Back and Vaxxed- Live Music Returns to Anthology with Mannequin Pussy and Japanese Breakfast

On August 3rd, Anthology had the privilege of hosting one of Rochester’s largest and first fully-vaccinated events since the 2020/2021 COVID-19 shutdown. The show featured alternative punk-rock band, Mannequin Pussy (Marisa “Missy” Dabice), and experimental indie-pop band, Japanese Breakfast (Michelle Zauner), both of which hail from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After a difficult year for both fans and musicians alike, neither group was disappointed- Japanese Breakfast's performance was every bit as magical as Mannequin Pussy's was moving!


Photo by: Krit Upra

Mannequin Pussy opened up the show with four powerful strums of the guitar, followed by another sixty minutes of riotous intensity. Their music quickly heated up the venue and reinvigorated a crowd packed full of avid concert-goers who have spent the past year longing for an energetic outlet for their politically and socially fueled frustration. Evidently, Missy expected this and addressed the crowd early into their set. She spoke of the collective trauma which we have endured as a nation and the problems which have only been illuminated in the wake of this trauma. “We need to destroy white supremacy,” she shouted out to the crowd. “The necessity to do that falls on every single white person in this room. And if you are not about that, we do not want you as a fan of this band!” At this, the room erupted and the band launched into their next song. Michelle of Japanese Breakfast, leaned against the wall to the right of the stage, equally as thrilled as the crowd to watch her co-performers play.


Photo by: Krit Upra

Rather than end their set with a moment of silence, Mannequin Pussy, in typical punk-rock fashion, chose to make some noise. “Anger is the first step to realizing that there’s a fucking problem!” Missy screamed. “We would be so happy if you would just scream with us now. You don’t have to be embarrassed by it. Just let it out and see how good it feels.” Mannequin Pussy’s last song, “Pigs Is Pigs,” was sung by bassist Colins Rey Regisford (“Bear”) whose dreadlocks swung wildly in conjunction with the sea of bobbing heads.


Following Mannequin Pussy's moving performance, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner floated about the stage for a magical and awe-inspiring set. Decorative circles behind the band glowed golden, casting an angelic light upon her. Her voice rang out, clean and crisp amidst the heavy, sweat-laden air that filled the room. More and more instruments made their way into the performance, from a large gong which Michelle struck gleefully, to violins, maracas, and a stunning saxophone solo. With the fog machines in full effect, Michelle made the fitting claim “Every great sax solo should feel like someone is atop a streaming manhole.” The show ended with an encore performance from Japanese Breakfast and a flood of 20-30-something-year-olds in the street, brought back to life, sweaty and smiling.


Mannequin Pussy’s most recent EP titled “Perfect” is available to stream on Spotify, as well as Japanese Breakfast’s new album “Jubilee,” released in June of 2021.


Photo by: Krit Upra

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