An Evening with MUNA

On Thursday, Oct. 10th, I went to the most amazing concert along with a Sony Music University rep from my school. It was for a new band called MUNA that already has a huge fan base full of passionate fans across demographics. They have an indie, pop, dance sound that is new and refreshingly different from most indie-pop artists. They have a 90’s third-wave feminism style that’s reminiscent of an age of “girl-power” punk bands entering music. Their songs are empowering, candid, dance-worthy, shamelessly queer, powerful, and as Katie Gavin, MUNA vocalist said that night, emo. They also have a huge queer fanbase, and before the show, they tweeted “NYC See you tonight at gay church”. Which is amazing because it truly was a gay church. Overall, I love their music and style, so I was thrilled to see them in concert.

At the Williamsburg music hall, there was a small line of people arriving early to see the opener Chelsea Jade, who I did not know before the performance. Her music and stage presence ended up making me want to know her. She and her back up vocalists coordinated hypnotic movements perfectly in time with her electronic dance-pop music with a voice and sound similar Ellie Goulding. Just her and two backup singers wearing all black put together an impressive opener show that I thoroughly enjoyed more than I thought I would. At several points, Chelsea Jade went out to dance in the pit surrounded by the crowd as a part of the songs. MUNA’s opening act was a lot more intimate with fewer people and very informal. I enjoyed Chelsea Jade’s performance very much.

Before MUNA appeared, and as they did, the crowd had completely filled and was deafeningly screaming for the band. They opened with a flash of light on them with everyone suddenly on stage, and their most popular song “Number One Fan” and the gutsy opening line “So, I heard the bad news, nobody likes me and I’m gonna die alone”. The crowd’s screams were overwhelming, and everyone began screaming the lyrics they knew and loved. The band was confident and powerful with a captivating charged stage energy. Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson, the other band members were on guitars and backup vocals. The three members of MUNA danced and played together in sync and were completely free on stage. They all were wearing a form of Doc Martens shoes, a trademark of the 90’s pop rock and punk rock third-wave feminism moment. 

The crowd knew every word to every song including the ones off their new album MUNA Saves the World which was released a month ago. And when the band members danced freely to their songs, the crowd loved it. Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson were flipping their hair wildly on the guitars and hopping onto the drums platform and jumping off in sync many times. The band seemed to have their own three-part choreography pieces they did in certain songs. Katie Gavin’s vocals were powerful and flawless for every song. At one point, the audience was cheering so long after a song that she started to tear up and get emotional because of all the love in the room.

For some songs that were emotionally charged about love including “It’s Gonna Be Okay”, many members of the audience shed tears and were moved by the songs. And the sound of the crowd singing “It’s Gonna Be Okay” made it hard not to feel connected to everyone at the concert. During the show, Gavin said that they decided to call their album MUNA Saves the World to suggest that you can save the world by saving yourself. And during that song, we all felt that, and it was transformational. 

The entire show was transformational and empowering. Some of the songs brought up a lot for me, and it was a nice space to process things. I’m so grateful for MUNA and these women who made this band a reality. I’m so grateful I got to attend this concert because that night MUNA really did save my world.  

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