Review: Mitski & Overcoats Shared Refreshing Energy at the Vic

The Vic Theatre welcomed Mitski when she performed at the venue for the Chicago-leg of her latest tour. The singer and songwriter toured in promotion of her latest album, Be the Cowboy, and showed her fans a side of herself that she’s never done before at her sold-out concert.

Opening for the singer was the Overcoats, two songstresses who charmed the crowd with their hypnotic vocals. The duo, consisting of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, was like a burst of refreshing energy with their vibrant movements and siren-like harmonies. Highlighting tracks from their short, but eclectic discography, the duo’s performance included the songs “Smaller Than My Mother,” “The Fog,” “Nighttime Hunger,” “I Don’t Believe In Us,” “Leave the Light On,” and a new song titled “The Fool.” The melodious vocalization of the duo combined with electronic and folk-tinged elements of their tracks created a lively ambiance for all to enjoy.

After a brief intermission, the houselights dimmed low, signaling the start of the Mitski’s set. The singer started out with tracks “Remember My Name” from Be the Cowboy and an oldie, “I Don’t Smoke” from Bury Me At Makout Creek. Immediately, there was a stark difference from Mitski’s previous shows and her current stage. Instead of the singer being accompanied by her usual guitar or bass, she stood onstage on her own. Unlike her past concerts that emanated a more organic band-like feel, this show was more of a theatrical production, exhibited through all of Mitski’s passionate gestures and interpretive dance.

Mitski danced, emoted, performed, and sang, giving new meaning and perspective to her songs through mesmerizing movement that she expressed with her whole being. Through synchronous song and performative art, Mitski performed­­­ more tracks from Be the Cowboy including “Me and My Husband,” “Washing Machine Heart,” “A Pearl,” and “Nobody,” but also performed beloved fan favorites from her vast discography, such as “First Love / Late Spring,” “Francis Forever,” “Your Best American Girl,” and “Happy.” The singer ended her set with “Drunk Walk Home” and “A Burning Hill” with a follow up encore of “Two Slow Dancers” and “Goodbye, My Danish Sweetheart.”

Nearing the end of her set, Mitski thanked the audience, excitedly exclaiming that “It’s an honor to play at such a beautiful place.” A fan shouted back that “We’re lucky to have you!” Chicago was truly lucky to have had such an intimate evening with the newly transformed Mitski, witnessing her continuous growth as an artist.

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