There was a nostalgically punk feel to the Japandroids’ show on Saturday, June 23rd at Lee’s Palace in Toronto. The Vancouver, BC tag team of guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse were playing the first Canadian date of the Celebration Rock tour, their acclaimed new album. While it’s only been out for a little less than a month, the sold-out audience was well acquainted with all eight, pedal-to-the-metal tracks, perhaps reacting even more vigorously than how they sound on the record. They slammed into each other hardcore, dove off the cramped stage repeatedly, and hoarsely shouted back in reply to their without abandon lyrics.
The band clearly fed off the patriotic crowd’s energy – King always seemed to be bracing himself whenever he opened his mouth to sing, as if his next lyric was to be the most poignant of the night. Never once did this come off as pretentious, though. When he wasn’t bellowing into his puffy red mic, King was at his Chatty Cathy best, regaling us with stories about how they were bumped by a day on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon because of Carly Rae Jepsen, how they learned to play AC/DC’s entire discography in their spare time, as well as professing their love for influential LA band The Gun Club (especially their song “For the Love of Ivy”, which Japandroids have co-opted as their nightly closer).
But the shiniest example of their punk-rooted, DIY ethic was when King abruptly stopped during second-to-last number “Young Hearts Spark Fire” (from 2009’s Post-Nothing) because he had to duct tape his already well-worn guitar back together himself! Fortunately, Prowse made the best of the situation with a pretty kick-ass improvised drum solo. As King described earlier, Prowse “quite possibly may be the Lars Ulrich of our generation.” One shot of liquor later (courtesy of their manager), they were ready for their big finish. Let’s hope Japandroids learn how to balance their intensity if they hope to make it through the rest of their tour!
For more photos from the show, visit ROCKthusiast on Facebook.
The Boys Are Leaving Town
Rockers East Vancouver
The Nights of Wine and Roses
The House That Heaven Built
Young Hearts Spark Fire
For the Love of Ivy