Concert Review: Soccer Mommy at San Diego’s Music Box

Reviewed and photographed by Maya Tomasik

I had never heard of Soccer Mommy before attending her show at Music Box, here in San Diego. I discovered that I did have a few of her songs saved on my Spotify but, ultimately, her stage name didn’t stick to me before appreciating her live performance. 

Photo Credit: Maya Tomasik

Swiss-born singer-songwriter Sophia (Sophie) Allison, sounded so soft and dreamy on stage. I respect her honest and expressive lyrics, and her transitions between songs were incredibly smooth.

Photo Credit: Maya Tomasik

The band had the whole crowd swaying but, I still felt like something was missing. They sound like a melancholic indie dream, and maybe I’m just not into that type of music anymore. Other than that, I also felt like Sophie could’ve brought a bit more energy to the venue. I didn’t hear much from her and she seemed a bit rigid that night. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the show and Music Box.

Photo Credit: Maya Tomasik

It was my first time attending a show at Music Box and I’m so happy to have spent my night there. It’s a three-story venue with many tables and seating areas. They also have two outdoor areas you can mingle at without having to leave the venue entirely.  I am now in love with this venue and can’t wait to attend more shows there.

Written by: Maya Tomasik

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