MUNA’s music is all about self-expression and empowerment, and their live show is no different. The band members are all incredibly talented musicians in their own right, and their return to the Twin Cities, marking their second show here since August, was a breathtaking display in more ways than one.
MUNA’s been on a roll lately. Lead singer Katie Gavins made sure the sold out Palace Theatre crowd knew that they didnt take their recent success lightly, thanking them for coming, listening, and allowing the music to act as a vehicle to be themselves – all amid fun banter between her bandmembers onstage. Their show at the Palace last night may have been just another date on a tour for them, perhaps not as meaningful of a stop amid performing sets at festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, and opening select dates in stadiums nationwide for little known pop-singer Taylor Swift. Tonight’s show didn’t feel just another tour date to the polite and welcoming crowd who packed the Palace, and it certainly didn’t feel like MUNA was at all tired from the road, or their recent success either. The band treated the show like it was their own stadium show – someplace they should be headlining soon enough.
At times, it felt like watching your best friends on a playground. The band danced, kissed, spanked, and chased each-other around on stage like a big game of lesbian tag. The crowd passed around “Stacy”, the band’s inflatable crowd surfing horse, waved pride flags, and danced and sang along to MUNA’s catalog with just as much energy as the band. The energy is only part of what makes a MUNA show so special, however. Their music is of course catchy and danceable, but it also has a deeper message. The band’s lyrics are often about personal experiences, social justice issues, and LGBTQ+ rights and body positivity. They’re a band whose not afraid to be vulnerable in their music. They talk about their own struggles and challenges, and they encourage their fans to do the same. This honesty is one of the things that makes MUNA’s music powerful, just as it is important.
It seemed like the crowd, much like a crowd for T-Swift herself, knew every word to MUNA’s songs. I watched as fans screamed and pointed to the band during the chorus of “Number One Fan” and “Anything But Me.” They vibed out to the smoky silhouettes onstage during the pounding “Runners High” just as much as they danced along to the self described, country song, “Taken”. I even watched a couple dudes in matching The 1975 tee shirts hug each other as they sang along to “Kind of Girl” in the balcony. Even that was far from the gayest moment of the night.
Queer joy can be hard to find in the Twin Cities, and even harder for the under 21 crowd. MUNA’s show is one of the rare times people in this region can get together in a room this size without fear of judgment or discrimination. The band provides a space of total acceptance for their audience, queer or not. Even if you’re just here for the Y2K pop sound, theres no denying that MUNA’s fans are some of the greatest in the world simply because they know how powerful a space like this can be for people looking for acceptance.
Perhaps the biggest pride anthem came during the encore, “I Know A Place” again being a powerful song where nearly all of the crowd could be seen completely dancing. Some fans even donned pink Silk Chiffons to the show, a nod to their song title and featuring Phoebe Bridgers on the studio track. Supporting act Nova Twins took over Bridgers’ line of the song during their encore, dancing and singling along with the band during the final song.
MUNA’s show at the Palace Theatre was a reminder of why they are one of the most exciting bands in indie-pop today. Its rare that a band can be both catchy and meaningful. With a powerful and moving performance that left the crowd feeling inspired and uplifted, theres no doubt they’ll be filling arenas of their own soon.