Before she announced an opening slot for Lorde in spring of 2018, Mitski played a show on Sunday (10/1) at recently-renovated Jersey City venue White Eagle Hall as part of her fall tour. It was my first trip to the venue, which is less than a 15 minute walk down Newark Ave from the Grove St PATH Station, and feels roughly Bowery Ballroom sized, although the actual standing capacity is 800. White Eagle Hall also has some nice stained glass in the ceiling, bars upstairs and downstairs.
Like the other NYC-area shows she’s played behind 2016’s Puberty 2, including Webster Hall, Brooklyn Steel, and Panorama, Mitski was accompanied at White Eagle Hall by drummer Casey Weissbuch and guitarist and producer Patrick Hyland. I’ve seen Mitski with a few different lineups of backing musicians, and this is the best arrangement she’s had yet. Patrick’s guitar effects and noise add depth and weight to Mitski’s songs, and his restless onstage energy had him skittering between his pedal board and the side of the stage, an effective visual counterpoint to Mitski’s more deliberate style. Mitski doesn’t need an exuberant stage persona to get her point across, though; the crowd hung on to, and in many cases sang along to, her every word. Songs from Puberty 2 and 2014’s Bury Me at Makeout Creek were enthusiastically receieved, as was her closing cover, of Personal Best’s “This is What We Look Like.”