Michelle Zauner, better known as the solo artist of Japanese Breakfast, took over Santa Fe’s interactive art installation, Meow Wolf, on Tuesday night.
The lo-fi singer fit in perfectly with Meow Wolf’s aesthetic, with her latest album Soft Sounds from Another Planet reflecting the underlying themes of the immersive installation.
The indie-rock singer wore a sci-fi esque, white monotone jumpsuit and followed the same color palette down to her shoes until they lit up with colorful LED lights as she jumped around the animated stage.
The Meow Wolf concert experience is unlike any other. Admission allows you a two-hour chunk of time to explore everything the exhibit has to offer before the main act starts. Meow Wolf contains every discipline of art. From sculpture, architecture and multimedia arts to audio production and augmented reality, it’s hard to feel as if you’ve experienced all of Meow Wolf.
This makes it the perfect venue for a concert featuring a band like Japanese Breakfast.
The concertgoer was able to experience Japanese Breakfast from multiple perspectives. One could get an upstairs spot and watch the show through the structure of window panes, as if you’re watching the show from the second floor of a New York high rise. Then, you could move down to the floor of the concert gave the opportunity to vibe within the open space of the community dance floor with the lively crowd.
As Zauner danced around the stage, she used her musical instruments as props to create a more lively experience in juxtaposition to her typically nonchalant sound. She whipped her microphone cord around, creating a snake like motion as she sang a crowd favorite “Road Head.”
Within the first ten seconds of the instrumental of the hit song, the crowd cheered as if they knew they were in for a treat. Zauner jumped on a large speaker that put her inches away from the crowd as she wailed out her final lines to “Road Head”. The venue became overwhelmed with clapping and roaring cheers.
Not only did Japanese Breakfast impress the crowd with her vocals and lively performance, she wowed with her live production and guitar artistry as well. The stage was crowded with a variety of instruments. Zauner incorporated a keyboard, white guitar (that matched her entire ensemble), foot pedals for live production and most shockingly an MIDI pad controller into her show.
The Oregon-native sang live vocals as her fingers bounced of the controller pad, to create a live mix of her song “Machinist”. The auto-tuned infused lo-fi single was much more than impressive with the combination of all elements that she incorporated.
During the last part of her set, Japanese Breakfast brought out the lead vocalist and guitarist of her opener band And And And, Nathan Baumgartner. Together they took the stage to sing “Everybody Wants to Love You”, and the crowd bopped around to the duo as they harmonized perfectly.
Unfortunately, Japanese Breakfast’ second opener, Snail Mail could not make the Santa Fe show due to vehicle complications, Nathan Baumgartner said. But And And And opened up with a 45-minute long set going back and forth between rock and mellow keyboard melodies overlapped with soft vocals. And And And came as a shock with their sound being the opposite of Japanese Breakfast.
The crowd later learned that both Zauner and Baumgartner are both from Oregon, and long time friends. This friendship unveiled itself through the chemistry both performers had on stage.
Shayla Cunico is a music and culture reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @ShaylaCunico.