What We Want-MUNA’s Lollapalooza After Party

By Zoe Elerby

What We Want-MUNA’s Lollapalooza After Party 1

On July 28th, MUNA arrived at the first spot of their tour, Thalia Hall in Katie Gavin’s hometown of Chicago. The show began with purple flashing lights booming and welcoming their beloved fans to the first show of a long awaited tour to promote their new self-titled album. And the first thing on the beloved band’s mind was to put the “party” in the Lollapalooza After Party.

By starting the show with the clubby ‘What I Want’ from the new album, their fans didn’t hesitate to jump and scream “I wanna dance in the middle of a gay bar!”

When the song was finished, lead singer Katie Gavin proudly stated: “It’s good to be home!” causing the crowd to erupt in cheers and applause. Gavin talked to the crowd about how she remembered her time in Chicago, going to the massive music fest and having the time of her life. She and the other members of the band, Naomi McPherson and Josette Maskin joked about how late it was. They wanted to apologize because: “We know you’re all gay, this is way past bed time” stated Gavin.

The band playfully bantered with their audience while bringing them to tears at the same time. Their showmanship and stage presence was unmatched, no matter what song they were playing. Since this was the first show on a long awaited tour, the three main members and their backup instrumentalists did everything they could to start the tour out with a bang.

There was passion in every lyric that left Gavin’s lips, showing the quality and power of their new tracks while reminding the fanbase of the beauty of their first and second album. MUNA played some songs from “About U” such as “Crying on the Bathroom Floor” where McPherson and Maskin danced around one another in an epic display of professional guitar playing. Another from “About U” was “If U Love Me Now” which Maskin and Gavin affectionately called “The saddest song in the world.” Given the chorus, fans can’t help but agree as Gavin sang the lyrics:

There’s me in the corner throwing a fit, making a mess of it, don’t you love me now? There’s me under the table hiding from my lovers and my allies, don’t you love me now? It’s just a hypothesis or test, that I should not exist, don’t you love me now? There’s me in the doorway telling you please, you should just let me leave if you love me now.

Contrary to their new album, “If U Love Me Now” is about a person completely conceding their anxious and stubborn behavior, trying to convince their lover to leave them because of how pathetic they are. Comparing this song on their first album to “Loose Garment” on their latest album, there is a relationship to sadness that Gavin spoke about during the concert and how that relationship can grow and change. The lyrics in “Loose Garment” go as follows:

“Used to wear my sadness like a choker, yeah it had me by the throat. But now I feel I’m draped in it, like a loose garment. I just let it flow.”

The relationship to sadness within MUNA’s lyrics has changed in a very healthy way, the singer admitting that she was more than grateful for having fans that wanted to hear her and her bandmate’s story.

“We wanted more joy on this album. Especially because, as queer people [playfully] things are not always right mentally! And the joy can be really hard earned. We also just feel tremendous gratitude because working on these albums together, getting to grow up…we’ve been in this band for our twenties! And getting to do this work and tell these stories is helping so much to do to us like doing better. This song is just about there being pain but having a different relationship to it, it’s called ‘Loose Garment’”

The stage lights, the fans, the venue and the band’s overall presence on that stage made it worth it for a lot of day time Lolla goers. Maskin didn’t hesitate to show off her guitar skills and use the whole stage to tease her bandmates and rile up the fans as well. McPherson had a clear focus, which was mostly on the synthesizer but had fun messing around with their bandmates as well. And Gavin, with her silly dance moves and overjoyed smile, was ethereal in her voice and her presence on stage.

If you ever get the chance to see a MUNA concert, it would absolutely be worth it. The community was kind and willing to dance and sing with strangers at 1:00 a.m on a Thursday, knowing full well that this community was here to have a wonderful time and celebrate the new album with the band. You can find MUNA’s new self-titled album on Spotify and other music streaming platforms.

For tour dates and more visit: www.whereismuna.com/

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