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mxmtoon has been making waves in the music scene for the past few years. She began to make noise in the industry around 2017 by posting her original work and covers on social media. It spread like wildfire. Fast forward to 2023, mxmtoon has been racking up the views/listens across all platforms. At the date of this review, she’s amassed 347,573,340 listens on “Falling For U” and 253,805,564 listens on “prom dress” on Spotify. Seeing numbers like this, I knew she was not an act to miss. Let’s hop into it.

Opening for her was Ricky Montgomery. I wasn’t familiar with his music but the indie-pop singer-songwriter got the crowd singing along with every note and word. The crowd really engaged with his musical versatility and soulful vocals. Montgomery had an ability to tell stories through his music which really kept the crowd engaged until he hung it up for mxmtoon herself to take the stage.

As the light dimmed for mxmtoon’s introduction, the crowd erupted into cheers. I thought the crowd hung onto every word that Ricky Montgomery sang, but that was child’s play for how they latched onto mxmtoon’s music. Some of her hits that had every person in the venue singing were “mona lisa”, “prom dress”, and “fever dream”. In addition to her soulful singing, mxmtoon also broke out the ukulele for many of her jams and strummed along to her vocals. Throughout her set, she paused for moments to just talk and interact with the crowd. In these moments of raw authenticity did it dawn on me that she amassed not only a fan following for her music, but for her personality as a human being. I love peeling back the curtain to subcultures like this and mxmtoon and her fans didn’t disappoint on a great time.

Overall, the folk-inspired indie-pop artist absolutely crushed her set at The Observatory in Santa Ana, California. Her set was emotionally charged and a memorable experience. When she’s playing a show near you, get yourself out to that venue! I guarantee it’ll be a blast. 

Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

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