Written by Haley Parsons
All Photos by Dan Gonyea
Japanese Breakfast hit Washington State for the third time this year with tour mates, Ought, for a sold-out show at The Neptune. The night was full of great music and playful hijinks.
Ought, a post-punk group from Montreal, wowed the crowd with their darker, 80s New Wave beats and vocals. Later, during her set, lead singer and mastermind behind Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner, toasted the band with the remark, “They are so talented and good-looking, I couldn’t figure out how they stayed so nice! Then, I realized that it’s because they’re Canadian!” I have to admit that our friends up North are superior in many ways and Ought’s humbleness and fantastic music is just be another line on the list.
After a quick gear set-up, Japanese Breakfast dove into their set with the mixing of “Planetary Ambience” into “Diving Woman”. Zauner was draped in gold and glided across the stage in all her glory. As a born PNW-er (she’s originally from Oregon but moved to the East Coast), Michelle gushed about how great it was to be in Seattle. They even played a new song, “2042” that melted into their setlist well—although it seemed more stripped down, production-wise, than most of Soft Sounds from Another Planet. Hopefully, this means there’s more new music on the way. But, there’s no rush for me, I could listen to the same JBrekkie setlist over and never get bored; especially when they mix bangers like “Everybody Wants To Love You” with a cover of “Dreams” by The Cranberries. Speaking of cranberries, if you’ve been to one of the last few Seattle Japanese Breakfast shows, you might’ve heard Michelle mention fruit… If you haven’t, I can break it down for you. Basically, Japanese Breakfast played The Crocodile a few years ago and some of the people who were at the show pulled fruit out of their backpacks and began passing it around the audience. The fruit would eventually reach the stage and the band thought it was hilarious. Seattle fans have joined in on this inside joke and several of them brought fruit to The Neptune. The band left with a pineapple, apple, and many other strange fruits.
The trio of Japanese Breakfast, Seattle, and fruit have become their own tradition that only fans know about and I love that. No matter how big they become, Japanese Breakfast will always remember the fruit and the fans who were there from the very beginning. Bands as genuine as Japanese Breakfast are rare to come by, that’s why I’m clinging to them!
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HALEY PARSONS | who doesn’t love fruit? | KXSU Senior Music Reporter