The first show of the year at the National was a beautiful night, and headliner Japanese Breakfast was the most beautiful part of it all.
As the golden rays of the sun set on Thursday night, Japanese Breakfast rocked the house, headlining The National’s first show of 2021. Fans poured into the neon lit venue more excited than ever to see a Richmond favorite back to play in the city.
Opening band Mannequin Pussy, who hail from Philadelphia, started the evening with a stunning high-energy performance. They gave a beautiful rock set, playing songs from their recent EP, Perfect, bringing a joyous response and getting the crowd excited for more.
Japanese Breakfast, a dreamy band with a euphoric pop rock sound, were playing the second show of their current headlining tour. Michelle Zauner, the primary artist behind Japanese Breakfast, released a memoir in April entitled Crying in H Mart. It tells the story of her Korean-American identity and the death of her mother, as well as growing up, grief, joy, and finding paths through hardships. Japanese Breakfast’s albums tell a similar story through stages, lyrics, and melody, and their current tour is in celebration of their most recent album, Jubilee, which came out in early June. Jubilee, the third Japanese Breakfast album, carries a range of sounds from euphoric pop to bright rock. The record is the perfect mix of orange sunsets, deep tones, nostalgia, and fresh air.
After much anticipation, Zauner and her band hit the stage, and the cheers of the audience acted as a distant yet familiar sound that everyone was happy to hear. Opening with the first song on Jubilee, “Paprika,” the band’s expansive instrumentation, including horns and violins as well as ambient vocals, guitars, keyboards, and drums echoed radiantly through the venue. Their divine and alluring sound captivated the audience, leaving them completely filled with memories from a perfect night.
Here are some more images from that memorable evening:
All Photos by Lucienne Nghiem