Blustery winds and much colder temperatures couldn’t keep the masses away from Baby’s All Right on Tuesday evening for the first of two sold out shows featuring The Japanese House, and openers The Big Moon. When I arrived at the venue 2 hours ahead of doors, there were already 10 people of varying ages in line, eagerly waiting for some sign of movement stage-side. As the doors opened, the crowd eagerly pushed through the doors and stood directly at the foot of the stage, with cellphones outstretched taking photos of the various instruments strewn about and hoping to get a glimpse of the set list.
The Big Moon, an all-woman based 4-piece out of London absolutely scorched the stage the moment they set foot on it. There weren’t any weepy lyrics and soppy, girly dancing… Oh no. These women came to rock, and they without a doubt are definitely one of my favorite openers of 2016. They also somehow managed to make a cover of Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger” over into a punk-infused assault that ended entirely too soon. Despite a few technical difficulties, the band fought through and remained upbeat, energetic, and engaging throughout their time, with 3 of the 4 members showcasing serious vocal skills as well. I hope to see them as headliners the next time they visit the states.
Switching gears for The Japanese House, aka Amber Bain weaved vocoder-based harmonies, with synths, drums and keys very reminiscent of a cross between James Blake and Imogen Heap. With her head down and face obscured by a curtain of blonde locks, Amber was focused on delivering the lyrics as honestly as she could muster while seemingly surprised by the sold-out crowd’s overzealousness. Multiple shouts of “I LOVE YOU!” permeated the small space and caused her to crack a smile on more than 1 occasion. “Sugar Pill,” “Pools To Bathe In,” and “Sister” all earned a rapturous response. There was a group of girls standing near me that nearly broke down in tears on more than one song.
As I watched the show, I noticed her guitars.; All in pristine condition, beautifully painted and downright gorgeous. I also noted that while she was left-handed, her guitar wasn’t strung for left handed playing. I found that to be really interesting, and added another layer of uniqueness to her style. As she moved through “Leon,” and “Still,” which would be the last song of the night, she laid her guitar at her feet, and just held the mic in her both hands. Moving closer to the edge of the stage, instead of shaking a hand or hi-fiving her fans, she’d hold up her foot for a “foot-five” instead. A girl fought her way through the crowd at the perfect moment to hand Amber a yellow rose. Amber took it and wedged it into one of the drums as she finished singing.
And just like that the show was over. She disappeared into the backstage quickly, leaving everyone yelping for more. How I had never listened to either of these bands’ music is beyond me, but I’ll consider myself a fan of both from here on out.
Article: Lesley Keller