Anais Mitchell didn’t need amplifiers to fill the theatre to the brim with her soulful sound on Friday night at New York City’s Rubin Museum. The sold-out concert was part of the Naked Soul series which presents artists with a microphone free and stripped down sound.
Mitchell kicked off the set with Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” and captivated the audience as she floated through a selection of songs and stories from her accomplished career. The first of many sing-a-longs started promptly with the second song “Now You Know” from 2014’s “Xoa.” The set was opened up to request about midway through with attendees fervently shouting out song titles. One of the most popular requests was “Shepherd” with Mitchell adding that it is “always the saddest songs” that get requested.
Other highlights included selections from Mitchell’s musical “Hadestown” to the delight of the fans. The ever so timely “Why We Build the Wall” caused the crowd to collectively start singing along without being asked.
Throughout the concert artwork from The Rubin Museum was featured behind Mitchell as she played. During the one of the last songs the audience was instructed to sing the words “peace on earth, goodwill to all” while the “Bodhisattva” sculpture was displayed. The moment was quite striking as the audience was viewing a sculpture with prominent bullet holes while sending out peace and goodwill.
Mitchell’s beautifully honest voice soared through the venue for ninety minutes reminding those in attendance that she is a true poet and gift. The evening ended with an encore of “Way Down Hadestown” which was a sing-a-long, of course.
For more information on the Naked Soul Series at The Ruben Museum please visit: rubinmuseum.org/events/series/naked-soul
Director: Tim McHenry
For more information on Anais Mitchell please visit: anaismitchell.com