“How are you feeling New York Citttyyyy?” Grace Mitchell’s greeting lit a short fuse in the packed venue, setting off an explosion of jumping and grinding that nearly preceded the beat. The NYC crowd, already shoulder-to-shoulder and dazed, had snapped up all the tickets for MØ’s Terminal 5 show – and were now savoring the unexpected jolt of a really strong opener. Commanding the stage in slim overalls and a halo of wavy hair, Mitchell plunged into the depths of her first song, “Raceday,” asserting her presence with lyrics like “This is not a game to me.”
The self-described genre-bender lived up to her title, surging through shamelessly-synthy rock anthems, bubbling pop tracks, and 80s-ish power ballads with her versatile band. More often than not – especially when Mitchell was shredding – it was rebellious, stick-it-to-you dancepop, with enough impacts to grab the crowd’s attention and hold it. Mitchell’s fluid dancing seemed to have extra dimension under the strobing red and blue lights, which blurred all edges in view like a pair of 3D glasses.
After such a high-energy performance, the crowd sustained their excitement even as MØ’s set was delayed by more than a half hour due to technical difficulties – a snag that the Scandinavian songstress was gracious enough to apologize for. But MØ’s headlining performance was unapologetic in every way, the intensity building as she forged her first notes on “Don’t Wanna Dance,” which led right into “Waste of Time.” Rocking the grey-blonde hair she unveiled back in March, MØ delivered her rich vocals with constant movement and an almost intimidating gaze. The crowd cheered fiercely as her initials popped behind her in sparse bulb lights, from an M to an O to the properly-slashed Ø.
“So fucking wonderful to be here. I’m so happy to see you all!” MØ told her fans. “I can’t believe you filled out this whole venue. It makes me so happy – thank you!” Concocting a bold sound, she and her 3-piece ensemble revved up the full house with fan favorites like “Kamikaze,” “Walk This Way,” “Pilgrim,” and “Final Song” as fans kicked their dangling feet from the balconies above. But even the furthest onlookers would soon find themselves in a front-row spot. The star suddenly appeared right at their side on the upper level, singing out fervently from the balcony as the whole crowd veered around to watch. With a performer like MØ, it’s impossible not to.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley