Following a fitting warm up from Bristol based band Personal Best, Mitski silently took to the stage and swiftly began her set. Throughout her performance, she was quietly confident, aside from a brief account of her day and polite quips about whether Thekla “could still be a ship if it doesn’t move.” The consensus was yes.
Mitski performed with more tenderness than is felt in the recordings, her songs often expressing the search for belonging that can sometimes be absent after a childhood spent moving between countries. Her personal lyrics and sincere delivery proved to be an intimate treat for the Bristol audience. Despite often being confessional, Mitski’s songs are filled with wit and an ample share of lo-fi distortion to increase their angst. After playing a selection of songs from across her four albums, Mitski knew exactly what the audience wanted; introducing ‘American Girl’ to the crowd as “your favourite song.” Judging by the applause, she was right.
After a brief interlude in which she interrupted her performance to invite an incapacitated member of the audience back to the green room to recover, Mitski concluded the show with three songs which she performed solo, switching her bass for a guitar and presenting the attentive crowd with the vigour and feeling for which she is known and loved. ‘Last Word of a Shooting Star’ closed the set and the crowd was left calm and content. Despite playing for a solid hour, the night flew by, which I believe to be the sign of a truly successful sell-out show.