MUNA – Nova Twins // Chicago, IL // 05.16.23

MUNA with Nova Twins
The Salt Shed
Chicago, IL

Riding the wave of rapidly rising acclaim, indie pop trio MUNA is on the road completing a full US headlining tour in support of their third studio album made in their decade of bandhood. Having released their self-titled record less than a year ago, the band has made huge strides including performances at Lollapalooza and Coachella as well as opening for Taylor Swift on her Eras Tour earlier this Spring. MUNA evidently wins over a mass of new fans with each show they play bringing to the stage their unapologetic queer essence through synthy tracks about navigating the world through a self compassionate relational lens. 

The band made their stop in Chicago on Tuesday, May 15th at The Salt Shed – The same night that Caroline Polachek, Ethel Cain, and Kali Uchis would all be performing at other venues around the city, giving pop fans of Chicago a tough choice to make. But the sold out Salt Shed show boasting the largest venue capacity out of all the other concerts happening that evening made itself a statement – MUNA is taking over. 

The night was kicked off by British rock duo Nova Twins who came out swinging with “Fire & Ice,” track 5 off their 2022 sophomore album Supernova. Around the room, jaws hit the floor from many getting their first ever dose of Nova Twins, astonished by their attention demanding presence and undeniably strong nu metal influence crossed with lyrics about empowerment as women in the rock scene and the world at large. 

When MUNA took the stage, the massive Salt Shed was so packed and so intense that almost immediately, singer Katie Gavin stopped the song to draw medical attention to a fan in the crowd who had fainted. Once the situation was remedied, the band left the stage to re-do their intro and start the song again. MUNA opened up the set with “What I Want,” the first track off their newest album. “What I Want” is an anthem about letting loose in queer spaces after being cooped up in pandemic times, starting off with Gavin’s sultry voice proclaiming: When I go out again, I’m going to drink a lot / I’m going to take a shot / ‘Cause that’s just what I want. The verse built up to the chorus that had the crowd of thousands shouting: I want the full effects / I want to hit it hard / I want to dance in the middle of the gay bar – and with that, a queer celebration was fully underway.

MUNA performed for an hour and a half, playing hits and deep cuts from their three studio albums and closing it out with “Silk Chiffon,” their most played song on streaming platforms which features Phoebe Bridgers on the second verse. The song celebrates the sensations of gay makeout sessions and how good it feels to be your truest self. In essence, living your truth is the main message of MUNA’s songs and in an age where hiding behind what the world wants us to be is rapidly losing its popularity, it’s no wonder MUNA has made such a mark on the cultural zeitgeist.



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