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Concerts

Mitski Delivered An Unforgettable Performance at Toronto’s Massey Hall

The “My Love Mine All Mine” singer played three sold-out concerts at the legendary venue in a masterful display of pure intention.

Mitski at Massey Hall in Toronto, Feb. 12

Mitski at Massey Hall in Toronto, Feb. 12

Yasseen Ashri

Nothing is an accident at a Mitski concert. Every aspect of the show, from the song selection to the light show and even down to Mitski’s every move, conveys pure intention.

The artist played her third sold-out Massey Hall concert in a row on Feb. 12 in Toronto, the only Canadian city on her The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We tour. It was more than just a performance. It was a carefully crafted exposition of the 33-year-old singer’s artistry, showcasing Mitski’s evolution throughout the years.


Since her debut album, Lush – released in 2012, as a student project at SUNY Purchase College's Conservatory of Music – she’s explored influences like modern rock, alternative rock, country, even orchestral music. Despite the fluidity of her style, Mitski's lyrics have consistently carried an ambiguously profound meaning. Many of her fans resonate deeply with the words, often interpreting her songs as stories of romance and loneliness.

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Though she’s had a long and critically acclaimed career, Mitski’s rise has gained significant momentum in recent years. Songs like “Nobody,” “Washing Machine Heart” and “My Love Mine All Mine” have blown up on TikTok, cementing her as a favourite among Gen Z listeners. Often nicknamed “Mother” or “Queen,” Mitski has collected a fanatic listenership reminiscent of artists more firmly in the pop realm.

Now on tour for her seventh album, Mitski's popularity continues to soar. Her contributions to "This Is A Life" from the film Everything Everywhere All At Once earned her an Academy Award nomination last year, while “My Love Mine All Mine” earned her a debut on the Billboard Hot 100.

So the anticipation for this tour was at an all-time high for Mitski. At its core, though, the performance left the audience questioning what she meant.

Mitski is outspoken about her ambivalence about fame and the burdens that come along with it. She seems to struggle without an audience to perform for, no matter how much of a toll it may take on her, and that seems to be one of the central themes of the performance.

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Throughout the act, fans demanded the singer’s attention with screams of adoration, an act she has condemned in the past. Unlike previous instances, however, she refused to interact with the crowd unless she initiated it. From the moment she stepped onstage, everything was on her terms.

The use of stage lighting drove the point home. Blue lights emanating from above encased her in a protective force field of sorts, distancing Mitski from the people in the audience.

Mitski at Massey Hall in Toronto, Feb. 12Mitski at Massey Hall in Toronto, Feb. 12Yasseen Ashri

Using her body, Mitski often interpreted her music through movements. She turned her back during her rendition of “Working for the Knife,” seemingly in an act of defiance. She used jerking, unpredictable movements throughout the 90-minute performance, almost daring the audience to laugh at her. She began her song “I Bet on Losing Dogs” by petting an invisible dog, before getting on all fours herself and becoming the losing dog she bets on. Lively and animated, she barked at the crowd and panted with her tongue out, until she keeled over and died in front of us all.

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Singing “I always want you when I’m finally fine,” could she be singing about her inability to let go of her need for performance, for a crowd? Mitski has often hinted at hiatuses or even retirement, but she never fails to come back.

In a 2023 Genius interview, she mentions that the song “My Love Mine All Mine” is often misinterpreted as being about her love for another person. The songwriter explains that the song is in fact about her love proper, her capacity for love. And that too felt like a major theme of the night. In order to find the peace she seeks, she must first sell what is most precious to her: her art, her love. She is telling the audience that we may have taken away everything else from her, but we may never buy her love.

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Billboard Canada put together this reel of highlights from Mitski’s concert at Massey Hall, Feb. 12.

Video by: Yasseen Ashri

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