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Japanese Breakfast Inspires Feelings of “Jubilee” at the Regency Ballroom

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Japanese Breakfast is an indie rock band headed by Korean-American musician, director, and New York Times best-selling author Michelle Zauner. The latest album from the project, Jubilee, amassed critical-acclaim after topping the reading lists with her memoir, Crying in H Mart. Not only had it debuted at No. 2, Zauner’s intentionality in releasing the book just months before the album shares a unique chapter in her journey.

In press releases and interviews, she stated that Jubilee would be a celebration of joy after years of feeling defined by her writing about grief, following the loss of her mother to cancer in 2014. The album, too, topped charts after exploding onto coveted playlist spots over streaming platforms everywhere. And with the pandemic somewhat held at bay, she launched her tour late this summer and will be continuing throughout the fall, spreading joy and ease to fans around the country.

On Friday, September 30th, Japanese Breakfast concluded their trip to San Francisco through a second night of performances at The Regency Ballroom. The ornate venue held an upper seating area The venue opened in 1909 as a masonic lodge. Throughout the years, it has served as a dance studio and movie theatre, and today, it graces itself as a music venue with ornately patterned, carved gold leaf designs along the walls and ceiling and decorating the hemline of the stage. The audience was well-dressed with an eclectic sense of style, standing and listening to each performer quietly as the opener played.

Luna Li opened, a self-acclaimed music making moon fairy; playing songs released and unreleased. One upcoming one with Jai Long that hasn’t been released yet. Her energetic performance complimented some sweet bass and guitar licks perfect for the summer breezy sunset evenings. Her smile lit the stage. Looked super rock and roll with a spiked choker and ballerina collar bodysuit with shorts, Doc Martens loosely tied, and her electric guitar slung across her back.

I’ve been a fan of Japanese Breakfast for some time. Being onstage, I feel like this is the first time I’ve been truly represented and supported.

~ Luna Li

Japanese Breakfast then entered the stage. The crowd hollered as Zauner’s sequin jumpsuit gleamed and lit the room. Showcasing her multi-instramentalism throughout the performance, she moved across the whole stage as if it were her own backyard and she played for the cameras and lulled fans into a state of calm and ease. Her voice was crisp, defined, and powerfully unique as she performed songs old and new.

She reflected upon her first experience in San Francisco where she performed a whole tour in “kitchens and bedrooms” and got a ticket for turning the wheel the wrong way in her parking spot even though they found this sweet spot in the perfect location. The back of the stage showed a unique array of lights that chanced and glimmered in a unique pattern throughout the performance as Zauner showered her fans in happiness and jubilee.

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