In continued support of their summer release “Soft Sounds From Another Planet,” Japanese Breakfast quite literally brought a storm of excitement to the Twin Cities this past Monday. I was among a handful of other people waiting for the doors under the awning of the Triple Rock, watching the intense lightning and thunder just before the doors opened for the show. Once inside, there was a collective sigh of relief that turned what was once quiet anxiety into quiet anticipation in the small crowd that was present.
The wait for the spirit of the beehive, the first band of the evening, seemed extremely dull in comparison to witnessing the storm outside. Once the house music died down and the spirit of the beehive sauntered on stage, I turned around to see the Triple Rock sporting a full crowd.
Indie rock outfit the spirit of the beehive was a band I have never heard of before, but upon watching and listening to their performance I could easily see how they were opening for Japanese Breakfast. The band sonically started soft; a gentle energy outpoured from their first song and carried into the rest of their set. At times, the bands onstage banter felt awkward and out of place, a complete opposite form their musical presence.
Sandwiched in between the spirit of the beehive and Japanese Breakfast was the erratic and organized chaotic energy that outpoured from direct support Mannequin Pussy. Going into the show, my expectation was that the bands that were playing would match the musical dynamic of Japanese Breakfast, and I was pleasantly surprised to watch a contrasting performance. Mannequin Pussy, alternative rockers from Philadelphia, easily had the most physical energy of the night, their performance unpredictable from one moment to the next, which only added to the excitement of their performance.
The first time that I saw Japanese Breakfast was at a stripped down, solo performance at the intimate Middle East in Massachusetts. After seeing that performance last winter, I can easily say I was more that excited to see a full band performance, to witness how that energy and dynamic changed with more players involved in creating a more rounded Japanese Breakfast sonic experience. As soon as Michelle Zauner and company walked onstage around 10:45pm, the entire dynamic of the room changed; the once erratic intensity of Mannequin Pussy evolved into a quiet storm of emotive expression.
One of the most exciting aspects of a live show to me is to be able to see musicians get lost in the art of their craft onstage, which is exactly what Japanese Breakfast did during their entire set. After seeing Japanese Breakfast in a solo performance halfway across the country and as a full band experience, I can easily say I was able to walk away completely satisfied with the full band experience, as it exceeded my expectation. Walking out of the Triple Rock at looking at the crowd around me, I could see that this was a shared experience, and one the crowd was ready to relive.