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Live at Cafe 939: mxmtoon

Bedroom pop starlet Maia, better known as mxmtoon, recently embarked on her plum blossom (revisited) tour, an intimate seven-stop tour meant to commemorate her artistic genesis. Maia shared “plum blossom (revisited) is my way of paying homage to where i started from, to thank everyone who’s grown up with me over the last five years, and encourage people not to shy away from embracing our younger selves.” 

The original plum blossom EP, released in 2018, featured songs Maia wrote, mixed, and recorded on GarageBand in her childhood bedroom when she was seventeen. Now, at twenty-three, armed with the resources and her honed-in talent, Maia revisited her first project with a fresh pair of eyes. 

As a longtime mxmtoon listener, hearing that Maia was going to tour her original work was beyond exciting. Mxmtoon’s lyricism has always been direct, a punch-in-the-gut kind of honesty that makes you feel like Maia reads your mind at your most earnest moments, with lyrics like “Feelings, oh feelings, you tear me apart/ And I wish I could start again/ But I know that there's the other side/ The one that I can't see right now, but I'll find it.” and “Your family is living without you/ All the way across the sea/ Your family is moving without you/ No matter how much you plea/ A home away from home/ Yet, oh, so far away/ Been years since I've been back/ And my memories will slowly fade away.” filling this album. 

Mxmtoon has sold out large venues like Boston’s “Royale” theater in minutes, but because of the deeply personal nature of these old tracks, Maia opted to perform at far smaller, intimate venues like Boston’s Cafe 939. On December 14. mxmtoon performed to a crowd of 200 people at Cafe 939. With a crowd so small we were interacting with the purest of the mxmtoon fanbase. As the hall filled one fan began passing a small gift bag around announcing “I made a bunch of friendship bracelets please take one!” The bracelets featured phrases like “yippee,” “prom dress,” “porcelain,” and “cliche” in honor of the many songs and mantras of the mxmtoon sphere. The crowd was idly chatting and making friends with one another, swapping stories of the last time they saw mxmtoon live or what tracks they were most excited to hear. The environment was almost homey. 

When mxmtoon took the stage at 7pm she seemed to do a double take at the crowd as she exclaimed “are you all just really tall tonight or what?” adding “usually when I perform you’re all a lot shorter.” With Cafe 939 being such a small venue, the stage was low to the ground meaning we were all eye level with a 5ft 3in Maia. To kick off the night the artist played fan favorite, lovesick track “cliché” on her ukulele adorned with sun and moon markings. 

Between each song the singer was chatting with the crowd, at a point asking us to communally crack our knuckles or exclaim “yippee” in unison to alleviate our stresses. Maia laughed and cheered along with us, at times it felt like a camp counselor leading us through fireside activities and at others it felt like hopping on FaceTime with a friend you haven't heard from in a while. 

Deeply personal and at times heartbreaking, tracks like “porcelain,” “hong kong,” and “stuck” became all the more intimate as a sea of 200 people gently sang lyrics like “But even with the good/ The bad feels so much stronger/ My inner demons, they always win/ And in my mind they saunter” back to the artist. Knowing that everyone in the crowd had related to these lyrics at some point and were now being given the opportunity to experience that catharsis with others made the concert feel like a communal therapeutic experience. 

Outside of songs on plum blossom (revisited), mxmtoon also played fan favorites like “mona lisa,” “sad disco,” and “prom dress” which had fans grooving together and loudly yelling back the iconic lyrics “I’m sitting here crying in my prom dress/ I’d be the prom queen if crying was a contest.” 

Mxmtoon creates a healing, therapeutic, nostalgic, and cozy ambiance at her shows as she sings intimate tracks that take you through the depths of her mind and yours. To experience a healing catharsis, I recommend grabbing a ticket the next time mxmtoon tours, regardless of whether she is revisiting plum blossom or not. 



Idea of you 

Mona lisa 

Sad disco 


I feel like chet 

Hong kong 


Temporary nothing 

Feelings are fatal 

Prom dress

Riptide (cover) 


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