Japanese Breakfast Brings Some Jubilee To The Agora Ballroom In Cleveland After over a year of concert hiatus, Cleveland gig-goers got their taste of normalcy with the return of Japanese Breakfast.
CLEVELAND, OH- It was all a dream….well, at least that’s what it initially felt like when walking into the packed concert hall on Thursday, August 5th at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland.
Having gone without a live concert for well over a year due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions placed on large gatherings shortly thereafter, the excitement in the air at the Agora was practically tangible. The sense of excitement emanated from every fan in attendance. There were obviously some remnants of this past year’s struggles still showing within the room at large, mainly the mandated masks that all fans in attendance were required to wear while inside the venue. However, this seemed not to perturb anyone as the main focus of the night was to catch the main attraction: Michelle Zauner A.K.A. Japanese Breakfast.
Kicking off her tour in support of her third LP Jubilee that was released to both solid critical and commercial review, Michelle Zauner’s performance seemed to invite an ethereal sense of calm over the audience. This could be attributed to her flowing white, sparkling gown that seemed to suspend off her like a cloud, and her delicate vocals that inspire callbacks to Michelle’s predecessors like Björk or Beth Gibbons from Portishead. Crafting upbeat indie-pop that masks serious subject matter like death and dealing with grief, Japanese Breakfast is a personal project that comes off highly relatable to many; easily noticeable by the continuation of large crowds at each one of Zauner’s shows.
Opening her set with “Paprika”, the first track off Jubilee, Zauner did not waste any time in capturing her audience’s attention. Seemingly gliding and using most of the large stage she was given, Zauner’s opener fits well with the general mood of the crowd. With a warm glowing backdrop of lights suspended behind her and light gong-hits in between breakdowns of “Paprika”, the feeling of pure joy to be able to witness both visual and auditory performances again in-person was shared by all in attendance. Past her opening tune, Zauner played a collective mix of primarily new songs as well as an array of older deep cuts from her other Discogs like “The Body Is a Blade” and “Boyish” while also throwing in a killer cover of a Dolly Parton classic, “Here You Come Again”. Zauner’s performance was definitely a fun and interesting mix of her different styles of indie charm. The slow, melancholic songs that were nice to just close your eyes and drift to, or the more fast-paced, danceable numbers like “Be Sweet” were a refreshing blend that capped off a much-needed return for the popular indie-music scene in Cleveland.
If you want to catch Michelle Zauner’s Japanese Breakfast on her 2nd leg of the tour starting back up in early September or to learn more about the Philadelphia indie-start, click here!