Mitski Broke All Our Hearts and We Sang Along at Mohawk

I would pay $20 just to see Mitski play “Your Best American Girl” one time, so the rest of the set is basically bonus. And that bonus is incredible.  Mitski has made several appearances in Austin over the past couple of years, expanding her fanbase and thus attendance with each trip to the capital city. A sold out Mohawk felt even fuller than usual, as a respectful attentive group seemed to not crowd in too aggressively in front of the venue’s outdoor stage and fans lined the railing of each of its three balconies.

Remarkably attentive, concertgoers sang along to almost every word of Mitski’s songs, especially noticeable as the songwriter played sans-band, using only an acoustic guitar and her arresting voice. Moreover, fans never overpowered Mitski but sang in soft, earnest support, giving the night a quality of tender weight, leaving us all crushed beneath it. I’ve seen some quiet shows, though rarely, around Austin, but this may be the quietest show I’ve ever seen at Mohawk outside. While Mitski’s songs performed with a full band offer outstanding hooks and powerful, distorted riffs, the solo setup worked perfectly with her vulnerable, intimate lyrics. If I could go to this show again tonight, I would. If you have the good fortune of Mitski coming through your town in the coming weeks, make sure you make it out.

Helado Negro, wearing a shirt that read ‘Young Latin and Proud,’ opened the evening with a set of carefully unfolding electronic pop tunes sung varyingly in English and Spanish. Flanked by two dancers striking poses concealed beneath giant shrouds of sparkling streamers, Helado Negro issued a performance that pleased both aural and visual senses. Check out photos from the night below.

All photographs © Bryan C. Parker & Pop Press International; click any image to open set in slideshow viewer.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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