Kishi Bashi @ Cedar Cultural Center
August 3rd, 2012
An air of anticipation hung over the Cedar on Friday night. K Ishibashi, also known as Kishi Bashi, former violinist for of Montreal, was set to take the stage after an opening set from Tall Tall Trees. Mike Savino, vocalist, banjo player, and guitarist of Tall Tall Trees, took the stage alone on this tour playing music off of his new psychedelic folk rock and roll album, “moment”, with solely himself, his banjo, and some looping gear. But Savino performed beyond the crowd’s expectations, delivering the full feel of the rock songs with his limited amount of instruments and hands. Kishi Bashi joined Tall Tall Trees for Savino’s last song, entering the stage in a suit coat, tucked-in button down shirt, and black denim pants. When he returned to the stage shortly after to play his own set, however, he’d added a large peacock plume clipped to the left side of his lapel. And with total confidence, he jumped into the music. A seemingly quiet and modest man looping and looping lines from his violin and voice until he had built something you would never know could be done by one man – and then he sang over it. Savino of Tall Tall Trees shared the stage with Ishibashi for most of his set, and the two absolutely ran away with the music. Building rhythms and harmonies entirely separate from the material on Kishi Bashi’s albums, it seemed more like a jam session between friends, but the result was just perfect enough to become those same songs from the albums. Whoops and hollers abounded as the duo whipped out trick after trick. So much so that when it came to “It All Began With A Burst”, the crowd was already so excited we immediately began clapping – until Ishibashi stopped the song and, laughing, asked us to stop so he could hear his own tempo, permitting us to begin again when he added the beat in. To cap off the spectacle, Kishi Bashi came back on stage for his encore, and surprised the audience by jumping into a rap song whose subject material is not appropriate for this review…. But it was still met with laughs and cheers. Finally, he ended with the eagerly awaited “Manchester” off of both the recent LP, 151a, and his debut EP, Room for Dream. As far as anticipation goes, I’m confident that everybody’s expectations were greatly surpassed. I would highly recommend seeing Kishi Bashi to any and all types of music lovers. It’s certainly an experience to remember.
Written by Alex Dziura, Radio K volunteer