MUNA makes a magic Mother’s Day at History

Fun filled set is a celebration of queer identity

A Mother’s Day romp with MUNA
Where: History, Toronto
When: Sun., May. 14
Vibe: A celebration of queer identity
Highlight: MUNA sing their “silly, little gay song” with thousands of fans
Next: Supporting Taylor Swift on The Eras Tour in the U.S., then several summer festivals
Rating: NNNN (out of 5)

“WE’VE BEEN A BAND FOR A VERY LONG TIME, and we’ve been gay for even longer than that,” MUNA frontwoman, Katie Gavin, announces to the welcoming cheers of the Toronto crowd at History.

The L.A.-based indie-pop band power through the first half of their set before taking a break to converse with the audience. Gavin mentions that, while walking in the park earlier in the day, they met some fans who had been at one of their first shows in Toronto when they played at The Drake Underground. At the time, MUNA had an unnamed song and a fan had suggested calling it “Family Day” because the show had been on the Ontario statutory holiday, but the band ended up deciding against it.

Coincidentally, their show this time around fell on another family-related holiday: Mother’s Day. Keyboardist/guitarist Naomi McPherson says on stage that fans have been jokingly wishing Gavin a happy Mother’s Day online all day. On a more serious note, Gavin takes a moment to acknowledge that Mother’s Day can be hard for some people without mothers or those who have a difficult relationship with their mothers. She explains that their song Kind of Girl is partly inspired by that, and how you sometimes have to learn to be a mother and take care of yourself.

MUNA keep the high energy up for most of the show, with a lull midway through the set for Gavin to “take off her sexy gloves” to play guitar on some slower-paced songs, including Winterbreak and Taken — the latter described as “a country song for the naughty girls.”

At the heart of the whole show is MUNA’s dedication to celebrating queerness and making sure that fans from all backgrounds feel safe to express themselves; it’s why they dedicate I Know A Place to trans and queer folk. Gavin waves a rainbow flag all across the stage during their performance of Home By Now after a fan throws it on stage, though she later apologizes for aggressively yelling “Throw it, bitch!”

Two inflatable horses get tossed around the floor for Anything But Me, though they come with a stern warning from McPherson that the band needed to get them back. She even sings “throw the horse” on backup vocals as encouragement.

To top off a great night, MUNA close out their set with their “silly, little gay song,” Silk Chiffon, in which they welcome back the opening act, Nova Twins, to help sing the well-loved anthem.