American indie-pop band Muna kick off their first of two dates at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. The group met at University of Southern California almost a decade ago and signed to RCA Records shortly after. They garnered a cult following after releasing a slew of singles, including “I Know A Place” and “Winterbreak”. After recording two studio albums, MUNA left the label.
In 2021, the group served as the opening act for singers Kacey Musgraves and Phoebe Bridgers on their respective tours. The following year, Muna signed to Bridger’s record label, Saddest Factory, and released their self-titled third studio album. The record proved to be a success as it entered the global charts and was supported by the singles “Anything But Me” and “Silk Chiffon”, the latter featuring Bridgers. While riding high off the success of their new record, the group is readying themselves to perform their last date on the American leg of the tour before they take their show to Europe.
The show begins with an opening performance by pop punk band Meet Me @ the Altar. “Really wish I could stay, gotta fly to LA / Play a show at The Wiltern,” sings vocalist Edith Victoria while performing their latest single, “Say it (To My Face)”. Their high energy set consisted of songs that blended the styles of Paramore and the Jonas Brothers, with the band even citing the aforementioned groups and the soundtrack of Lindsay Lohan’s Freaky Friday as their musical inspiration. After their performance, the trio huddled on chairs in the center of the stage and performed songs from their upcoming album.
After a brief intermission, Muna lights up the stage with “What I Want”. An ode to queerness, the singer details the rollercoaster romance she desires as she “want[s] to dance in the middle of a gay bar”. Her words seem to resonate with the audience as the packed crowd sings along closely to every word. With themes of lust and love, Muna delivers passionate renditions of some of their recent songs, from the angsty “Number One Fan” to the sultry rock banger “No Idea”. The band then dive into some of their older classics, with “No Pink” proving to be a fan favorite. The hour-and-a-half long set captivated the audience throughout, with thousands of concert goers hanging on to every lyric. Towards the end, Bridgers came out and performed the song “Silk Chiffon” with the band
Muna’s opening night proved to be an unforgettable one. From start to finish, lead singer Katie Gavin delivered back to back songs, practically without stopping. Her powerhouse vocals were matched by lively instrumental backing by bandmates Josette and Naomi and complemented by some freestyle dancing. As demonstrated by the array of attendees at the sold out show, Muna’s music does not cater to just one audience. While the trailblazing group found their roots and chart success with 1980s inspired-synth pop, their live shows serve as an outlet for them to experiment with rock and alternative music. While still fairly new to the mainstream, Muna has effectively kicked off their new era of independence with a noteworthy start and leaves viewers eagerly anticipating their next move.