Japanese artist Cornelius, having released his first album over a decade in 2017, is on his first North American tour in a decade and hit NYC on Friday (3/9) at Irving Plaza. Cornelius shows are always an A/V spectacular and this tour does not dissapoint. Before they started, the stage was covered by a giant curtain and on it was projected a rather mesmerizing eclipsed sun (or a black hole) with light particles spilling over its edges. As it got closer to set time, the edges of the orb began to deteriorate, and then scattered like explosions with each snare hit of the intro to opening song "Sometime/Someplace." When that song kicked in proper, the curtain fell, revealing the Cornelius Group backed by banks of lights that looked like they could've come from the Close Encounters of the Third Kind set, and a giant projection screen that had visuals synched up to every beat of every song.

There was not a note out of place the whole evening and while there is a lab-like environment to what Cornelius do, there is nothing cold, clinical or robotic about seeing them live. His band -- featuring longtime members Yuko Araki (drums) and Hirohisa Horie (guitars, keyboards), plus Buffalo Daughter's Yumiko Ohno on bass and Moogs -- are a seriously precise unit and I watched in awe for most of the show. We were treated to a nice sampling of Cornelius' entire catalog, including a bunch of songs from Fantasma, career high Point, 2006's Sensuous and Mellow Waves.

Keigo Oyamada, who is Cornelius for all intents and purposes, has such a specific style that all the songs could theoretically be all from now, 20 years ago or 20 years in the future. Only with older songs like "Star Fruits Surf Rider," where the projections are clearly from a pre-HD world, do any seams show. Pictures from the whole night, including openers Ava Luna, are in the gallery above, while the setlist and lots of fan-shot video from Irving Plaza are below.

If Cornelius' tour is coming to your city, definitely try and go. The West Coast leg starts Tuesday (3/13) in Seattle. Remaining tour dates are listed below.


SETLIST: Cornelius @ Irving Plaza 3/9/2018 (via)
"Mellow Waves" Intro
Point of View Point
Count Five or Six
I Hate Hate
The Spell Of A Vanishing Loveliness (Yumiko Ohno on Lead Vocals)
Dear Future Person
Surfing on Mind Wave Pt 2
In a Dream
Beep It
Fit Song
Star Fruits Surf Rider
If You're Here

Chapter 8 -Seashore And Horizon

Cornelius - 2018 Tour Dates
March 13 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA
March 14 – Revolution Hall – Portland, OR
March 16 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA – SOLD OUT
March 17 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA
March 20 – Fonda Theater – Los Angeles, CA

photos by Greg Cristman

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