Mykki Blanco gets up close with the audience at memorable Perth show

Mykki Blanco | The Rechabite | 24th Feb | ★ ★ ★ ★ 

The performance from the American singer and rapper was a special treat for those who remained in Boorloo, as Blanco delivered an intriguing, memorable and tribal show.

Anesu served as the perfect support act, looking cooler than cool in dark shades as the delivered smooth flows and cutting lyrical commentary.

Backed by a drummer, bass player, and a laptop, Anesu performed the songs that have helped build up a legion of loyal local fans, alongside some new material too.

“This new music will be coming out soon.” Anesu promised but held back from committing to an actual timeframe.

The hometown performance comes in the middle of a tour for Anesu who just played the Gay Times Festival in Melbourne, and tonight will play the Heaps Gay Mardi Gras party in Sydney.

Mykki Blanco’s arrival on stage got the audience on their toes, unsure of what was about to come. With backing DJ Gentle playing an Indian sounding trumpet dirge, Blanco arrived wigged, in a crop top and sari, inviting the audience into a meditative moment.

The show got underway with You Will Find It the song that name checks Lady Gaga and Alice Coltrane. Blanco thanked everyone for coming out to see their “cabaret”.

Performing Patriarchy ‘Aint the End of Me Blanco picked up some giant leaf shaped fans and incorporated them into a meandering dance routine, later they’d pick up some giant black and white plastic chains from the floor, just a few of the random objects strewn across the stage. Long flowers in tiny pots were balanced delicately on DJ Gentle’s decks, they had to be saved from falling on several occasions.

Suddenly Blanco leaped off the stage, deciding to perform the next number in the round, inducing a tribal feeling to the evening’s program as the artist got up close with the audience.

Returning to the stage Blanco chanted about being black and gay, repetitively delivering the line while adjusting their tone from menacing to amusing, camp to threatening. “I’m Black and Gay, I’m Black and I’m Gay” they echoed over and over, letting the simple statement become a thing to ponder.

Not My Choice, the 2021 single that featured Blood Orange followed and then Blanco shared a new song that they said might be released in the future one day.  

French Lessons was one of the many highlights of the show, with Blanco giving a shout out to Anohni and Kelsey Lu who they collaborated on the track with.

The music was peppered with moments of powerful spoken word and Blanco showed an amazing talent for making a genuine connection with the audience.

The boundaries of the stage and the audience were broken down as Blanco regularly departed the stage to join the dancefloor.

The show came to a climax with a rave-like dance performance, Blanco energetically jumping up and down alongside the young crowd, while older audience members edged to a periphery. The flowerpot was given out to an audience member, and it sailed above the crowd as the dance party raved on.

An evening with Mykki Blanco was intellectual, thought provoking, liberating and completely unpredictable.

Perth Festival continues with DJ Mike Q at The Rechabite tonight, and Peaches taking up residence on Sunday and Monday. Mykki Blanco is performing at World Pride on Saturday night. 

Graeme Watson, images: Marnie Richardson. 

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