Kero Kero Bonito
October 16, 2018 at Brighton Music Hall
The night began in a colorful darkness; with a winding line out the door, Brighton Music Hall filled to the brim with head-to-toe Harajuku and sequin jackets that reflected off the disco ball hanging above. As the lights dimmed, one by one Kero Kero Bonito took the stage: the kick drum smacked, the guitar starts to riff, and the synths began to build in anticipation. With silver hair and a grateful smile, Sarah emerged onto the stage rousing the crowd into an immense roar.
The set opens with ‘Outside’, the first track off of Kero Kero Bonito’s new album Time ‘n’ Place – a massive departure from their previous just-for-fun synth album, Bonito Generation, with the immediate entrance of distorted guitar and pounding drums –more dreamgaze, less chiptune. Performing without autotune, the perfected and polished song quality of KKB’s recorded discography was still palpable in their live performance, taking in their new environment and new found shoegaze sound in stride.
Their performance was warm, vibrant, and purely fun. Sat on the keyboard dancing along with the rest of the venue was a little toy bird that nodded and bobbed as ‘Lipslap’ and ‘Flamingo’ played. Smiling the entire time, Sarah interacted with the crowd dancing and jumping around the stage with plush toy animals before emptying trash bags of balloons into the air. It was a feel good show, but not in the cliché sense; there was a grand acknowledgement that things can suck and life can get hard, but let’s just pretend for a minute that they don’t, let’s be silly, and glittery and have a good time.
The show ends, and after a passionate cheer for an encore the band reconvened on the stage with cheeky anticipation. As the crowd chanted for ‘Trampoline’, Sarah screamed into the mic and the crowd broke loose. The center of the crowd opened up into a push pit (no mosh) and everyone began to jump and sing and smile as widely as Sarah is from up on stage. The venue felt like a home, the crowd felt like a family, and Kero Kero Bonito guided us through a moment of pure happiness that can only be described as wholesome.