LIVE REPORTGREEN STAGE7/31 SUN
Sunshine, smiles, and a whole lot of bright energy
Japanese Breakfast’s set opened the afternoon portion of the festival’s last day at the Green Stage. Michelle Zauner, the founder of the band, waked on stage wearing a white tank top with a cute poodle head on it – a unique fashion choice that turned heads.
The band formed in 2013 in Philadelphia, PA, USA, while Zauner was still part of her emojified band, Little Big League. Japanese Breakfast has garnered worldwide attention especially over the last year, since Zauner published her memoir titled “Crying in H Mart” which illustrates her life being Korean-American, and her relationship with her mother who passed away from cancer a few years back. While Japanese Breakfast caught my attention as musicians years back, this memoir is the reason why I’ve gained deeper love and respect for Zauner and her music, due to the fact that I too, grew up in Oregon to an Asian mother and frequented H Mart (Asian grocery store) together. Zauner’s story of love and grief, and her relationship with her mother is truly relatable and thus, being in her presence at Fuji Rock was one of the most attractive parts of the lineup this year.
There was even a commemoration to her mother during “The Body is a Blade” with rotating photographs of Zauner’s childhood and photos with her mother. As the song came to an end, the backdrop displayed a photo of Zauner’s mother and got an closeup footage of Zauner on the side screens, showing how similar the two look — a sweet nod to a person who has influenced Japanese Breakfast’s career immensely.
Throughout the set, Zauner was very expressive with her movements; from passionate hands that stretched in all directions, to her smile the kept the skies sunny for the hour-long set. The visuals on the backdrop were also unique to each song, often displaying lyrics or themes that matched the energy of the song.
The cartoon visuals during “Glider”, which is a song the band produced for the Xbox game, “Sable”, made the audience feel like they were in the video game themselves. During “Everybody Wants to Love You” the words were displayed in the back, making it easy for even a non-English speaking crowd to follow along.
During “Slide Tackle”, Zauner yelled out “1, 2, 3, 4” in Japanese as she got the crowd to jump up and down to the band’s dream pop vibes.
The band then played their most famous cover, “Dream” by Fleetwood Mac as they encouraged the audience to sing along. Lastly, they ended with their greatest hit, “Diving Woman”. As the crowd cheered them on, the sun came out shining brighter than before to hint at the great set that just concluded.
[Photo: 10 All photo]