by Katelyn Desjardins
Before attending her show at the Sinclair this November, I was admittedly not the most dedicated mxmtoon fan. I had heard a couple of her songs and thought they were cute, so when I was given the opportunity to go to her show, I thought to myself: “why not?”
When I got there, I was immediately struck by how young the crowd was. I overheard girls introducing themselves to each other and one of them said “wow you’re 16? That’s so old!”. I became a bit concerned about this when the opening act, Chloe Lilac, encouraged the crowd to sing the lyrics “Thot juice met a boy I can’t forget / James Dean on a fuckin’ citibike” and I saw many a dissapproving mother stare their daughter down. Aside from those moms though, the whole crowd loved Chloe Lilac. The 17 year old indie/alternative singer got the crowd energized and definitely gained herself some new fans along the way. After the opening act I was left thinking about how this was for most of the people in the room, probably one of their first concerts. I was nervous—what if this isn’t a good experience for them? What if the whole show felt like those moments where their mom was staring at them disapprovingly? But when mxmtoon hit the stage, she showed me that I had nothing to worry about.
The bedroom pop singer/songwriter showed how she aptly fits into that genre before she even stepped on stage. The stage design was simple and charming: a background curtain with her album art, a warm white neon sign saying “mxmtoon,” a lamp with origami cranes hanging off of it, and a step stool with water, plants, and a stuffed Peppa Pig perched on top of it.
When mxmtoon walked onto the stage it felt like I was watching her walk into her bedroom. She performed her first song “blame game” with ease, immediately drawing the crowd in with her voice and lyrics full of emotion. She held the crowd in the palm of her hand until the encore was over and the lights fell upon the audience instead of the stage. A sweet rapport was developed between mxmtoon and her audience, as she would chat with us between songs, recounting the story behind a track while tuning her ukulele. For example, before performing “my ted talk,” she explained the meaning behind the song and it’s title. The song opens with the lyric “my therapist once asked me / If I wanted to be in love / And I told her / ‘I don’t know, I guess, maybe, kind of,’” immediately pulling you into the exact theme and emotion of the song. But mxmtoon’s banter with the audience made that meaning so much more pronounced. It was clear that she deeply felt the lyrics that she was singing.
It was this honesty and the comforting bedroom-esque environment that left me feeling so happy for those middle school girls whose first concert this was. I saw one girl crying while singing along to the song “feelings are fatal”—“I’m always sad / And I’m always lonely / But I can’t tell you / That I’m breaking slowly”—and I was reminded of how truly hard being a middle school girl is. And then when that girl was hugged by many others in the audience—who all kept singing along—I felt so thankful for the community that concerts can create. Whether it was your first concert or fiftieth, it was undeniable that mxmtoon put on an amazing show. She displayed real raw emotion with her voice and lyricism, while making the crowd laugh between songs with her lighthearted disposition. To bring the night to a close, mxmtoon concluded with a soft and sweet performance of her song “Falling for U,” a perfect lighthearted way to end the night. I left knowing whose music to turn to the next time I’m heartbroken over someone I never dated.