Japanese Breakfast performed musically mystic, dreamy ACL set


Leila Saidane

Japanese Breakfast performs on the T-Mobile stage at Austin City Limits on October 9, 2022.

Reya Mosby, Life and Arts Editor

A warm glow descended on the audience as Japanese Breakfast emitted a mosaic of sound, beautifully pushing and pulling vocal and instrumental melodies to create an almost cosmic experience. In their ACL performance on the T-Mobile stage, Japanese Breakfast curated a mellow, dreamy concert experience. 

Toward the beginning of the band’s set, just before delving into “Tactics,” lead singer Michelle Zauner detailed her love for Austin, even saying her most charming musical experiences took place in Austin. No stranger to the city, Japanese Breakfast previously performed at SXSW earlier this year and performed for ACL Live last night, calling it a “magical experience.” Her radiating love and appreciation for Austin sparked a deeper audience connection that persisted throughout the rest of the set. 

With a stunning performance, Michelle Zauner hypnotized audiences with her resonant tone that soared on intensity-driven high notes and delicate moments where she almost breathed out notes. When combined with instrumentals, featuring pulling saxophone and violin lines and melodic bass and guitar lines that danced with her vocals, the songs delivered a truly harmonic experience. “Posing in Bondage” provided a standout performance with its fluid vocals and smooth spacey instrumental backing that melded together in a celestial performance. 

Just before her closing song “Everybody Wants to Love You,” Zauner made a political statement, criticizing Governor Greg Abbott. She prompted the crowd to understand the realities and true effects of governmental decisions and politics as a whole, especially going into the upcoming elections next month. Zauner then encouraged all audience members to vote, before making commentary on reproductive rights.

Seamlessly transitioning between these powerful testimonies and the group’s kaleidoscope of lush harmonic sounds, Japanese Breakfast delivered a raw and impactful ACL performance.