Show Review: Mitski At The Mod Club Theatre

Story by Emma Kelly, Photos by Jennifer Hyc

“Thank you all for being here,” Mitski Miyawaki finally murmured, after undertaking a series of painstaking adjustments and readjustments of her mic stand until it was just so.

The audience, who packed the Mod Club from wall to wall, roared in response.

“Thank you all for being here,” She repeated. “Thank you all for being here.”

With an indulgent smile, she waited for the clapping and hooting to die down again.

“Thank you all… for being here,” She said, the irony just barely present in her voice.

During a characteristically brief but impactful set, Mitski played songs off her newest album, Puberty 2, which was released this past summer to effusive critical acclaim, as well as many of the now-classics from 2014’s Bury Me At Makeout Creek. She was joined by openers Fear Of Men and Weavesa fixture in the Toronto indie scenewho primed the crowd with their respective brands of New Wave moodiness and poppy funk.

Seeing Mitski live offers a tantalizing glimpse into the complex sonic constructions within all of her songs. On “Drunk Walk Home” and “My Body’s Made Of Crushed Little Stars,” the 25-year-old singer-songwriter piles guitar distortion upon shrieking electronics that sound as though she was pulling apart a circuit board, whereas “Last Words Of A Shooting Star” is haunting in its raw simplicity. There’s no mistake that her latest lead single, “All-American Girl,” is an homage to the quintessential 90’s rock sound of Weezer’s Pinkerton, but in the places where Rivers Cuomo would bleat, her vocals remain soft and open. What’s so amazing is the poise she maintains hopscotching from sound to sound. She’s able to go from “Dan the Dancer,” which is structured around a frantic, battering drumline that collapses on itself midway, to the steady droning strains of “I Bet On Losing Dogs” without losing the crowd’s enchantment.

The energy of the set, as well as the magnetism of Mitski’s presence, was so intense that it seemed as though people forgot to dance. That’s the thing about her songsthey demand so much damn listening. The atmosphere might have been lacking for those who see shows as an opportunity for moshing or social networking, but it was truly a unique experience.

For the encore, Mitski performed a rendition of Calvin Harris’s “How Deep Is Your Love” that propelled the song from decent club track to throbbing noise punk excellence. It served as the final testament to her tremendous technical skill as a musician and her far-flung versatility. Afterwards, she smiled, thanked us all for being there (again), and walked offstage without a look back.

Fear of men.jpeg

Fear of Men

weaves.jpeg

Weaves

Mitski.jpeg

Mitski

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