For a headliner show, LA-based pop group MUNA ventured to Evanston SPACE Sept. 10 amid a busy month spent touring with Phoebe Bridgers.
The pop group is composed of vocalist Katie Gavin and guitarists Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson. The band is no stranger to Chicagoland, as Gavin is from Chicago and performed at Evanston SPACE at 16.
The band’s music is even interlocked with the city as well: “I Know A Place” persuades listeners to “hop on the purple line.” When introducing “Winterbreak,” Gavin stated that the second verse of the song was written in an Evanston parking structure.
The group performed their brand-new single, “Silk Chiffon,” with McPherson taking on the verse originally featuring Bridgers. While the song was released a mere three days before the performance, the audience had no problem recalling every word to the catchy, sapphic pop track.
The night ended as Gavin acknowledged difficult situations affecting the ways concertgoers could be mentally present at the performance, segueing into “I Know A Place,” the lead single from their debut album “About U.” The song was the second to last, repeating a call to cherish peace and to not “be afraid of love and affection.”
Standing amid a crowd of strangers, MUNA’s performance was a moving reminder of the connectedness and community found through their music. On stage, the energies of the artists fed off each other and clearly reveled in their audience’s animation.
The group sent its audience off with “It’s Gonna Be Okay, Baby,” the final track off their 2019 album “Saves The World” which Gavin introduced as a “gay prayer.”
The trio’s vulnerability was highlighted as they sang through trials of young adulthood, from moving across the country, to losing friends and falling in and out of love. After singing “you’re gonna tell your reflection,” Gavin addressed the audience and added “that’s you,” before the final chorus that echoed, “it’s going to be okay, baby.”
In the 90-minute show, MUNA created an experience full of reflection and hopefulness, sandwiching heavier songs between optimistic tracks that highlighted the group’s candor and vulnerability.
The group will continue on tour with multiple artists — Phoebe Bridgers, Bleachers and Kacey Musgraves — through February 2022. Their next show will be Sept. 15 in Lewiston, New York alongside Bridgers.