On the night of January 17th, Japanese Breakfast rocked the stage at Brooklyn Steel. Japanese Breakfast is an indie-rock, experimental-pop band, whose lead, Michelle Zauner, is show stopping. Zauner was not limited to her singing; the performer also played the electric guitar, acoustic guitar and electric synth that was placed stage right of the microphone. Many times she would play an instrument, as well as sing. Zauner also had her band to accompany her. This consisted of a guitar player, a bass player, a three piece string section and a drummer (who was also a piano player).
The vibe of Brooklyn Steel is very “metal” and seems as though the acts there would be the same. If you’ve never been to the venue, it’s an experience. The lower level of Brooklyn Steel is a wide open area with a large soundboard section towards the back of the room. It definitely looks like the place you’d want to have your favorite band play at. There were overhead lights that lit up the floor as well as the stage. The upper level consisted of standing room alongside the perimeter of the venue. It stretched about halfway around.
Coming out with a bang, Michelle Zauner brightened up the stage in a baby pink, strapless dress with several folds and ruffles. While keeping the vibe feminine with such a beautiful gown, Zauner maintained her edge by revealing a tattoo sleeve on her arm. The crowd responded in loud cheers and excitement. Multiple screams of “I love you” could be heard from the crowd throughout. Opening with “Planetary Ambiance” from the 2017 album Soft Sounds from Another Planet, the crowd was ready for the high energy band that was about to perform.
Japanese Breakfast had the ability to get the crowd on their feet and jumping with some of their songs, while they simultaneously had the crowd listening attentively to their mellow and softer songs as well. It was an impressive blend of both, and there was something for everyone to like. This music was definitely danceable, and it was clear that the mission was simply for listeners to have a good time.
With about a sixteen track setlist, some of the songs performed were more soothing than the other high intensity songs. The majority of their songs were more of indie, easy-listening bops. Some of these songs included, “Boyish,” “The Body Is a Blade” and “Machinist” from the album Soft Sounds from Another Planet. Their set also included songs from the 2016 studio album Psychopomp. Some of those songs included, “Heft,” “Everybody Wants To Love You” and “Triple 7.” When Japanese Breakfast slowed down their set, the crowd then enjoyed “Till Death,” a slower song that had a romantic mood.
Zauner was very personable, and the crowd responded well when she talked directly to them. Telling stories of loving New York City and expressing that it felt like it was a dream come true to perform on the Brooklyn Steel stage, Zauner had a great stage presence.
The crowd was mostly what seemed like older twenties and early thirties, but everyone was enjoying the sold out show just the same. Brooklyn Steel holds about 1,800 people, so to have a sold out show is a pretty big deal. Thanking both openers, Hand Habits and Palehound, Zauner talked about Japanese Breakfast being inspired by both other groups.
A very positive and exciting show, the venue fit perfectly for the band. Each aspect was carefully thought out, even down to the lighting and the projections behind the band; everything fit together so nicely. Everyone should definitely see Japanese Breakfast live in concert as they have something for everyone to enjoy.
- “Planetary Ambience”
- “Jimmy Fallon Big!”
- “In Heaven”
- “The Woman That Loves You”
- “Road Head”
- “12 Steps”
- “The Body Is a Blade”
- “Till Death”
- “Triple 7”
- “This House”
- “Jane Cum”
- “Everybody Wants to Love You”