Confetti Cannons, a Human-Sized Steak, and an Exuberant Crowd—All in a Night with Kishi Bashi

Following a three-year hiatus, Kishi Bashi made a stop at San Diego’s Music Box last Saturday night. The band was comprised of Josiah Wolf on drums, Emily Hope Price on the cello, Mike Savino (who also opened the night as Tall Tall Trees) on bass, and K. Ishibashi leading on keys, violin, and vocals. The four-piece filled a nearly sold-out room with swelling string compositions and looping convulsions of joy that easily could’ve been mistaken for an outfit much larger.Touring in honor of the 10th anniversary of Kishi Bashi’s debut album 151a, the band began the night by playing the album top to bottom—from “Intro/Pathos Pathos” to “Beat the Bright Out of Me.” The rest of the night included a cover of Talking Heads, “This Must Be the Place” and other favorites pulled from an ever-expanding discography. In traditional Kishi Bashi fashion, a giant steak appeared on the stage to assist the band on keys for a rendition of Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and Kishi Bashi’s, “The Ballad of Mr. Steak.”

Often, a crowd needs a bit of warming up before singing songs, one after the other, in unison. This was not the case for Kishi Bashi. From the onset of the first pluck of the strings, San Diego’s crowd inspired so much comrade that by the conclusion of the second track the frontman slipped, “oh my god, this is gonna be a great show.” Excitement rippled through the crowd and never fully settled. The night closed out with blasts of confetti to the tune of “Philosophise In It! Chemicalize With It!” and the most genuine statement of, “this has been my favorite show of our tour,” that I’ve ever heard.

It’s been hard to get the smile off my face since.There’s still time to catch Kishi Bashi in the U.S. as he tours through June and heads to Europe in November.

Stay tuned for announcements about Kishi Bashi’s feature documentary, Omoiyari: A Song Film By Kishi Bashi, which is currently making film festival rounds.

Photos & Review by: Lauren Hartmann