Mitski at Crystal Ballroom on Nov. 1, 2018

In the royal hierarchy of indie music, songwriter Mitski Miyawaki has the throne. With strongly poetic lyricism, a hypnotizing stage presence and a devout fanbase selling out every stop of her Be the Cowboy tour, Mitski commanded attention and proved herself a queen of her art form at the Crystal Ballroom on Thursday night.

Before her highly anticipated return, a surprise awaited the crowd as New York duo Overcoats delivered what this writer would consider one of the strongest opening sets of recent memory. With polished harmonies over bright electronic production, the duo’s stage presence oozed headliner charm. With their second album on the way, you’re sure to hear more from Overcoats in the near future. But even though the opener impressed, the crowd was there for Mitski, who the duo themselves dubbed “a goddess.”

On stage, her presence was ethereal. With slow, robotic and subtle movement, Mitski’s lyrical talent became the center of the show. The production of her live set didn't overpower the music itself, but instead complemented it and put it on full display. This spotlighting of her lyrical ability certainly accounted for most of what made Mitski’s set so compelling.

The crowd was absolutely captivated as she played a packed set of 24 songs. With bite-sized lyrical gems allowing for short record runtimes, Mitski was able to pack most of her last three albums into the set, including a large amount of her latest record, Be the Cowboy.

Songs like the glistening disco “Nobody” got the sold-out ballroom jumping around and dancing with tears in their eyes, while her slow acoustic rendition of album closer “Two Slow Dancers” simply left the crowd in awe. Though the sounds and vibes of the night were ever changing, not a song went by without the unified voices of the fans belting every word.

Her ability to captivate and hold such a power over a crowd certainly solidified her status. In the moment, watching her on stage and the audience's reaction, it certainly seemed that no other could match. Mitski holds the throne. Brendan Swogger

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