Then it was time for the big, show-closing anthem: “Carry Me Out,” a clear crowd favorite and the perfect way to end such a special show. Did I love them or did I want to absorb whatever power they had? Ahead of the episode, ACL has shared a video of Mitski performing “Happy” from 2016’s Puberty 2. The Japanese-born/NYC-based singer, songwriter and university-trained composer has her own distinct point of view and a singular performance style that owes as much to theater and dance as rock and pop. The singer-songwriter pulls the curtain back on her emotionally raw songs in a spellbinding 8-song set backed by her 4-piece band. She returned, of course, as did keyboardist Kyuhyun Marie Kim, launching quietly, almost resignedly into the lovely “Two Slow Dancers.” She then thanked both the audience for supporting her in doing her “favorite thing in the world,” before praising the ACL crew as “the kindest, most accommodating, least pretentious people” with whom she’d ever done a TV gig. She sat stock still as the synth pulse of “Why Didn’t You Stop Me?” kicked off, going into full-on choreography as the song progressed. The band cranked up the volume for “Francis Forever” and “Dan the Dancer,” which contrasted nicely with her stoic performance style – at least until the leg kicks began on “Dan.” A plethora of sampled claps heralded the arrival of “Washing Machine Heart,” which garnered immediate cheers and encouraged Mitski to leave the desk. It was named the #1 album of 2018 by the likes of Pitchfork, New York Magazine, ESQUIRE, Consequence of Sound, and more, and #2 by NPR Music, The New York Times (Jon Pareles), and SPIN. Mitski Miyawaki, “one of the most interesting songwriters of her generation” (Paste Magazine), achieved breakout success with 2016’s critically-acclaimed Puberty 2, and soon after circled the globe as a headliner and as an opener for both The Pixies and Lorde. She then turned the desk over and stood behind it for the angry, strident “Drunk Walk Home,” brandishing her mic stand like a soldier practicing with a rifle and crawling on the floor in defiance. Be the Cowboy has earned widespread acclaim, topping critics 2018 year-end best lists. Leaving the table on its end, she stalked the stage for the vibrant, aggressive “Townie,” before straddling the chair like a Bob Fosse character for the danceably poppy “Nobody.” She re-embraced the table for the tightly powerful “Liquid Smooth,” before taking to a microphone stand for the clamorous “A Pearl.” The languid, spacey “Thursday Girl” found her back on the table, as did the heartworn “Lonesome Love.”. https://pitchfork.com/news/watch-mitski-perform-happy-on-austin-city-limits Her carefully crafted songs have often been portrayed as emotionally raw, overflowing confessionals from a fevered chosen girl, but on her stunning fifth album, Be The Cowboy, Mitski introduced a persona who had been teased but never so fully present until now—a woman in control. The title “is a kind of joke,” Mitski says. Coming up, she has a track called “Cop Car” on the soundtrack to Floria Sigismondi’s The Turning. Austin City Limits is a production of Austin PBS, KLRU-TV, Unless otherwise noted all photos © Austin PBS, KLRU-TV by Scott Newton, Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater. With a generous setlist covering her entire career, Mitski and her four-piece band gave us a stand-out show, made all the more special by her announcement on her Twitter feed earlier today that this would be her final tour.
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