Japanese Breakfast Electrifies Packed House at the Fillmore Silver Spring

By Cassiel Arcilla & Quinn Dang

Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast
Photo by Cassiel Arcilla

“I love you!” someone yelled from the audience.

In that sacred hush between songs, Michelle Zauner, frontwoman of Japanese Breakfast, leaned toward the mic atop her piano, glanced out at the crowd, and, with the same sweet, aching intimacy that characterizes her lyrics, murmured, “I love you guys, too.”

At what was many concert goers' first show after a difficult year, Japanese Breakfast cultivated an incredible environment of love and vulnerability last Wednesday, July 21, in the sold-out 2,000-capacity Fillmore Silver Spring.

Their newest album, Jubilee, was released June 4th of this year, soon after Zauner’s memoir Crying in H Mart. Jubilee encompasses the joy that the album visualizes through its yellow, persimmon-themed imagery. After the previous two Japanese Breakfast albums, Psychopomp (2016) and Soft Sounds from Another Planet (2017), which served as creative outlets for Zauner’s grief and melancholia, Jubilee introduced a newfound radiance to Japanese Breakfast’s sound, full of sugary dance pop numbers such as “Be Sweet” and “Slide Tackle.” Even with the delicacy of songs like “Posing in Bondage,” Zauner never fails to provide an expansive charm to her sound.

Japanese Breakfast at the Fillmore Silver Spring
Photo by Quinn Dang

From pulsing white lights to Zauner’s ethereal singing to soaring saxophone solos, Japanese Breakfast reminded us all why we attend concerts. Along with the trademark Japanese Breakfast sound of dreamy synths, distorted guitars, and rich vocals, Zauner’s heartfelt nature in her music translates gracefully to the stage. The mesmerizing whispers of “Machinist” and the energetic bliss of “Everybody Wants to Love You,” among other familiar fan favorites (the opening riff of “Road Head” was an immediate cue for the audience to cheer), established Japanese Breakfast’s unforgettably vibrant first performance back.

The opener, Mannequin Pussy, played no small part in this lively environment. Missy Dabice encouraged us to scream together: “There’s so much shit that happens that makes you want to scream.” Each individual was united in the shared moment, a cathartic release for the packed room.

Missy Dabice of Mannequin Pussy
Photo by Cassiel Arcilla

To conclude the show, Zauner crossed the stage to Peter Bradley, her bandmate and husband, cheers swelling as they bowed their heads towards each other in an intimate gesture that expressed the warm jubilation of the moment.

Michelle Zauner and Peter Bradley of Japanese Breakfast
Photo by Quinn Dang

Attendees and band alike can agree with Zauner’s last spoken words of the concert, right before Japanese Breakfast kicked into their encore:

“Thank you so much for being the best show back, ever.”

Japanese Breakfast’s Jubilee tour is one you won’t want to miss this summer.