JAPANESE BREAKFAST: Live at The Observatory in North Park

Oct. 4, 2021

The Opening Act: Luna Li 

On Monday I attended The Observatory on a rainy night to see Japanese Breakfast. Let me tell you all about it. 

Luna Li, who is from Toronto, was opening and I had never heard of her before. The lead came out on stage with three other bandmates: Hallie Switzer, Char Aragoza, and Braden Sauder.

As Luna Li started playing, I was instantly enchanted with her dreamy-rock sound and angelic voice. I never stopped swaying and grooving to her heavenly sound. Luna was also great on stage, she truly is a garage rock princess, as Mick Magazine calls her. With every song that was played, she did not fail to surprise me. Luna has a diverse skill palette with over 14 years of piano and violin training, and she can also play the harp. Luna whipped out her pretty butterfly guitar and played violin for her song, “Afterglow.” The band meshed so perfectly together, especially with the backup vocals. At one point, she told the crowd to just close their eyes and float away, and I did as she said. Although after a while I did peek to see who else was following orders. My favorite song by them right now has got to be Alone But Not Lonely. 

Hannah Bussiere is the Korean-Canadian artist behind Luna Li. According to Fashion Magazine, Hannah wanted a stage name that she could “step into,” to become her best unapologetic self when performing. She channels divine feminine energy, which is where the name “Luna” comes from. 

The self-proclaimed “moon fairy” expressed how grateful she was to be on tour with Japanese Breakfast because she felt represented by the band, since the lead, Michelle Zauner is Korean as well. 

Now, I am absolutely in love with Hannah Bussiere’s sound and vision. I’m so happy that I got to experience her music live before ever hearing her beautiful music. 

The Main Act: Japanese Breakfast

Not knowing much about the artist, besides her sound, I was eager to see what she’s all about live. As soon as Japanese Breakfast came out they started playing Paprika, an energetic piece which is my favorite song from her new album titled, Jubilee. 

I was blown away and uplifted by her performances. Wow… just wow. I couldn’t stop moving my body and taking it all in, it was quite emotional for me. The night was such a refreshing experience that I haven’t felt since seeing Unknown Mortal Orchestra live a couple of years back. The crowd was so chill and groovy. For the first time, I thought, people don’t have to always be dancing or screaming lyrics in order to gain something from attending a show. 

Japanese Breakfast’s talented lead and visionary, Michelle Zauner, is also a writer and director. I found out that she wrote a memoir about her relationship with her late mother, titled, “Crying in H-Mart.” Zauner is also married to her bandmate Peter Bradley, who she wedded nearly seven years ago, in her parent’s backyard before her mother passed. There was so much love at the show. At one moment, Michelle was introducing a song that she wrote for Peter, then saying that most songs she writes are for him as well. They played so well alongside one another. Aw. 

As usual, the band disappeared into the back and reappeared for an electric encore. What a beautiful night. 

Japanese Breakfast and Luna Li were absolutely breathtaking and incredibly talented. The experience was so elevating and I felt so humbled and full of love at the same time by the end of the night. The Woman That Loves You was my cry song and still remains, along with new pieces that I’ve discovered along the way through that night’s venture. Thank you so much.  

Written by Maya Tomasik

Indoor Concerts, Theater Performance, and Conferences Resume April 15

After a year of canceled concerts and theater performances, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday, April 2, 2021, because the rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus has reached a record low, Indoor Concerts, Theatre Performances, and Conventions can resume starting April 15.

Testing or proof of vaccination for some of the events won’t be required; however, limits on the number of people admitted will be enforced.

Events requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination can increase capacity limits compared to events that don’t.

Private indoor gatherings such as weddings, meetings, and conferences are only allowed if guests present proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event or show proof of full vaccination.

Photo Credit: Jared Murray on Unsplash

Here are the new regulations on indoor live events beginning April 15 based on tiers.
(These apply to venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people)

  • Purple Tier: Indoor live events or performances are not allowed
  • Red Tier: Capacity is limited to 10% or 100 people; however, if guests present a negative COVID test or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to 25%.
  • Orange Tier: 15% capacity or 200 people max; if guests present a negative COVID test or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to 35%.
  • Yellow tier: 25% or 300 people; however, if guests present a negative COVID test or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to 50%.

Here are the regulations for larger venues based on tiers:

  • Red Tier: Proof of a negative COVID test or full vaccination is required, and capacity is restricted to 20%
  • Orange Tier: 10% or 2,000 people capacity; however, capacity will increase to 50% if all guests present proof of a negative COVID test or proof of full vaccination.
  • Yellow tier: 10% or 2,000 people capacity; however, capacity will increase to 50% if all guests either show proof of a negative COVID test or proof of full vaccination.

Photo Credit: Screenshot of California Tier map from covid19.ca.gov

Verify your county tier here to see what restrictions are currently in effect.

Governor Newsom wants Californians to continue wearing masks and practicing social distance even with the easing of restrictions.

Will you be hitting up live performances or wait it out a bit longer? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram.

Cover Photo: Concert by Pien Muller on UnSplash

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Coachella and Stagecoach Canceled for 2021

Hold off on getting out your Coachella and Stagecoach outfits because two of the most popular music festivals have been canceled again.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Festival will not occur this year. According to the latest public health order released on January 29, 2021, from the California Riverside County.

The health order states both music festivals are “music concerts and gatherings of an international scope, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees from many countries, including several disproportionately afflicted by the worldwide COVID-19 epidemic.”

The order continued, “If COVID-19 were detected at these festivals, the scope and number of attendees and the nature of the venue would make it infeasible, if not impossible, to track those who may be placed at risk.”

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsome lifted the statewide, regional stay-at-home order; that had been in effect since the middle of December. In a virtual news conference on Monday, January 25, 2021, Governor Newsome stated the “hospitalization rate was down nearly 20% in the past two weeks.”; He continued, “Everything that should be up is up, and everything that should be down is down; case rates, positivity rates, hospitalizations, ICUs.”


Photo Credit: Escape Velocity at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash

2021 marks the second year in a row where both of the popular music festivals are canceled.

Both festivals were scheduled for April 2020; Then postponed to October 2020 due to COVID-19.

In June 2020, the county canceled both festivals. Coachella and Stagecoach festival operator; Goldenvoice did not provide a statement as of January 30, 2021, regarding the festivals for 2021, and neither did official festival organizers.

Last year, Coachella headliners included Travis Scott, Frank Ocean, and Rage Against the Machine. While stagecoach headliners included Thomas Rhett, Carrier Underwood, and Eric Church.

Which festival are you missing more right now? Coachella, Stagecoach, or both? Sound off by hitting me up on socials @MikeStarkCA on Twitter and Instagram.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Cover Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Ferris Wheel by Aran Mtnez on Unsplash

It’s Festival Season: 2020 Music Lineups

Looking for one weekend to see a ton of great artists? Let’s analyze some 2020 music festival lineups. Most of these are in California, with a few exceptions in case you want to travel a bit. 

Coachella: Indio, CA, April 10th-12th & 17th-19th

There’s nothing like Coachella, surrounded by desert mountains and endless palm trees. On the lineup is Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott, Frank Ocean, Calvin Harris, Rex Orange County, Brockhampton, Flume, Disclosure, DaBaby, Lana Del Rey, and more!

Rolling Loud: Miami, Florida, May 8th-10th

Downtown Miami with some great performers, what could be better? On the lineup is ASAP Rocky, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Playboi Carti, DaBaby, Sheck Wes, Blueface, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, Tyga, YG, and more!

Lovers & Friends: Los Angeles, May 9th

New festival “Lovers and Friends” in downtown LA is a great way to see some amazing artists in some sunny weather! On the lineup is Ms. Lauryn Hill, Usher, TLC, Jhene Aiko, Summer Walker, Megan Thee Stallion, Nelly, Sean Paul, and more!

Lightning In A Bottle: Buena Vista Lake, CA, May 20th-25th

Get groovy in the desert and camp with your friends this Memorial Day weekend! On the lineup is Kaytranada, Sylvan Esso, Griz, Big Wild. Doja Cat, James Blake, Bob Moses, Justin Martin and more!

Bottlerock: Napa Valley, CA,  May 22nd-24th

Ready to drink some wine, look at some art and jam out to some classics? If so, this one is for you. On the lineup is The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus, Anderson.Paak, Khalid, Zedd, Janelle Monae, Of Monsters and Men, Empire of the Sun, and more!

Governors Ball: New York City, June 5th-7th

If you’re looking to get away, this is the place to be. On the lineup is Tame Impala, Missy Elliott, Flume, Vampire Weekend, Stevie Nicks, Solange, Miley Cyrus, Ellie Goulding, Rufus Du Sol, H.E.R., Summer Walker and more!

Bonnaroo: Manchester, Tennessee, June 11th-14th

Again, a bit of traveling, but the artists are well worth it. On the lineup is Tool, Miley Cyrus, The 1975, Glass Animals, Lizzo, Flume, Oysterhead, Tame Impala, Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend, Leon Bridges, and many more! 

Written by: Delaney Weidner