Spokane residents crowded into the new Lucky You Lounge in downtown Spokane to hear the energetic pop music of artist Kishi Bashi.

The Seattle native whose full name is Kaoru Ishibashi was originally scheduled to play at the Knitting Factory, but the show was moved at the last minute to the smaller Lucky You Lounge. 

Spokane resident Connor Powers said he was excited about the venue change.

“I think it’s nice," Powers said. "It lets us all get close up to the artist and makes for a really intimate show.” 

Fans in the Lounge appeared excited to see the band.

"I've been waiting like five years to see him," said Grace Dalsin, a concert-goer in the front row.

Dalsin appreciated the beautiful and upbeat sound of the artist.

Ishibashi entered the stage dressed in a button up shirt decorated with watermelons and opened the show by performing a number from his new album “Omoiyari."

The artist is touring to promote this album and described it by saying that the work focuses on a variety of themes including discrimination, empathy and compassion.

Before playing his recently released music which focuses on World War II Japanese internment, Ishibashi asked the crowd to have an open mind.

“It’s tough to relate to the experiences of a minority in this country because we have been othered,” Ishibashi said.

Ishibashi utilized an eclectic mix of instrumentations during his show. His band included musicians playing the flute and a banjo specifically modified to be played as a rhythm instrument.

He personally played the violin, guitar, piano and beatboxed, often playing over himself through a looping device. 

Powers enjoyed Ishibashi’s use of the loop pedal, which is a musical tool that takes a short passage of music played and repeats it. “A lot of contemporary artists are using loop pedals, people like Ed Sheeran, and to hear that sound with classical string instruments was amazing,” Powers said.

Powers also liked the general instrumentation and the artist’s juxtaposition of old and new.

“The instrumentals (of the band) take classical stuff and makes it contemporary,” Powers said. "Ishibashi is such an incredible musician.”

Nearing the end of their set, the band showed interesting quirks. For one of their last songs, Ishibashi brought a new performer in a steak costume to sing the song “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” as a duet.

For their encore, the band took their instruments into the middle of the crowd. After asking the audience to use turn on their smartphone flashlights, the band played several of the most popular songs from Ishibashi’s most recent album. 

The show concluded with Ishibashi hopeful on coming back to Spokane for future shows.

“Tonight was our first show in Spokane but it certainly won’t be the last,” Ishibashi said. 

Luke Keanneally is the photo editor. Follow him on Twitter: @lone_trombone.

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