Join the Club! Two Door Cinema Club and Tokyo Police Club Bring Down Kool Haus
January 15, 2011 – I think that anyone who would bust their ass down to the waterfront for a show in the dead of winter deserves some kind of a “Hardcore Fan” award. Evidently, last weekend the Kool Haus was full of deserving candidates for said award.
All ages shows always make for an interesting mix of an audience. A lad no older than 10 was standing on a chair in front of me. Then, you’ve got your “I’m-15-but-out-at-a-club-therefore-I-have-to-try-and-act-like-I’m-older-when-in-actuality-I’m-annoying-everyone-around-me” little tweens cloaked in outfits acquired at Urban Outfitters, spliced in with the of-age crowd that are there to drink a beer, grope their lover and enjoy some tunes.
Personally, it was my first time at the Kool Haus, but my second time reviewing Tokyo Police Club within the last few months. I was excited to see if there were any differences in their performance as they were the headliners this time around. I’ve seen them play in an array of venues; outdoor festival, arena show (with Phoenix in the fall) and now a club. Kool Haus is a club, right?
Regardless, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Before Tokyo Police Club graced us with their presence, Two Door Cinema Club treated us to a performance. These Irish boys had rhythm and rock on their side, yet carried themselves with grace and civility. Don’t get me wrong – they were clearly still rocking their little hearts out, just in a steady, dignified kind of way. By the fourth song in they were loosening up a little more. The bassist did the talking, while the lead guitarist punctuated the set with strategic plucks that defined the set progression nicely.
In general their sound was balanced, nothing drowned anything out. Each member played strongly and confidently, and the vocal harmonies complimented the natural echo of the space. The lead guitarist seemed to play in the higher registers giving the bass and second guitar something to strive for. The bassist would strum in double time which differed from what was played on the tracks of the album, so the stalls and fills from the drums seemed to be a bit more playful as well.
As the set progressed I wanted to hear more and more, and the crowd seemed to be getting hooked as well. However, as I eavesdropped on a few audience conversations, there were a few murmurs from people who were getting antsy for some Tokyo Police Club.
TPC is probably the most humble band I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing. And let’s not lie to ourselves here, they’re pretty big. They are not ashamed to say that they hail from New Market, Ontario, and when they talk to an audience there isn’t even a tinge of arrogance. They are so grateful of every listener, and are clearly having the time of their lives sharing music with fans.
If you can come to a Tokyo Police Club show and NOT move/shake it just a little bit, there’s something wrong with you. There is nothing more awesome than a sea of silhouetted arms waving and clapping to the beat of a good tune-a sight complimentary to TPC’s sound.
I even caught a glimpse of a crowd surfer. Just one though, let’s not get crazy here.
The set was heavily focused on tunes from “Elephant Shell” and “Champ”, but the occasional tune from “Nature of the Experiment” snuck its way in. There seemed to be more sing-a-longs and cheers for older stuff. Being the headliners allowed them to mess around a little bit and take their time – there was a new bridge for “Bambi”; a bit of a key solo, and the entire song was played quicker than what’s played on the album.
Tokyo Police Club is the kind of band that could play a stellar show on a whim. Such natural talents that are even more engaging because of their humility and addictive riffs.