AUSTIN, Texas — Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner feels comfort and joy in Austin.
“It’s so good to be back in Austin,” she told fans at the T-Mobile Stage on Weekend 2 of the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Sunday afternoon. “We love it here.”
The band, which formed in Philadelphia, now has two members that live in Austin, Zauner said.
The Korean-American musician and author returned to the festival after appearing with Japanese Breakfast in 2018, having since released an acclaimed memoir, “Crying in H Mart,” and releasing Japanese Breakfast’s first album to make the Billboard 200 list, “Jubilee.”
And Austin has welcomed her with as much love as she shows for her fans here. This year, Zauner was a keynote speaker at South by Southwest and credited the festival with helping her get a booking agent and get signed to a label.
PHOTOS: ACL Fest 2022, Weekend 2
Japanese Breakfast began with “Paprika,” a song that exudes cinematic joy, off “Jubilee,” an album about joy. Even in Sunday afternoon’s sweltering heat and humidity, the music brought a cooling feeling as the rain clouds slowly moved in over Zilker Park.
The song featured an occasional gong clash, which Zauner clearly enjoyed performing with a big mallet, to cheers from the crowd.
“Be Sweet” brought the mood up even more with its dancey synth-funk. Beach balls and bubbles flew among concertgoers as Zauner strummed jangly surf chords across smooth sax solos. The band channeled Brian Wilson in the acoustic-strummed dream of “Kokomo, IN” – “a town I’ve never been to,” said Zauner.
Closing with “Diving Woman” in a jam that brought a distorted crescendo, Zauner had one last message for the Austin crowd.
“Vote for Beto!” she urged.
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