by Isaac von Hallberg

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The crowd around me was murmuring with distraction and anticipation, and I could feel the currents of excitement running through it. Then the first notes struck. Instead of coming in hot, the first sounds to hit me felt like a cosmic vacuum. Sucking in the attention and spirit of the audience, Japanese Breakfast felt like the center of the universe with a cute two piece blue set, and two little buns stacked precariously on top of her head. As she entered into the rest of her set, I could feel time tugging at my shirt, pulling me back through the decades. Landing in Seattle in the 1990s, her ethereal voice and simple and soulful guitar rifts interwoven with instrumental composition lifts me and carries me to what could have been, had I been born about 20 years earlier.

The audience was held in a trance through her set, falling more in love with each passing song. Japanese Breakfast closed out the night with an encore, playing “Machinist”, a song from her new album. In those last moments, the Fonda Theater was bleeding with bright stage lights and her hushed voice pushing through the speakers. My ears are still ringing from the experience.

Written by Kiana Fatemi

Photographed by Nicole Busch