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Arcadia Grey and Fleece Kawasaki at The Robot Project in Pittsburgh!


This tour series initially sought performances from both Arcadia Grey and Fleece Kawasaki supporting Los Angeles-Seattle rockstars Glass Beach; however, unfortunately, lead vocalist, J, woke up feeling unwell causing Glass Beach to call out. Even so, the show must go on! The performance was moved from Spirit Hall to The Robot Project where Arcadia Grey and Fleece Kawasaki co-headlined.


Fleece Kawasaki

Fleece Kawasaki

Fleece Kawasaki, a band bred from New York’s Kiazi Helpern meshed with glass beach's guitarist, Layne Smith, are scored by bombastic sounds and beachy reverbs inspired by the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Mac Demarco, Radiohead, and The Pillows. After busking in the LA metro, Halpern came connected with his now producer, Layne Smith, and together they brought life to Kiazi Halpern's music. Despite unexpected circumstances with, unfortunately, glass beach’s lead singer J being sick and unable to perform, the two took on the venue change at The Roboto Project as if it was their own show.



Their set was heartfelt and filled with nothing but good vibes, elevated by their charismatic personalities. Their addition of an acoustic guitar fit seamlessly with the ideas surrounding “The Desert Flower” EP, their first and only official released project. Fleece Kawasaki played songs from their upcoming album as well and, though the crowd was small, everyone seemed to lose themselves to the music effortlessly.


Fleece Kawasaki

They required us to wear N-95 masks to protect everyone in the intimate concert hall. Ever since 2021 when I started going to The Roboto Project, they have had a strict mask policy, and even though now it feels a little exaggerated, the venue confidently uploads their motto of creating "a comfortable and open safe space for people to experience a true DIY community."  This was acknowledged by Fleece Kawasaki and they expressed their appreciation that this was respected.


Fleece Kawasaki

Beyond the music, the band's lighthearted personality shined through. During their set, they engaged in banter with the audience and cracked jokes; “glass beach can’t be with us at Spirit but they are with us in spirit." This was a perfect way to engage the crowd and make everyone feel free to let loose.


Arcadia Grey


Arcadia Grey

Arcadia Grey, a three piece band from Chicago, is taking on a tour with glass beach as the second opener. Well, technically at their show at The Roboto Project, they headlined.  They even mentioned it during the middle of their set saying “if anyone wants to perform after us, you could say you headlined a show!”


Arcadia Grey

The 20 or so people at Roboto brought the energy with Arcadia Grey’s fifth wave emo music. During some of the songs, there was moshing (myself included as I gripped my camera bag). The crowd was small but mighty and brought the energy. One of the first things I noticed about their music  was the awesome time signature changes.  To be able create cohesive music and still have complex time signatures displays a level of understanding in music technicalities and general experience I, personally, admire.



Another entertaining part of the set was during their audacious song "Konami Code," there was a line relaying “I bleached my hair” and their one singer took off their hat to show their bleached hair.  This was just one more aspect that kept me engaged with their music.


Another exceptional part of Arcadia Grey's set was during “Godzilla 98’ Sux,” they gave the bass to the one kid in the crowd because he said he knew the song by heart (picture below).  It is wonderful to see artists engaging with their audience in that personal of a way.  In the same vein, it makes the show more engaging when an artist has a story. Coraline (Cora) expressed appreciation on places like Roboto where they “felt safe as a trans person.”  I love hearing artists’ sentiments, especially regarding places I am familiar with.



Arcadia Grey

Last, one of my personal favorite parts of the show, was when they sang a “Kyoto” by Phoebe Bridgers.  They absolutely killed it and now I have to go through the mental anguish to determine if I like Arcadia Grey’s version better.



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