with japanese breakfast
7th St Entry• Minneapolis, MN • 6.27.17
words and photos by morgan winston
Straight off of the release of his seventh studio album, Rocket, (Sandy) Alex G made a stop in Minneapolis during his extensive U.S. tour with support from Cende and Japanese Breakfast.
After arriving late and almost missing the entirety of Cende’s set, Japanese Breakfast helped to revitalize my excitement for the show. Frontwoman Michelle Zauner pulled tracks from her first studio album Psychopomp, released back in early 2016. Crowd favorites like the upbeat tune “Everybody Wants to Love You” set the tone for the night. The venue slowly began to feel like a house show filled with new friends. The playful tone continued as Zauner teased a few songs from her new album and “Roadhead” elicited an enthusiastic response from the audience. At the conclusion of their set Zauner remarked about the familiarity of the final song “Machinist”, explaining the details of being in love with a robot.
(Sandy) Alex G then took the stage to “Life is a Highway”, which is one of the furthest sounds I can possibly think of from the music of this multi-instrumentalist. Alex Giannascoli utilized most of of his set to introduce his new album Rocket to Minneapolis. Opening with “Judge” off of Rocket, Alex’s eclectic space-y sound instantly grabbed the attention of the room. Fan-favorite “Forever” followed the new song, off of 2012 release Trick. The more rudimentary live sound added a heavier element to the upbeat song and as a long-time fan I was thrilled to hear an earlier song so early in the set.
The middle of his set flew by, as he played fresh tunes “Bobby”, “Proud” and “Witch”, flawlessly transitioning between songs with the aid of his band and a scratchy electronic beat track from his keyboard. I was jolted out of this amazingly fluid sequence by the return of “Kicker” from Beach Music. I couldn’t help but notice how well Giannascoli’s newer material blended with the old. For someone with such an extensive discography he has crafted a precise yet simple live set that treats long-time fans while avoiding too much distraction from promoting Rocket.
“Poison Root” made me take a step back from the experience I was having. I stopped taking notes and I just let (Sandy) Alex G’s sound wash over me for the rest of the night. At the conclusion of the planned setlist he opened up requests from the crowd. My personal favorite “Mary” made an appearance, as well as others from earlier albums that even I was unable to name without the tracklist. Michelle Zauner took the stage for “Brite Boy”, definitely making the longer set worth the wait. As I left the venue to the final song bleeding out onto the street, I became even more amazed by the true artistry of (Sandy) Alex G. The third time was definitely a charm.