Japanese Breakfast, an indie band led by Korean American singer Michelle Zauner, was scheduled to perform at the venue on September 27 at 8 p.m. with rock band Yo La Tengo. But the band pulled the plug this week.
“We canceled the event because a number of people let us know that they were boycotting the venue because of the Reawaken America tour,” Japanese Breakfast said in a tweet Thursday afternoon. “It’s a picket line that we support and don’t want to cross.”
re Rochester show at the Armory. We canceled the event because a number of people let us know that they were boycotting the venue because of the Reawaken America tour. We were told the event had been canceled and later learned that it was secretly still moving forward.
— Japanese breakfast (@Jbrekkie) July 14, 2022
Japanese Breakfast’s Rochester gig would have been part of the band’s 2022 North American tour, which on various tour dates has featured musical acts such as rock bands the Linda Lindas and Florence + the Machine.
The group, whose name is intended to emphasize the juxtaposition between American pop culture and how Asians are exoticism, was the musical guest on the 47th season finale of “Saturday Night Live.” The band members performed “Be Sweet” and “Paprika” from their latest album, “Jubilee.”
“Unfortunately we are unable to move the event to another location. [at] this time but we love Rochester and I’m sure we’ll be back sometime soon,” Japanese Breakfast also tweeted.
The ReAwaken America Tour started in April 2021. In an interview with Charisma News, Clark explained that the tour is a movement to protest the regulations in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and to bolster the baseless accusation that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump. The round made stops in Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona, and is scheduled to be held in Rochester on August 12-13.
A online petition was created to urge Main Street Armory to cancel the ReAwaken America event, citing that it was “likely to draw white supremacists and other northeastern hate group members into our community.”
The tour, which was critical in multiple outlets as the breeding ground for the far-right extremist group QAnon, featured Flynn, along with radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, political activist and radio host Charlie Kirk and Eric Trump in his list of speakers.
Representatives for Flynn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Flynn, 63, recently made headlines for arguing his Fifth Amendment rights in a deposition before the House committee during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack after he was asked if he believed in the peaceful transition of power in the United States. He was subpoenaed over a post-election meeting he attended with Trump in which the former president allegedly suggested seizing ballot boxes.
Flynn was the US national security adviser during the Trump administration, but resigned after three weeks for his potentially illegal communication with the Russian Ambassador at the time.
Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI about contact with Russian ambassador
On Thursday, the promoter of the Japanese Breakfast After Dark Presents concert asked Main Street Armory to stop selling tickets to the concert. Main Street Armory owner Scott Donaldson said he was not told why the band members canceled and never told them about the ReAwaken America event.
Donaldson said the location was “slapped between the eyes,” caught in the middle of a clash between ReAwaken America supporters and critics. The venue is apolitical, he said, and the space has been rented out for hundreds of events, from volleyball tournaments to hip-hop concerts, regardless of the criticism they draw.
“You can’t please everyone,” Donaldson said. “It’s a business, not a political arena.”