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Review: Kishi Bashi proved all great concerts require a dancing steak costume

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Kishi Bashi performed in front of a crowded audience at Hotel Congress on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Bashi kicked off the show with the song “Statues in a Gallery” from his newest album, Sonderlust.

Every great concert contains at least these three things: a savvy stage presence, a musician who plays the crowd as well as their instrument and a dancing steak costume. Many have one, some have two and at Club Congress, indie-pop artist Kishi Bashi brought all three.

Yes, a dancing steak costume accompanied Kishi Bashi and the band as he blasted through “The Ballad of Mr. Steak” with gusto. By this point, the energetic showman had wowed the people with all manner of musical feats, whether it was through a near 15-minute rendition of unreleased songs or a classic violin vs. banjo showdown. Kishi Bashi played like it was a sold out stadium rather than the cramped Club Congress.

RELATED: Kishi Bashi gets woefully orchestral with 'Sonderlust' 

The night began with opener Laura Gibson, an acoustic singer-songwriter who won the crowd over with her quiet charm. Gibson may be the only human on Earth that can be described without irony as “delightfully twee.”

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Gibson entertained the audience between songs with anecdotes of her adventures involving cross-country train rides and quests for lakes. Although her opening set seemed long at roughly 45 minutes, shouts for an encore indicated the crowd’s favor for Gibson.

Bright lights came up and Kishi Bashi took the stage to the track “Statues in a Gallery.”

The track set the tone for the rest of the show in its excellence, despite the difficulty of the song itself. Kishi Bashi’s virtuoso performance on the violin accompanied the tune, along with many other tracks off his newest album, Sonderlust.

RELATED: Kishi Bashi brings solo avant-pop act to Club Congress tonight

Many of the live tracks differed slightly from the album version in some aspects, such as the ridiculous sounds and multiple instruments that proved difficult to replicate in person. Some of the changes ended up for the better, while others not so much. “Can’t Let Go, Juno” began much slower than the album version, but this reduced pace added to its somber subject matter and was ultimately a better version. However, other songs like “Say Yeah,” featuring a funkier beat, did not improve upon the original.

Like all things currently, even the concert could not escape the subject of politics. Kishi Bashi asked the crowd if they were all registered to vote at one point and noted America is indeed a free country and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. He promptly began to beatbox “don’t vote Trump,” which he then looped to act as the backbone of the next song.

Kishi Bashi brought his signature beatboxing with an odd beat, which he explained was a “desert exclusive." The beatboxing also made an appearance on “Philosophize In It! Chemicailze With It!” A multitude of instruments powered the songs, among them a banjo, cello and synth. The variety of instruments and songs provided a diverse show that had something for just about everyone. After playing for well over an hour, Kishi Bashi briefly left before returning for a triple encore of “Honeybody,” “Q&A” and, finally, “Manchester.”

The latest album title, Sonderlust, comes from the recently created word "sonder," which essentially is the realization that every other person in the world lives a life as intricate and complex as your own. With this idea in mind, Kishi Bashi told the crowd that we all have a connection, and even though the crowd may be strangers, we all had a connection through the music.

The sincerity of this belief shone through at Club Congress as Kishi Bashi and the band put on a show that created a strong connection to the audience that will be remembered for quite some time.


Follow Alex Furrier on Twitter.



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