly thick Toronto accent stood out against the heavy drum beats and loud, at times disjointed guitar. “If you wanna dance, we’re into it,” Burke told the crowd halfway through the set. “If you wanna feel something, we’re into it.” And with tracks like "Hulahoop" and "Candy", the band succeeded in making the audience do both, creating a frenetic energy that filled the small space.
While the audience had nearly doubled by the time the second opening act started, the energy had mostly dissipated. Fear of Men performed a strong set, but their slower songs and darker tones left the crowd impatient for the main show. Highlights included a haunting performance of the band’s hit single “Sane,” during which lead vocalist Jess Weiss masterfully alternated between headbanging and singing.
After almost two hours of waiting, the crowd was more than ready for Mitski to take the stage. Her set was short but unforgettable, kicking off with “Dan the Dancer” and moving swiftly through songs mainly from “Puberty 2” and her third album, “Bury Me at Makeout Creek.” She skillfully alternated between fast and slow songs, switching from the loud, ragged guitar in “Texas Reznikoff” to the softer, more restrained “I Will.”
Mitski only talked to the crowd three times during the show -- once to introduce herself, once to let the crowd know she wouldn’t perform an encore, “so let’s not go through that whole charade,” and once to say a quiet and sincere “thank you, have a good night and stay safe.” Despite her limited attempts to charm the crowd, concertgoers sang every word to every song, and there was a strong sense of camaraderie throughout the show.
For the last three songs, Mitski’s band left the stage. She performed “My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars,” “A Burning Hill” and “Class of 2013” with just a guitar and her clear, melodic voice. Each song rang with emotion, from the raw pleas of “kill me, Jerusalem” to the imploring questions of “can I dream for a few months more?”
While her set went by quickly, it kept the audience captivated throughout the night. As the final striking chords of “Class of 2013” sounded throughout the venue, the crowd was quiet, taking it all in. Mitski’s unassuming demeanor proved misleading -- her music is powerful, and her performance not one easily forgotten.