Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Mitski at the Bluebird in Denver

A few weeks ago, a friend from my time in Scotland posted something about Mitski covering another band's song while on her American tour. American tour?! Mitski?! What?! I promptly hopped on the Internet and found that she would be coming to Denver a week later. I'd only been listening to Mitski for a month or so, but found myself going back to her songs over and over again like her tunes were a beacon and I was an anxiety-ridden 30-something woman lost in my own life.

I played Mitski’s music at work while organizing spreadsheets and looking at maps. I played it while making dinner and dancing at my dog (she was thoroughly unimpressed). For weeks, I played Mitski nonstop. When I found out that she would be playing a five-minute drive down the street from our apartment, I had to have tickets. I hadn’t been to a good show for a long time. The last time was when I chose to finally check out some live music here in the USA and went to The Hi Dive on Broadway. I was treated to the gutsy roar of Deep Sea Diver and had my faith restored that there would be good music to see live if I were not too lazy to actually get out and see it.

We got to the neighborhood incredibly early, as I thought it would take longer to find parking and get a table at the Mexican restaurant nearby. We said what we say every single time at Mexical, “Let’s share something next time.” We saw people start to line up at the venue across the street as we attempted to finish our meal. They looked very young. We had some time to kill, and needed a walk after that assault on our stomachs, so we walked toward City Park. It started raining shortly into our walk which caused us to cut it short and head to a nearby coffee shop. At that point it was about 7 pm and I was getting tired, because I’m old (or because I wake up really early every day), so we had some coffee and amped ourselves up enough to join the crowd that was seemingly made up of 16-20-year-olds.

The Bluebird is a beautiful little venue all red curtains and gargoyles. More and more people shuffled in as the opening act played. By the time Mitski came on, you could feel everyone’s excitement as we were all swept up in the show. I nearly cried when the opening act, Half Waif, sang a song about New York that made me think of Seoul. I nearly cried again when Mitski started playing--her music really gets me and gets to me. It’s just melancholy enough to indulge your sad feelings for a few moments before lifting you out of the funk to a place where you can dance--even if that means just swaying around a bit or bending over to sing to your dog in the kitchen. In an interview, Mitski talks about wanting the music to be able to stand alone. She makes you feel like even you could sit in your bedroom with a notebook and a glass of wine and write some damn good lyrics. I’ll keep the notebook and the wine, but I’ll leave the songwriting to Mitski--I don’t want to scare my dog after all.

Worthwhile YouTube Videos of Mitski:


  1. "At that point it was about 7 pm and I was getting tired..." - Ha! This is me every night, too. I'm 33, but I would rather pretend it has more to do with the fact that I'm up every morning before 5am. ;)

    Maybe it's because I'm not in the right mood, but I'm just not feeling her music right now. But I do know what it's like to discover someone you love who sounds like they've written their songs just for you and it's a beautiful feeling!

    BTW - something tells you probably wouldn't be half bad at song-writing.

    1. Thank you! I'm 33 too, and I pretend the same thing, haha.

      To be totally honest, I wasn't into Mitski the first time or two that I listened to her. Not that you'll change your mind, but it did take me a few listening sessions and maybe the right mood to really get into her music. The first time I listened, I don't think I was feeling angsty enough, lol. Her sound felt too harsh for me. If you do give it another try, check out the videos for Your Best American Girl and Townie. I think her live performances on YouTube are great, but a bit more jarring at times.

  2. I feel like Mitski to you is Fiona Apple to me. I'm a huuuuge Fiona fan but she's super different and most people don't like her right away. (Either that or they've literally only heard Criminal and decided they don't like her. Ugh, haha.) I like Mitski, though. She's super raw!

    1. I should give Fiona Apple a try! I think I was into different music back in high school, but if I were exposed to her music (other than on the radio) I would've liked her.

  3. Such beautiful music! Definitely worth a late night out with the kids.


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