Photos and review by Ronny Kerr
See photos of Japanese dance punk band CHAI and Australian EDM trio Haiku Hands performing to a nearly sold out show at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.
CHAI eludes categorization. It's easy to make assumptions based on the fact that they're an all-female, four-piece rock band from Japan. Yes, they tap into kawaii (Japan’s aesthetic of “cuteness” personified by Pikachu and Hello Kitty) with matching pastel pink crop tops and high-pitched yelps of joy. But whether you listen to their new album PUNK or see them live, you’d be hard-pressed to classify their music as any one thing. It’s a traditional band with drums, bass, electric guitar, synth, and vocals, but they constantly shift gears from rock to punk to post-punk to disco.
While CHAI has blown up over the past few months, lesser-known supporting act Haiku Hands did their part to pump up the crowd. The Australian group consists of three women on vocals, dazzlingly dressed (often switching attire between songs), stomping and dancing joyously, and rapping with poise. Put one way, they’re the ideal 2019 version of the Beastie Boys: that is, instead of boys they’re girls, and instead of Rick Rubin-sourced classic rock samples they’re rapping over beautifully produced house beats.
Listen to CHAI’s newest single “Fashionista.” Listen to Haiku Hands’ newest single “Dare You Not to Dance” and watch the video for their hit “Not About You.”
CHAI and Haiku Hands have two more shows scheduled together on their U.S. tour:
Fri 3/29 – Seattle – Vera Project - Tickets
Sat 3/30 – Portland – Holocene - Tickets
Haiku Hands will also be playing at Zebulon in Los Angeles on April 15 - Tickets