Photo Credit: Charlotte Patmore


Review by Ash Zimmerman


Mitski is made of light. 

Following the release of her seventh studio album, “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We,” she has taken the world by storm in a tour of unmatched visuals and sound. This week, she played a series of shows at Boston’s MGM Music Hall at Fenway, and I was lucky enough to get to see her on the second night out of four.

Mitski’s performance was characterized by movement. Carefully choreographed and perfectly precise, every step, twirl and gesture of a hand was rich with significance. Mitski is nothing short of a creative genius. It was clear to me from the moment she stepped on stage, a silhouette behind a red curtain moving her arms to the pulse of the music, that every moment of this concert would be meaningful.

From intense rock-pop ballads to soft melodic songs that sound like spoken word poetry, Mitski has covered the full spectrum of human emotion through sound. She can carry a note of a single syllable and convey a feeling no words can begin to describe. And yet, her lyricism is also profoundly powerful. She writes like a poet and sings like a siren.

The aspect of the show that blew me away the most was the lighting. In “Working for the Knife,” a song about working towards something that’s actively hurting you, hundreds of tiny but distinct beams of red and white light spun around Mitski as she leaned back, belting the song’s final chorus. After she finished singing “Thursday Girl,” a bright blue light erupted from where Mitski lay on stage and covered the entire venue with blue light to mimic an eruption of water– introducing her song “Geyser.” In “Heaven,” Mitski slow-danced with a spotlight in a heart wrenching melody about loneliness and lost love. In “My Love Mine All Mine,” an ode to the ability to love deeply, shards of mirrored glass hung down from the ceiling around Mitski and reflected golden beams of light throughout the venue and onto the crowd– reminding the audience that their love for the music is part of the show, too.

Between songs, Mitski told a story that really stuck with me. Earlier that day, she was taking a self-defense class, and the instructor wanted everyone to practice standing their ground when being approached aggressively in public. When the instructor got to Mitski, she awkwardly exclaimed, “No thank you!” Initially, she felt that she failed the exercise. But then, to the crowd, she recalled her childhood, and how she used to be so full of rage at the world that she internalized it all into toughness. She craved altercations because she wanted a way to take her anger out, and she didn’t much care what happened to her. Now, as she’s gotten older, she no longer harbors that same toughness, and she is taking a self-defense class to better protect herself because she actively wants to be safe. This, she realizes, isn’t failure: it’s growth. She encouraged the crowd to chant with her, “I didn’t fail!”

Mitski is a joy. Despite so many of her songs being about loneliness and heartbreak, all I felt was that joy while listening to her perform. It radiated from the stage through every inch of the venue and I couldn’t stop smiling the entire show.

Mitski is made of light. She becomes one and the same on stage with the beams of light that dance around her while she sings. Their only distinction is that Mitski shines the brightest.


Review by Sadie Shelkey

Touring for her seventh studio album, Mitski transported the audience into the realm of her impassioned music, the transcendent experience more akin to performance art than a traditional concert. A blustery cold Friday evening, this performance was one of four sold-out shows at MGM Music Hall, two of which were added after extraordinary demand. 

“The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We” bridges folk and country inspirations with Mitski’s emotionally driven, vulnerable lyricism. The album is a self-reflection journey, expanding on her previous work’s themes and specifically highlighting the delicate balance between self and external perceptions. The stripped-back intensity of this album clearly hit home for many, as the album received critical acclaim upon its release in late 2023. The single “My Love, Mine All Mine” was also a critical and commercial success, placing in the Billboard Hot 100 and topping daily Spotify streams for weeks. 

With this performance, Mitski added a new dimension to her recent album, taking an audience of 5,000 along on an intimate journey of music, light, and movement.

Accompanying Mitski during her Boston run was Tamino, a Belgian-Egyptian artist with unmatched vocal range and technical control. Accompanied only by a spotlight, his guitars and an enchanting voice, he immediately captivated the audience. Often compared to vocalists like Jeff Buckley, Tamino wowed the room with graceful moments of falsetto and baritone. It was a true joy to see him perform. His brief set included “Indigo Night” and “Habibi,” leaving even the most stoic dads in the crowd with their jaws on the floor. 

After a pause, time seemed to stop as the lights dimmed and Mitski took the stage. As a mere shadow projected behind a magnificent curtain, she opened with “Everyone.” Accompanied by various instrumentalists, Mitski immediately immersed the crowd with haunting vocals and larger-than-life movements. 

As the curtain lowered, the platform she stood on became a stage in and of itself as she moved into songs from “The Land is Inhospitable….” From mourning to triumph, Mitski symbolically narrated every song, complimenting the passion and emotion present in her carefully woven lyrics with dynamic performance. Her movements felt free and full of life, yet incredibly polished. I even wondered, at times, if the platform she was standing on was rotating, but it was simply her skillfully fluid movements.

Overall, the lighting design was truly masterful. With a few chairs and pillars of light acting as performers alongside her, Mitski breathed life and humanity into every song. From using a beam of light as a dance partner to fearfully escaping spotlights, she used the spectacular displays of lights and shadows illuminating the platform to add even more to her performance.

She occasionally broke the veil of intensity, sitting down to talk with the audience. She felt like an old friend, discussing her relationship with her art, her fans and those in her life through genuine and charming anecdotes. These interactions solidified Mitski’s place at the top of my list of musicians that I would love to chat with over coffee,” and allowed moments of audience connection in a deeply personal show that was otherwise distanced from the world of the crowd. 

As the night continued, she wove in some earlier works, including bridging the sound of “The Land is Inhospitable…” with her song “I Don’t Smoke,” boldly giving the ballad a more upbeat, folky sound. She finished the show with an equally moving and triumphant finale with an encore of “Nobody” and “Washing Machine Heart,” to which the audience passionately sang along.

I’ve seen Mitski on tour before, and have loved her multifaceted performance style since I first became a fan in 2019. Even to her usual standards, though, this show’s combination of a breathtaking array of songs and an incredibly layered performance really made me feel it. I’m not one to hyperbolize my experiences, so when I say I came out of this concert a changed person, I mean it. Mitski truly brought the songs of “The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We” to life through a raw and incredible performance.

Bravo Mitski. You’ve done it again.