SNL Big: Japanese Breakfast takes on late night with "Be Sweet" and "Paprika" live from New York (and more) - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

In the XPN universe, we’re always excited to see artists we love make their way to 30 Rockefeller Center’s studio 8H stage for Saturday Night Live; when it’s an artist we’ve been following since their days in Philly, it’s particularly magical.

In that spirit, cheers to Japanese Breakfast for appearing as musical guest on the season finale of SNL last night. With their Grammy-nominated third LP Jubilee just over a year old, the band delivered dazzling performances of “Be Sweet” and “Paprika” on a stage draped in hanging, richly-colored light bulbs, reminiscent of the hanging persimmons seen on the album cover.

Japanese Breakfast - Be Sweet (live on SNL)
Japanese Breakfast - Paprika (live on SNL)

In addition to the performance, frontperson Michelle Zauner popped up in the final sketch of the night, featuring outgoing cast members Aidy Bryant, Kate MacKinnon, and Kyle Mooney; described as a commercial that “advertises a hair product that helps women look as young as they feel,” Zauner played electric guitar to a group singalong of Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game.”

Women's Commercial - SNL

Zauner made the late night rounds this week, returned to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon the night before — not as a musical guest this time, but the interviewee, discussing her bestselling memoir Crying In H Mart, her current project adapting it into a screenplay, and her appearance on the Grammy awards where she got a photo with BTS and noshed on a Nathan’s hot dog post-show.

Michelle Zauner on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Back here in Philly, Zauner was honored by Councilmember Helen Gym, who introduced a resolution to honor Zauner for her creative work as well as her efforts to uplift and support the AAPI community in Philadelphia and beyond. Japanese Breakfast appears at the Make The World Better benefit concert at the Dell Music Center on Saturday, July 23rd with Yo La Tengo and Cate LeBon. Tickets and more information on that concert can be found at the WXPN Concerts and Events page.

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