Japanese-American artist Kylee held her first standalone concert at Yoshi’s Oakland on June 21. This marks her third live performance in the San Francisco Bay Area in the course of about a year. Born to an American father and Japanese mother, Kylee hails from Arizona and currently resides in Stanford, CA. Speaking of Stanford, she has just finished her first year of classes at its namesake university. Congratulations are in order.
Last year I covered May’n’s concert at Yoshi’s San Francisco. The two venues are under the same umbrella but are very different. They both have restaurants that guests can grab a bite to eat before watching a show and full bar service available before, during, and after. One big difference is the size; the San Francisco venue is two stories with both eating space and venue occupying parts of both. The Oakland Yoshi’s location is in the heart of the popular Jack London Square area.
The interior of Yoshi’s Oakland
The concert started a little past 10PM. Kylee looked like a natural onstage and she should as she’s been seen on both coasts of the United States, various places in Japan, and soon enough, France. With stints at Japan’s Summer Sonic Festival, the FIFA Club World Cup, and even singing for President Barack Obama, she’s definitely got high-end experience.
The set list officially consisted of 13 songs (with one additional) and primarily English ones. A possible reason for the selection is to appeal to her stateside attendees. Most are English speakers and while they do enjoy listening to Japanese music can’t exactly understand it. With that said it was good to hear songs that were not at some of her other recent appearances. Kylee’s album “17″ has made up the bulk of previous performances and this time there was only a few songs from it. As noted in the pre-concert article, one of my favorites is the song “Just Go” and I was glad to see it live. Being from the missing/IT’S YOU single it’s probably something a lot of people out here haven’t heard before.
Kylee supplemented her own songs with the covers “Clarity” (originally sung by Zedd) and Just Give Me a Reason (originally sung by Pink featuring fun.’s Nate Ruess). Both songs are also Sam Tsui covers and “Just Give Me a Reason” is actually a duet with Sam (with keyboardist Troy filling in for Sam on vocals this night). “Just Give Me a Reason” also happens to be the first YouTube video she’s been involved with with more than two million views. She sang a third cover, Katy Perry’s “Fireworks,” as a sort of celebration of her where she is now.
She didn’t completely forget her Japanese songs; she sang “Kimi ga Iru Kara” and “Crazy For You” (her most popular in Japan and used for the Nissen Clothing Fall 2011 TV commercial). An English version of “Crazy For You” is slated for release on July 1st (today!). It might have been nice to hear one or two others like “Everlasting” which was used for Gundam Unicorn. At the end of the day she is still a Japanese singer and what most of us probably learned of her initially.
Her next appearance in the U.S. will be late in July at the J-POP Summit Festival in San Francisco on both the 27th and 28th. On the 28th (Sunday) she will appear alongside Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Daichi, and Una in a breakout show. It’ll be a first for the J-Pop Summit to expand outside of the Japan Town area and this show will be held in the popular tourist destination that is Union Square. Make sure to check it out from 2-4PM.
If you happen to be in Paris she’ll be at Japan Expo which is happening July 4th through the 7th! For a couple of days she’ll be vacationing in England.
For more information about the J-Pop Summit event please visit http://www.j-pop.com/2013/union-square-live.
Kylee’s itunes page is located here. New additions as of July 1st are the album “17,” the song “Vacancy,” the English version of “Crazy For You,” and her cover of “Sanbun no ichi no Junjouna Kanjou,” originally sung by Siam Shade and used for Samurai X.
She also has a twitter and Facebook page.
Thanks to Sony and Yoshi’s for making this possible (you know who you are!), and of course, Kylee. We’ll see you again soon.
Kylee’s band for the night consisted of:
Guitar: Chris Vazquez
Bass: Bana Haffar
Keyboard: Troy Laureta
Track list is as follows:
Just Go (missing/IT’S YOU)
Clarity (Zedd) (Sam Tsui/Kurt Schneider)
IT’S YOU (17)
You Get Me (Love Kicks)
Fireworks (Katy Perry)
Kimi ga Iru Kara (Kimi ga Iru Kara)
VACANCY (Kylee meets Xam’d: Lost Memories)
Just Breathe (Kylee meets Xam’d: Lost Memories)
Over U (Kylee meets Xam’d: Lost Memories)
Just Give Me a Reason (PINK) (Kylee/Sam Tsui/Kurt Schneider)
Crazy for You (17)
Not For You (Love Kicks) (I don’t know where this one is positioned, just that I heard it)