MUNA performing 'Anything But Me'Photo by Josh Osman with permission for Varsity

Queer euphoria is a near-indescribable sentiment. For a split second, everything aligns. You find yourself in this clichéd rose-coloured bubble, levitating gently just above the ground, but never so far from it that the experience removes you from your own body. Comforted and liberated from the darkness of being a queer person, you’re never more immersed in its beauties. As intense as that sounds, I can think of no better description for the feeling of watching lead singer, Katie Gavin, belt the final chorus of “Silk Chiffon”, surrounded by other sweaty, screaming queer people. The unapologetically explicit bubblegum-pop song, a queer sex anthem that became an instant cult-classic, was the perfect closer, a worthy climax, after an hour of celebrating the highs and lows of the queer experience through song.

“The infectious beat blasted across the audience and the lights shifted”

On 10 May, MUNA held an intimate concert at The Garage, Highbury, with a capacity of just over 600. Due to some technical difficulties during the opening act, the increasingly anticipated entrance of the band was slightly delayed. However, the atmosphere had been set with a playlist that, though incredibly odd, was perfectly tailored to its target audience. Only after hearing “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” in the space of ten minutes did I fully acknowledge who MUNA is for: the queer young adults who grew out of, but never let go, of their early teenage emo phases.

MUNA performing 'Kind of Girl'Photo by Amy Clark with permission for Varsity

So, as the gentle piano instrumental of “Grow” played while the band walked on stage, the ecstatic crowd erupted into roars of applause and excitement. In a rare moment of silence, Gavin smirked and her words could not have been clearer: “So, I heard the bad news.” Instantly, the drop of the infectious beat blasted across the audience and the lights shifted. There is hardly a better choice for an opening song than their uplifting, upbeat hit single “Number One Fan”.

“MUNA are effortlessly captivating and endlessly impressive”

Each album received a lot of love in the 13-song set, both from MUNA and their enthusiastic audience, seemingly composed entirely of superfans who knew the words to every song. Fan favourites: “Crying on the Bathroom Floor” and “Stayaway” attracted just as much energy as the singles from their upcoming self-titled third studio album, including the currently unreleased electropop triumph “Home By Now”. The forthcoming single even rivals “Anything But Me” in catchiness and danceability, demonstrating once again that MUNA have mastered the craft of pop music.

MUNA performing 'Silk Chiffon'Photo by Josh Osman with permission for Varsity

Combined with the appropriately ever-changing lighting, the electrifying stage presence of all three members of MUNA made for an unrivalled concert environment which was only further enhanced by the raw, unfiltered joy emanating from the crowd. Gavin’s vocals, though they’ve always been strong, carried a richer sound than ever before, filling the small venue. Josette Maskin’s contagious vivacity, with her constant movement and engagement with the audience, made them a delight to watch on stage. Equally, Naomi McPherson’s soft voice shone on their wonderful rendition of Phoebe Bridgers’ verse on “Silk Chiffon”, certainly one of the most welcome surprises of the concert.


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Aside from the musical performances, their wonderfully entertaining interactions with the audience felt more touching than ever in such an intimate setting. Between McPherson’s quick-witted reference to an iconic Kacey Musgraves moment and Maskin staying on the floor for a little too long after one song, it felt like each of them invested all of themselves into every single performance. The heartfelt contextual explanations for “I Know A Place” and “Silk Chiffon” served as a reminder of the cultural impact of these songs and their deeper meaning, both to the band and the wider queer community.

To put it simply, MUNA are effortlessly captivating and endlessly impressive: stellar performances, infinite charisma, and an impeccable concert environment that felt simultaneously enormous and cosy. Seeing them live for such a special gig only convinced me further that this outstanding pop group is destined for the “international success” they love to joke about.