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Show Review: The Japanese House bathes The Van Buren in soft lights and warm energy for headlining performance

“Are there any gays here?” Amber Bain of The Japanese House shouted cheekily at the crowd at The Van Buren this week. Phoenix’s LGBTQ population and plenty of supportive allies showed out for the UK-based indie pop singer who was joined by Quinnie for her headlining tour.

Quinnie kicked off the night with an intimate living room style stage setup that drew the audience in with every note. Her high, clear voice was backed by soft guitars and smiling anecdotes between songs for a brief but memorable set. She was endearing and genuine, completely winning the hearts of the fans by the end of her time onstage.

The Japanese House took the stage with vigor, starting the set slowly and building into an energetic, guitar-driven performance. From “Saw You In a Dream” to “You Seemed So Happy”, Bain was all smiles. Her backing band held things down behind Bain’s guitar, even adding in a saxophone solo to the delight of the crowd.

The audience, for their part, was all smiles, swaying and even some tears during the set. Fourteen songs later, Bain closed things out with “Maybe You’re the Reason” and “Dionne” before making sure to come back for a highly demanded encore. The fans left bathed in rainbow lights with the atmosphere of the show carrying them into the mild fall evening.

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Story and photos by Olivia Khiel