**Due to COVID Protocols, Mitski’s management team did not allow photographers to enter the photo pit, which is why this review is not accompanied by photos.
Mitski kicked off her sold out world tour in Asheville, NC and made her way to Houston this past week on February 18th. For the first half of the tour, Japanese rock band CHAI are serving as Mitski’s opening band.
It was a cold Thursday evening, there was a light drizzle, but that didn’t stop anyone from showing up. As soon as I got to the venue (one hour before doors), the line wrapped all the way around until Ada Street, which was absolutely insane. Shortly before I entered White Oak, Mitski’s management posted on twitter on behalf of Mitski herself, where she states that she would like audience to be “in the moment” rather than watching the show through their phone screens. Because fans were divided on her stance, the tweet has since been deleted.
CHAI came on the stage, and it was honestly one of the best opening performances i’ve witnessed in such a long time. Their energy was absolutely unmatched, and they had so much range within their music! From soothing techno/dance music to a headbangin’ track backed by police sirens – I fell under CHAI’s trance. They were wearing big pink and poofy dresses, jumping all over the stage and it was such a fun time. During one of their songs, they also included a cute little rendition of High School Musical’s “We’re All In This Together,” and that got the audience so hype. Their final song, which I believe was “N.E.O,” was the final touch to such a mesmerizing performance.
After 30 minutes, Mitski finally showed up through the prop door on the stage wearing a CHAI hoodie due to the cold weather. She started off the show with “Love Me More” from her latest album Laurel Hell, and she was running all over the place chanting that she felt good. She proceed with (my personal favorite) “Should’ve Been Me,” another song from her latest release. Everyone was simply jamming out, and Mitski was obviously feeding off everyone’s energy.
There were so many great highlights in the show, but it was all brought together by Mitski’s contemporary dancing on stage. It was just an incredible experience, especially to finally hear tracks from her earlier works like “Happy” / “I Bet on Losing Dogs” from Puberty 2 and “Washing Machine Heart” / “Geyser” from Be the Cowboy. While her world tour is currently sold out, if you ever get the chance to catch Mitski live, you need to make sure you do so. Seeing Mitski live is one of my favorite concert experiences, and I’m sure it will be one of your favorites, too.