Kishi Bashi @ The Fine LineMay 31, 2014
The Rogers brothers took the stage Friday evening as Busman’s Holiday, dressed well and looking in good spirits. Addison took the throne on drums (well, a suitcase and a snare drum), while Lewis manned the guitar and lead vocals for the evening. Both of them looked sharp, and carried with them a sense of Southern gentlementality, even though they hail from Indiana, which we’ll consider the south for the time being. The infectious energy they'd brought to Studio K earlier in the day was alive and well on-stage, starting off the night perfectly.
The incredibly honest vocals of Lewis matched very well with his unbridled froggyish vocal style. He gave it everything he had, and got worked up enough to bounce around violently in his canary button up shirt tucked into his khakis. Addison sat next to him on a very minimal drum set, which consisted of a suitcase kick drum, snare, and single cymbal. This limited set up let him focus on creating some extremely rich vocal harmonies that resonated very well with the excited crowd and the Fine Line.
Loop master and violinist K Ishibashi took the stage about a half hour after Busman’s Holiday and began the night with a bang with the song Philosophize In It, Chemicalize In It, from his new album “Lighght.” The energy was evident from the get go, and the band seemed very excited to be in Minneapolis throughout the entire concert. The stage was draped all in white sheets, creating a wintery atmosphere, despite the 80+ degree heat that had accumulated from a warm May day and a large, packed crowd of excited music lovers.
The energy didn’t cease throughout the entire performance, but was often transferred from physical energy to intricate performance moments, especially between lead singer/violinist K Ishibashi and banjoist Mike Savino, who performs solo as Tall Tall Trees. These two had several moments of intimacy between their instruments, especially when the bass player and drummer bowed down to allow some courageous duets.
During the song Atticus, In The Desert, the crowd was treated to a surprise performance from local acrobat Natalie Doud, who joined the band on stage under a 7 foot tall metal triangle that had a thick orange ribbon draped around it. Dowd showcased her flexibility and strength while climbing and wrapping herself with the ribbon, allowing her to hang upside down and in many impressively painful looking poses. It was an unusual show element, but one that offered another dimension to an incredible set.
Near the end of their set, Ishibashi manned the stage by himself, for a three song set of solo work, which allowed him to showcase the beauty of both his compositions and his voice. I Am the Antichrist to You served as the last song of the evening, and was astoundingly gorgeous. The crowd showed tremendous support for the artist, and his smile showed his gratitude. It seemed like a special night for everyone, from the custom set design to the Minneapolis-only aerobic performance, and the crowd definitely wanted more.
After a brief break, the crowd was rewarded with the song Just the Tip, which many in the crowd wanted to hear. The song was one that Kishi performed with the band Of Montreal during wardrobe changes, and got loads of laughs from the excited crowd. The most rambunctious song of the evening was It All Began With A Burst, which got the crowd jumping high, while streamers and confetti rained down from the ceiling at two separate times during the song. The energy was incredible. The band finally concluded with an impromptu jam of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, which featured the bassist on vocals, and an amazing rendition of Jimmy Page’s infamous guitar solo performed by Ishibashi on violin. It was clear from the crowd’s excitement that everyone had a whole lot of love for Kishi Bashi.