I have a long history with Kishi Bashi. During freshman year, for our 4th-ish date, Tony wanted to surprise me with Of Montreal tickets because we had initially bonded over “liking” them on Facebook. So we took the Marguerite to the Caltrain and the Caltrain to the Millbrae BART Station and then took the BART to Powell Station and then walked the 1.6 miles to The Fillmore… oh how young and naive we were. Anyway, Kishi Bashi opened for Of Montreal and Tony and I agreed, “He’s pretty good,” as he awkwardly tried to put his arm around me in the dark, and I awkwardly leaned in. Awkwardly.
So when I saw that Kishi Bashi was playing his own show, I was really excited! I mean listen:
After spending basically all of Friday holed up in Tony’s man cave, wearing his noise-canceling headphones and attempting to write a cohesive draft of the first chapter of my thesis, I decided to take a “quick” 4-hour trip to the city to go to the Kishi Bashi concert with my friend Nicole! Now usually, I wouldn’t just go to a concert if I were trying to write an essay and make a deadline that was fast-approaching. But I had already bought the tickets and they were $40, plus it was on my list, so…
The concert was in the Palace of Fine Arts and the place was packed. Kishi Bashi said that San Francisco was his biggest market, and sure enough, I saw San Franciscans of all shapes and sizes— Berlin-cool and grandma-chic, Doc Martens and Birkenstocks, and man buns and undercuts alike came together from all over San Francisco just to see this talented man perform. The weird part was that I smelled zero weed. With Kishi Bashi’s string quartet and the lack of recreational drugs, I felt pretty cultured. Plus there was a bearded man who could play a glowing banjo like a drum.
The last time I was in the Palace of Fine Arts for a Christopher Owens concert, weed smoke wafted through the air, and the opening act sounded like they just came straight from their mother’s garage (don’t worry, Chris Owens is doing much, much better now). This time, Elizabeth and the Catapult opened and it was quite amazing:
It seemed surreal. Definitely a different concert experience. And especially a different kind of study break. By 11PM we were back home, and I was back in Tony’s man cave, writing my chapter, while a poppin’ frat party played this song right outside the door: