Japanese Breakfast at The Orange Peel

Holy shit, a show!!!

It finally happened! After about 17 months, easily the longest I have ever gone without going to a show since my first concert in high school, I finally got to see live music again. The first one back was Japanese Breakfast at the Orange Peel in Asheville with openers Mannequin Pussy. Japanese Breakfast has certainty leveled up since I last saw Michelle Zauner’s group at the Grey Eagle. That show was not sold out at all but a pandemic later she sold out the much bigger Orange Peel. It might have been pent up demand for just any show but I’d like to think the crowd has been converted by song’s from this year’s excellent new album Jubilee. It’s also worth noting Michelle has released a best selling book, Crying in H Mart, in that time as well.

But Japanese Breakfast was not the first band I watched in a year and a half. That honor goes to the memorably named Mannequin Pussy. I arrived in the middle of a downpour and took my wet shoes straight to the back to where I’d have the least amount of people near me I hoped. Let’s put the PSA right here. Obviously I am vaccinated and you should be too. I wore a mask anyway because what could that hurt around all the people? And I was beaming underneath that mask as Mannequin Pussy took the stage because it was an actual band, right there! Singer Marisa Dabice’s voice was totally shot though unfortunately. It was hoarse even when she spoke and there were song parts she didn’t even attempt but I don’t think anyone cared. The crowd was very into them and it was just great to have music back.

Mannequin Pussy

Japanese Breakfast was next. The sold out crowd totally packed in as almost everything from Jubliee got played along with highlights from the first two albums. Very few people had left by the time the encore Diving Woman was played. The singles Road Head and Be Sweet were the biggest hits and it did seem like the crowd knew the newer material better. I was glad the first show back was from an artist at the top of her game right now, doing her best work in 2021.

I can’t wait for more shows and hopefully we are finally, truly getting out of this thing.

Japanese Breakfast

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