Kishi Bashi brings intricate soundscapes and positive energy to Union Transfer

Kishi Bashi | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | <a href= target="_blank"></a>
Kishi Bashi | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN |

Singer/multi-instrumentalist Kaoru Ishibashi, better known by his stage name Kishi Bashi, performed a fantastic set Tuesday night at Union Transfer. Currently touring in support of his recent full-length Sonderlust, Kishi Bashi explained to the crowd that the title means “the awareness that everyone around you has a complex life of his or her own.”

The complexities present within his newest music make Sonderlust a brilliant title for this album. Kishi Bashi performed an all-encompassing set playing much of the record, along with a selection of songs from 2014’s Lighght and 2012’s 151a. Kishi Bashi was backed by a 4 piece touring band, allowing him to produce a fuller, more intricate sound. By incorporating his signature sound looping, he created an interesting textural soundscape of violin and beatbox loops underneath the band’s overall sound.

Kishi Bashi | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | <a href= target="_blank"></a>
Kishi Bashi | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN |

Beyond the exquisite sounds, though, it was entertaining show with a ton of positive energy. Throughout the entire set, the crowd was singing, dancing and clapping along. When he noticed that a fan was holding up a violin, Kishi Bashi crowd surfed to grab it and pretended to play it along to his violin loops. Closing out the set with “Burst,” Kishi Bashi got hilariously political as he chanted ‘don’t vote for Trump’ to create a loop he used as a high-pitched backbeat for the song. The crowd cheered for an encore, and Kishi Bashi and his band returned to the stage to close out the night with a three-song set performed acoustically around a single microphone. I overheard someone whisper “That was amazing” and I completely agree.

Singer-guitarist Mt. Davidson of Twain opened up the show with a solo set. Standing onstage alongside a few guitars (acoustic, electric and 12 string), Twain quickly captured the audience’s attention with his emotive vocals and impressive guitar playing skills. By playing a nice mix of slow and fast tempo songs, his set maintained a great feel as he performed in support of Twain’s most recent release, Sir Kitchen Boy, along with their forthcoming LP.

Check out Kishi Bashi’s setlist and photos from the show in the gallery below.

Statues in a Gallery
Hey Big Star
Atticus in the Desert
Carry On Phenomenon
Bright Whites
Who’d You Kill?
Can’t Let Go, Juno
Say Yeah
Solo Cello Bach Interlude
Ode To Your Next Life
Mr. Steak
Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!




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