It’s been exactly 18 months since my last show.  I arrived at the Union Transfer as eager as everyone else to see both, Mannequin Pussy and Japanese Breakfast. To get into the concert, we had to show a vaccination card or negative covid test within 48 hours. As well as wear a mask throughout the night. In case you’re wondering, yes, this will be the same across the entire tour.

Aside from the fact that a sold-out show felt a lot less packed – everything else was exactly the same. Bars were open, the merchandise was for purchase, and there were even mosh pits. One added bonus was there were no lines for the bathroom.

Mannequin Pussy opened the show and did not waste one second bringing the energy to the stage. They constantly shifted who was front and center or with what instrument they were performing. Mannequin Pussy maintained and commanded the attention of the room the entire set with their punk rock vibes and aggressively positive attitude.

For Japanese Breakfast, it’s the beginning of their mostly sold-out tour. As soon as they took the stage, you instantly understood how they managed this. Japanese Breakfast is a stage packed full of talented musicians delivering beautiful, energized music. I think it’s also the way Michelle Zauner, who fronts the indie-rock band, interacted with the crowd. She was feeding off the energy as much as they were giving it. At one point during their set, she told a story about how she used to work the coat check counter. The majority of the audience cheered at this, it seems most have been around since Japanese Breakfast started. Michelle had said this was back when the Union Transfer first opened and she was interning for R5 Productions. Now here she is playing an almost sold-out tour. Five of which are in her backyard, where it all started.

Japanese Breakfast (w/ Mannequin Pussy) at Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA) on August 7, 2021

Japanese Breakfast is on a tour that goes through the end of November, covering the United States before heading overseas. The dates and available tickets are on Japanese Breakfast’s website. If you missed out on the shows – you can still catch Michelle Zauner’s storytelling. Her newest book, Crying In H-Mart, is out now.

Meanwhile, Mannequin Pussy’s tour will start in September and run throughout October. You find the dates for the tour on their website, alongside their newest release, Perfect, out now via Epitaph Records.