Has any touring act gone through as much of a transformation over the past two years as Mitski? In September 2019, she played what was meant to be her last show indefinitely, somewhat unsurprisingly after frequent interviews describing herself as private and at times overwhelmed by life on the road. In March 2022, she played her first of two sold-out shows at the 6,000 person Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, gleeful, energetic and better than ever.

Mitski’s fans are passionate and fiery, forming a line around the venue hours before showtime. Once inside, like water breaking through a dam, they pushed to the front of the dance floor. Her music has always drawn a diverse crowd, some looking back to the grungier sounds of Puberty 2 (she opened for The Pixies in 2017 for some context) and others eager to hear “Nobody,” which has gone megaviral in past months on Tik Tok.

Openers CHAI come from Japan and made a first impression much like seeing Die Antwoord during their early days of touring in the US. Wearing hooded tulle robes, they clearly took some fans by surprise as they dove into bubbly tunes with distorted guitars. Their tour bus was recently stolen while in Austin and a GoFund me is underway to raise funds — more information here.

Mitski is known for incorporating props and choreographed dances inspired by Japanese Butoh dance theater into her live shows, and it should be no surprise that those elements have returned for the current tour in support of Laurel Hell. She should also be known for crafting a masterful setlist — the pacing and placement of songs was excellent. “Once More To See You” into the aforementioned “Nobody,” for example, brought the tempo and mood down, then back up, in a masterful fashion.

From Laurel Hell, “Stay Soft,” which came early in the show, sounded lovely, as did Be The Cowboy‘s “Geyser” with it’s big, swooping vocals and build. For me, and perhaps many fans outside of Gen X, seeing “Your Best American Girl” live again was a spectacular treat, decorated with explosive guitars and bright, pulsating strobes.

Mitski plays The Shrine again tonight, March 3, and wraps up the U.S. leg of her tour with a hometown show in Nashville on March 31 before a stint in Europe. U.S. dates are below and full tour info and tickets are at mitski.com.


Mitski US Tour Dates

03-03 Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Exposition Hall
03-04 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
03-07 Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
03-09 Seattle, WA – Moore Theatre
03-12 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
03-14 St. Paul, MN – Palace Theatre
03-15 Milwaukee, WI – The Riverside Theater
03-17 Detroit, MI – Masonic Temple Theatre
03-18 Toronto, Ontario – Massey Hall
03-19 Montreal, Quebec – St-Jean-Baptiste Church
03-21 Boston, MA – TBD
03-24 New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
03-25 Philadelphia, PA – Franklin Music Hall
03-26 Washington, D.C. – The Anthem
03-29 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
03-30 Louisville, KY – Old Forester’s Paristown Hall
03-31 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium



Brian Benton

Brian Benton is a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles.