On his own, Kishi Bashi is a miracle. That he comes from here seems an impossibility. The exuberance he brings to the stage makes him seem much younger than he actually is — I was surprised to see when I read his bio that he’s just a few years behind me. A graduate of Maury High School, I missed seeing his early work by half a minute. I’m a little sad that I haven’t heard him until last night — it makes me wonder what I’ve been doing with my life. This work is deeply felt, his band is top fucking notch, and if you don’t love this music you should probably turn in your heart for one that isn’t defective.
Kishi Bashi obviously adores his hometown fans. The audience obviously returns that emotion. And at the end of the show any pretense to boundaries between the two were utterly eradicated as he moved his entire band off the stage and into the crowd to play his encore. I’ve never seen anything like it. Last night was special. It was magic. And as a result of just his live show alone, I will quite probably be a Kishi Bashi fan for the rest of my life.
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I want someone to look at me the way Tall Tall Trees’ Mike Savino looks at Kishi.
I had no idea psychedelic banjo was a thing until I listened to this man’s setlist. I am better for the experience. If this is the direction musical tastes are heading, I look forward to the next decade. Do yourself a favor and check him out.
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Really, at the end of the day, I came out to support Kelsie McNair’s NorVa debut with her act, Pyrrhic Whim. Ably backed up by Tyler Warnalis’ atmospheric git fiddling during his life quest to play for every band in the city, I was thrilled to witness her growth as an artist into electronica assisted singer-songwriting. While previously I’ve only ever heard her on an acoustic guitar — I was blown away by what’s emerging from her artistic chrysalis. The easy reference point for this sound would be Kate Bush — but honestly, I believe McNair’s voice is earthier and far more accessible than Kate’s. These are deep songs, well crafted, and she should return to this stage as soon as possible.
Josh Coplan is to be commended for adding her to the mix. As this was a NorVa gig, I’m not entirely sure to the exact extent of his involvement, but if this show is any indication of things to come, I’m pretty excited to continue to watch him grow as a force for great music in our community.
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It should be noted for those paying attention that none of these bands sound anything like the Cure.