Concert Recap: Mitski Makes Los Angeles Her Laurel Hell

By: Mendy
mitski laurel hell
Photo courtesy of Mitski. Photo by Ebru Yildiz.

On March 3, Mitski performed to a full house at The Shrine for the second, and last, Los Angeles show of her completely sold out Laurel Hell Tour. The streets were lined with fans, and the concert hall was packed. Bathed in sapphire blue light, the audience eagerly waited for the artists to take the stage.

CHAI’s Sparkling Start

Opening the show was the band CHAI, which consists of four members: ​​Mana, Kana, Yuuki, and Yuna. The loudspeaker introduced them humorously, spelling out their name then repeating “They’re Japanese,” in an addictive, robotic tone. In a burst of pink smoke, they appeared and played 9 of their songs, including “Donuts Mind If I Do” and “Nobody Knows We are Fun.” Most surprisingly, they performed a rendition of “We’re All In This Together” from the movie High School Musical. The crowd sang along in delighted recognition.

What perfectly matched their peppy energy was their gorgeous outfits. CHAI members Mana and Kana are actually twins, and had matching black bobs with flouncy green dresses overflowing with tulle. Members Yuuki and Yuna, who are not twins, adorned matching blond lobs and pink dresses, and it all blended together with the yellow lights as a wonderful collage onstage.  

Mitski Mitski Does Not Disappoint 

Half an hour after CHAI’s set concluded, Mitski crossed the stage and opened with “Love Me More” from of her newest 2022 Laurel Hell album. Dressed in a long lilac gown, Mitski was hauntingly beautiful against the white door behind her. 

Screams and cheers erupted from the audience, and there was no shortage of hands formed into hearts. Throughout her next songs, fans could be heard singing along with every lyric. Even with softer songs like “Francis Forever” and “First Love / Late Spring” from her third album Bury Me at Makeout Creek, the energy remained high. 

Mitski then transitioned into her edgier songs. The red and pink lights perfectly matched the romantic, but biting moods of fan favorites like “Me and My Husband,” “Townie,” “Nobody,” and “Best American Girl.” She swayed and stomped to the beats that reverberated against the dark walls and the buzzing audience. 

A Surprise Ending

Her endurance was remarkable. She took a break when she was over halfway through her 20-song long setlist after “I Bet on Losing Dogs.” When the lights flickered on, fans realized that singer Phoebe Bridgers was also enjoying the show from the balcony. 

Mitski was as sweet as ever, considerate of her fans’ journey to the show. “I’m so grateful to all the people who drove. I mean in L.A., I’m sure you drive a lot,” she said with a laugh. “I love you so much. Thank you so much for being here.” 

The last quarter of the show was both melancholic but exhilarating. She performed songs off her latest album including “Working for the Knife” and “Heat Lightning.” The singer also included hits from Be the Cowboy such as “Washing Machine Heart” and the finale, “A Pearl.” 

Last Ones Out

For her encore, she performed the heartbreaking “Two Slow Dancers.” The song talks about two older, past lovers reminiscing about their youthful romance that they can never return to. There was a comedic touch to it as the song parallels the expected end-of-concert experience, “Does it smell like a school gymnasium in here?” But, when she swelled into the final verse, “To think that we could stay the same / But we’re two slow dancers, last ones out,“ fans were brought to absolute tears. 

Mitski’s show was truly more than just a concert–it was an art piece that was painted by Mitski herself, and her fans. Just as she commanded in “Stay Soft,” “Open up your heart / Like the gates of hell,” audiences truly listened. 

Listen to CHAI and their setlist on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube

Listen to Mitski’s Laurel Hell album on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube. Missed her tour? Recreate it at home with the full setlist

Want more concert news? Check out our recap of BLITZERS’s concert here.