Posted in music | pictures on June 29, 2012

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Andrew Sacher

Japandroids at MHoW, 6/28/2012
Japandroids

"They always tell us in Brooklyn that people just do this," said singer Brian King of Japandroids with his arms folded at his chest, before the band began their set at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (6/28, one night after they played Bowery Ballroom). "But I don't believe 'em, I think you guys are gonna prove 'em wrong." And he couldn't have been more right. Less than two seconds into opener, "The Boys Are Leaving Town," the entire crowd was moving, pushing each other, raising their fists, and shouting along.

Indie rock has had a tendency to look down upon this stuff -- rocking out, shoutalongs, high gain anthemic power chords -- but Japandroids simply don't give a fuck. Their new record is filled with rockisms (I mean it's called Celebration Rock for god's sake) that have little to do with recent trends in indie rock, and they're certainly not doing it to be ironic. They've got enough references to thunder, hell, and fire to make AC/DC proud, huge Springsteen-via-Replacements crashes, and the captured free spirits of youth with just enough anxiety looking towards the rest of life. And they bring all of this with them to the stage, performing with the genuine excitement of a band's first live show ever, and the ruthlessness of their last. Brian did often mention that touring wears them out, and that when you get towards the end of a tour (which they are) sometimes you just want to throw the towel in. He continued, saying when he sees reactions to their songs like the ones the band got at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night, it's what gives them the strength to give it their all every single night.

Japandroids' 14-song, encore-less set included every track off Celebration Rock, and was filled out with a bunch off their 2009 debut, Post-Nothing. There wasn't a song where the crowd failed to sing along, and even on the ones where less people seemed to know the words, there were plenty of "oh oh oh ohs" to join in. Before going into Celebration Rock opener, "The Nights of Wine and Roses," Brian told the crowd how The Dream Syndicate was the biggest influence on the new record, and that the song's title is an homage to their 1982 album, The Days of Wine and Roses. They followed that with another standout, the three-line singalong of "Wet Hair," and then "Evil's Sway," for which Brian acknowledged that "people on the internet" have said the song includes a part ripped from Tom Petty: "I'm not denying it... but that means we all know it, so you better sing along. If i look out and someone's not singing along to that part, I call bullshit."

As the set neared its end, they played the only slow song they've got, "Continuous Thunder,"which Brian almost seemed a bit apologetic about playing, but it would've taken a lot more than a slow song to sedate the crowd. Brian mentioned that that they play "Continuous Thunder" to save about 5 minutes of energy and give twice as much to the next song, which of course was "Young Hearts Spark Fire," undoubtedly the wildest moment of the show. They closed with their cover of The Gun Club's "For the Love of Ivy," which feels slightly out of place on Celebration Rock, but was a powerful closer to the night with frantic psychobilly blasts that ignited a dancing, pushing fury.

Cadence Weapon
Cadence Weapon

The show opened with a solid opening set from rapper Cadence Weapon, who were introduced by Brian King. Though it could seem out of place for a rapper to be touring with Japandroids (though in 2012 it really doesn't, with all of the rap/indie crossover that's been happening), Cadence explained how much in common he's got with Japandroids. "1, There's 2 of us, 2 of them. 2, Canadian... nuff said. and 3. did you hear me scream in that last song? that was rock n roll style," he said in reference to the piercing screams on "Jukebox," off his recently released LP, Hope in Dirt City. Cadence does have a bit of that punk-rap thing going on too like Doomtree, Atmosphere, and Death Grips. His set was short but strong and included other standouts like "Loft Party," the Hope in Dirt City title track, and the Grimes-produced "88."

The Japandroids/Cadence Weapon tour continues in Philly tonight. More pictures and the setlist from the Brooklyn show are below...

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Cadence Weapon

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Japandroids Setlist:
The Boys Are Leaving Town
Adrenaline Nightshift
Younger Us
Fire's Highway
Rockers East Vancouver
The Nights of Wine and Roses
Wet Hair
Evil's Sway
The House That Heaven Built
Crazy/Forever
Sovereignty
Continuous Thunder
Young Hearts Spark Fire
For The Love Of Ivy

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Comments (16)

Nice review. Sad to have missed it but definitely one of my favorite albums of the year so far.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2012 10:39 AM

Obama ruined America

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2012 10:39 AM

i LOVE japanthar!!!

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2012 11:33 AM

If I do recall correctly, they played Sovereighnty and not Heart Sweats.

Posted by Poop McGee | June 29, 2012 11:52 AM

Bowery show was fun too!

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2012 12:48 PM

poop mcgee is correct.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2012 1:57 PM

hot sweaty mess of a show. good times.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2012 2:25 PM

the bowery show rocked my ass. these guys made me feel like i was 16 again

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2012 2:59 PM

I think they played Sovereignty (since I remember the raining in Vancouver line) as well as Heart Sweats' "X0X0X0X0, MY HEART SWEAAATS!"

What a good show, had such a good time. Too bad there were a couple dumbass bros behind me apparently from Chelsea (stuck up little brats lol) but overall, pretty positive fucking response from the crowd.

Very fun!

Cadence Weapon was cool too, definitely good personality and the dude named Karate on the synth fucking ruled!

Posted by Sam | June 29, 2012 6:15 PM

They didn't play Heart Sweats at MHOW, the only bummer of the night for me (Gastown or No Allegiance would have been cool too). It may not be high art, but these guys put on the most fun show around.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2012 2:58 PM

^ My bad, you're right, my brother just told me.

Either way, was fun for sure :D

Posted by Sam | July 2, 2012 5:57 PM

Bowery show was fun too!

Posted by sooq | July 3, 2012 5:09 PM

cadence fucking weapon. stoked to see him at glasslands!

Posted by Sarah | September 21, 2012 3:34 PM

November 9th is gonna be a night to remember, so glad Cadence is coming back to Brooklyn. His video for "Get On Down" is probably my favourite of 2012 so far. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ8N21LwWwk

Posted by Mike | September 21, 2012 3:44 PM

Buy from ebay, the worlds largest and most trusted auction site. Pay with paypal and eliminate any security issues with your credit card.

Posted by Michal | February 24, 2013 3:49 PM

sold out wow.

Posted by jordon | July 28, 2013 12:13 PM

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