Singer, violinist, composer and killer dancer K Ishibashi, aka Kishi Bashi, headlined Music Hall of Williamsburg last Thursday night, with Philadelphia-based chamber-poppers, Buried Beds opening. An average set by Buried Beds didn’t stop the crowd from packing in for the sold-out show. A dark and gloomy stage design with makeshift trees covered with chiffon sheets, almost reminiscent of a graveyard, was off-putting, but as soon as Kishi Bashi took the stage with his band, colorful lights appeared and the party began.
Kishi Bashi literally builds their music from the ground up, looping violin, vocals and sound samples to create the backbone of each song. Touring in support of his new sophomore album, Lighght (Joyful Noise), he opened the show with a huge smile and began looping his vocals right into Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!, using the audience’s clapping and “Ohohoh”s to help create the song.
Only a fool would miss Ishibashi’s banjo player, Mike Savino from Tall Tall Trees, an indie-folk outfit from NYC. Though definitely an unexpected addition to the band, Savino blew the crowd away with his backlit multi-colored banjo. Also a master at looping his instrument, Savino stretched the limits of his banjo by using his mouth and a drumstick to add to the fanciful set.
K and his bandmates brought a mountain of energy throughout the entire set. Before Ballad Of Mr. Steak, currently a hit single in Japan, Ishibashi declared “Brooklyn, I hope you like to dance.” Evidently the majority of the crowd did.
While giving his bandmates a break as he performed I Am The Antichrist To You and Q&A solo, Ishibashi showed much love to New York, specifically Brooklyn, where he used to live. As he shouted, “Man, Brooklyn’s fun,” the band reappeared to close out the show with high spirits, canons of confetti, a stage-dive and an encore featuring a string quartet.
Photos and words by Katie Dawson.