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The Japanese House Takes Lawrence By Storm!

Story and Photos: Haley Mullenix

This past Thursday (11/03) I made my way out to Lawrence Kansas for The Japanese House at Liberty Hall. The night was cold and rainy, and the small downtown area the hall is nestled in offered sparse parking arrangements. Luckily I found the perfect spot, not without a failed parallel parking attempt or two but alas I had made it. Walking into the box office I was greeted by a friend/coworker working security and soon found myself inside the absolutely packed Liberty Hall.

Making my way to the photo pit with another local photographer friend, we squeezed our way to the front finding the stage to be so low we’d definitely be sitting for the entirety of our shoot time. I was excited, I love a low stage. They always feel more intimate and I don’t have to stand up on my toes the whole time. We took our seats along the barricade and didn’t have to wait long before the opener of the night made their way to the stage. I had heard of Quinnie before and am familiar with her music so I was antsy to see her live for the first time, and with the best seat in the house I had no complaints.

Quin Barnitt, who goes by Quinnie on stage made her way up with bandmates Hudson Pollock to her left and Jake Weinberg to her right, both of whom played guitar and sang backing vocals. I would have to describe Quinnies set as a comfy folk daydream. Sitting front and center tapping her shoeless feet to the tempo as she swayed and sang like a bell, I felt as if I was sitting with a group of friends having a jam session. Comfortable and warm. Quinnie released her debut album Flounder earlier this year which blew up with singles like “Touch Tank” and “Man”. Quinnie is only at the beginning and already has made a splash in the scene. She’ll be finishing off tour with The Japanese House so be sure to get there early to see her set!

To end the night the stage went blue as Amber Mary Bain also known as The Japanese House brought her sophomore album In the End it Always Does to the stage. The album features collaborations from artists like Matty Healy and George Daniel from The 1975 to Charlie XCX, and Katie Gavin from MUNA. Amber recently released a collection of live recordings featuring a handful of favorites from said album including a cover of ABBA’s “Super Trouper”.

The Japanese House turned up the alt-pop indie-synth sound they’ve crafted so well and turned the set into a space with the energy parallel to that of a rock show. Fans on the barricade whispered to each other rumors of Matty Healy being in attendance, “Well he IS on the album!” I heard them say. Showing up clad in Doc Martens and cool vintage jackets hours before doors in hopes of getting barricade these fans were dedicated like most are. I found myself spying similarities within myself and them which I tend to do at most shows to sort of put me in their headspace. Amber’s vocals mixed with the emulsification of genres that create the soundtrack made me feel as if I was in a coming of age movie and this show was the moment just before the climax of the story. This album has been described as a “hypnotic fantasy” so maybe that was her point all along. Amber still has a handful of North American dates before heading to the UK so catch her while you can or stay tuned till the next one! Either way not a show you want to miss!

December 3 - Chicago, IL @ Metro SOLD OUT

December 5 - Detroit, MI @ El Club

December 6 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall SOLD OUT

December 8 - Montréal, QC @ Studio TD SOLD OUT

December 9 - South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground - The Ballroom SOLD OUT

December 10 - Boston, MA @ Royale


May 7 - Glasgow, UK @ SWG3

May 8 - Birmingham, UK @ O2 Institute

May 9 - London, UK @ Roundhouse

May 10 - Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall


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