Yesterday MUNA announced the new season of their podcast, Gayotic, with an episode in which Katie, Naomi, and Josette chatted with queer icons Tegan and Sara about, “sharing hotel rooms during tour, secret high school girlfriends, feeling like the Phantom of the Opera, and, of course, our therapists and whether or not we’re all over-therapized…” (Upcoming guests include Matt Rogers, Bowen Yang, Lucy Dacus, Clea Duvall, Hanif Abdurraqib, and Grace Kuhlenschmidt.) And based on MUNA’s show last Friday, May 5th, at The Met Philly, I suspect it’s already had a lot of listeners from the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.
That same Friday night, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker joined Phoebe Bridgers (whose label, Saddest Factory, MUNA is signed to, and who is featured on their biggest hit, “Silk Chiffon”) for a surprise boygenius set supporting Taylor Swift (for whom MUNA has also been providing support recently) in Nashville, and while the 3,500ish people whole-bodily embracing the fabulosity of queerness at The Met couldn’t quite fill a football stadium, Philly and MUNA gay-ed it up pretty fucking good ourselves… About halfway through the band’s Life’s So Fun Tour, in support of their 2022 self-titled third LP, the band proved to be not only still enthralled by their latest batch of songs (which they performed for 2,500 just last September at The Fillmore) – they played 9 of the album’s 11 tracks – but more on their rockstar game than ever… which has never been anything in which they’ve been lacking…
Lead vocalist Katie Gavin – in knee-high boots, hotpants, tie, and cropped shirt and jacket – beared more than a passing resemblance to Shirley Manson, with an ineffably sleek swagger, yet unafraid to let herself slip into total joyful abandon when the crowd provided a moment that was just perfect. Leather-pantsed lead guitarist Josette Maskin had all of the chops and showmanship of classic rock’s greatest axe-slingers. And rhythm guitarist and synth-player – also in leather pants — Naomi McPherson, arguably the band’s “coolest” member, held down the classic queer synth-pop vibes that propelled the evening’s festivities.
While the group’s latest album was the focus of the performance, providing nearly half of the setlist, this particular queer found two of the show’s highlights to come early on, with “Number One Fan” and “Stayaway,” singles from 2019’s Saves the World (two of the album’s four tracks played). They also played five numbers from their 2017 debut, About U, in addition to “One That Got Away,” their latest single, which they premiered last month at weekend one of Coachella. Despite only being around for a decade, 13 of the set’s 19 songs were singles, and you certainly didn’t need to know the words to pick up on that!