THE ECHO, LA
02 JULY, 2015
With the just-released It's Ok under her belt, Eskimeaux (Gabrielle Smith) took the form of a band, including Told Slant as drummer, and they proceeded to shred the well-produced LP versions of the tracks, investing them with an unexpected vigor. Kicking off with "Alone At The Party" and "Folly", Eskimeaux exerted full control on "The Thunder Answered Back", and it's always impressive to see a supporting act pull off a singalong, "Broken Necks", but by then the spell was cast. Finishing up with "I Admit I'm Scared", Eskimeaux raised a considerable bar for the evening.
If there was a person up to the challenge, it would be Mitski Miyawaki, whose late 2014 release Bury Me At Makeout Creek has been a staple all through this year. The album marked a shift from the orchestrated grandeur of her first two LP's to a more guitar-based approach, while not sacrificing her singular songwriting. In the current lineup, Mitski plays bass and anchors, in every sense, a powerful trio. Kicking off with "Townie" and "First Love, Late Spring", it was alternatively funny and harrowing, with "Francis Forever" and "I Don't Smoke" also standing out as highlights. The towering "Drunk Walk Home" ruled all, and her closing cathartic screams seemed to mark a natural end to the set. Who the hell could top that. But Mitski carried on, breaking out "Class of 2013" from her previous LP, Retired From Sad, New Career In Business, and finished up new LP closer "Last Words of a Shooting Star", a mic drop in song form if ever there was. It was one of those nights that sold out for a reason.