Entries tagged with: Terminal 5

25 result(s) displayed (126 - 150 of 396):

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Rachel Kowal

PJ Harvey

It may have been a day early (4/19), but an unmistakable trail of pot smoke lined the blocks on the long walk to Terminal 5, as if showing the way to PJ Harvey.

Without an opener to help ease the tension, the excitement level steadily rose as the large room filled to capacity. When she finally walked out on stage at around 8:45, the crowd's reaction caused vibrations in the floor. Intermittent bursts of "I love you, Polly Jean!" and "I will give you my firstborn child!" rippled through the crowd as if the audience as a whole had instantaneously given over to bouts of turrets.

Harvey wore an ankle-length, long-sleeve white dress, hiked up just enough in front to reveal large, black lace-up boots. A majestic (if not a morbid) black-feathered headdress topped off her look and called attention to both her beauty and her eccentricity.

With an autoharp cradled in her arms, Harvey and her three-man backing band wordlessly launched into "Let It Shake," the eponymous first song on her latest album (which is out now). Though she attempted to maintain a low profile on the far left side of the stage, all eyes were on her. Her striking appearance transformed her into mythical creature (whether she was a messenger of hope or a harbinger of death was uncertain).

As predicted, references to her motherland of England were many. Normally, such brazen patriotism would be a deal-breaker (even though the references aren't solely positive or nostalgic), but Harvey gets a free pass even with the obnoxious (some may say triumphant) bugle sample in "The Glorious Land." The new material is lively and well executed... and at least she's not singing about America.

Harvey breezed through the set, stopping only to briefly introduce her band mates. In an age when the passing thoughts of friends and stars alike are highly accessible thanks to sites like Twitter and Facebook, it's kind of refreshing to behold an artist who still manages to hold onto the mystique - even after twenty plus years as an award-winning musician. (To be fair, back in 2009, PJHarveyUK did tweet exactly one time. Doesn't lool like she wrote it though.)

But then as quickly as it had all began, the spotlights suddenly became brighter and everyone on stage stepped forward to bow. It seemed like no time had passed at all when in reality, Harvey had played nearly twenty songs.

After a break back stage, the group returned for a three-song encore of older songs. When she walked off stage for the second time, even the sound engineer seemed to be willing her to come back. Instead of immediately queuing up house music, the only sound for over ten minutes was the cheering and chanting of fans desperate for one last song.

The full setlist and more pictures from the first of two sold out nights at the Manhattan venue (the second show is tonight, 4/20), below....

Continue reading "PJ Harvey played Terminal 5 (night 1 pics & setlist)"

Terminal 5, post LCD - 4/5/11 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Terminal 5

"In New York City, Terminal 5, a 3,000-person venue, has an advantage over similarly sized local theaters. Because it's owned by a local promoter, Bowery Presents, much of the infrastructure -- stage hands, lighting, sound, security, things a band would have to pay for elsewhere -- is in place. This means, Barger says, bands "can make a higher percentage of the earnings in that one room than in any other room in NYC." So even if your favorite mid-sized band would prefer to play a larger venue, one with different acoustics, or one in a different part of town, Terminal 5 can be difficult to resist." [NPR: "The Concert Ticket Food Chain: Where Your Money Goes"]
Cut Copy play their third show in a row at Terminal 5 tonight. The Hold Steady headline the room on Friday. Tickets are still on sale for the latter.

LCD Soundsystem just played there four times. Bao Nguyen was there at the final one, and he made the special video of the last song, which you can watch below...

Continue reading "Terminal 5 "hard to resist" (and check out the video Bao shot of LCD Soundsystem's final moments there)"

Dinosaur Jr

Following J Mascis's current solo tour, Dinosaur Jr will hit the road for a select group of East Coast dates in June. These won't be your average Dinosaur Jr. shows though, because.... like they're doing for ATP in London in June, the band will perform Bug in its entirety. PLUS, Off! will open every show AND Henry Rollins will interview Dinosaur Jr. live at every show (Keith Morris and Henry Rollins both on the bill), AND at the NYC show which is happening June 23rd at Terminal 5, Fucked Up will also play an opening set.

Tickets for the four dates Off! are playing are currently on fan presale, and tickets go on regular sale on 4/8. Oh, and the short tour kicks off on June 21st at Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA where Thurston Moore is also playing (but Off! is not). Proceeds from that first show will benefit Whole Children.

In related news, J Mascis recenly played a BV Day Party at Swan Dive followed by two NYC shows (he was also interviewed by Ted Leo), and Mike Hill of Tombs interviewed Henry Rollins for this website. Off! was just in town with Trash Talk and played Santos Party House.

All dates below...

Continue reading "Dinosaur Jr. performing 'Bug' live on tour w/ Off! & Henry Rollins (who will be speaking) (Fucked Up in NYC too!)"

photos by Diana Wong

Cut Copy and a door @ Terminal 5
Cut Copy

NY PRESS: Every time you come back to the U.S., the venues seem a bit bigger. The shows at Terminal 5 sold out quickly. What's it like to see that progression?

Cut Copy: We've always found American audiences to be receptive. When we began, we were opening for people and it seemed when we started headlining all those people came back and brought their friends. It happened organically, as it should. It's not like we had a lot of press or hype behind that first record. It felt quite grassroots. We've found throughout the world we have such a loyal fan base. I never thought we would connect with an American audience. I'm not sure how it happened but it's amazing.

No dancey bands should have scheduled shows in NYC on Saturday, if for no other reason than they were probabably upset that they made it all the way to NYC on April 2nd, but couldn't go see LCD Soundsystem at Madison Square Garden, because they had to work. Daedelus and company played a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg that night, and Cut Copy and the DFA-signed Holy Ghost! played their second sold out show in a row that evening at Terminal 5. The other Cut Copy show was one night earlier, and Cut Copy will play the large NYC venue again, but with opener Midnight Magic, on Wednesday (also sold out).

The pictures in this post are from Friday and they continue, shot of Cut Copy's setlist included, and with more tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Cut Copy played Terminal 5 twice w/ Holy Ghost (pics, setlist)"

photos by Andrew St. Clair, words by Bill Pearis

LCD Soundsystem

You could see glo-sticks being passed back among the crowd as LCD Soundsystem began their third straight night at Terminal 5, the hump day of their week-long career wind-down extravaganza. The moment set-opener "Dance Yourself Clean" goes from quiet to loud, someone near the stage flung about a hundred of those glo-sticks into the air, making for the first of many memorable moments of the night.

Despite having done this three-hour tour-de-force the last two nights, James Murphy and crew didn't show any signs of flagging. The eight or so musicians on stage -- not including female backup singers, male chorus and occasional horn sections -- seemed to be having a blast. As did the crowd that pretty much went mental for the entire first hour of the set, which included "Too Much Love" for the first time this week.

High point for me was watching the crowd react to "All My Friends." I was looking down from the third floor balcony and it was amazing to see so many people connect so deeply to it. That will definitely be one of my top concert moments of the year. I stayed against the balcony for the whole show (my first time at T5 if you can believe it) which I think probably made things more tolerable for me.

The bulked up band really made a difference, especially that male choir which includes members of the band Mr. Dream -- "Get Innocuous" and "Sound of Silver" sounded much fuller because of them. It was also nice to have Hot Chip's Al Doyle back, his presence was missed on last year's This Is Happening tour. He kept his shirt on tonight, but played guitar, vibes, timbales and even trumpet at one point.

The mid-section, an attempt to recreate the Nike-commissioned "45:33" was a bit hit or miss. Some parts were fleshed-out into more song-like structure, but without much singing it seemed like a good opportunity for the crowd (and band) to catch its breath.

For the third act, LCD Soundsystem got the crowd moving again with "Us Vs. Them" and kept the crowd bouncing through "North American Scum" and "You Wanted a Hit." With the pingpong bass of "Tribulations" the crowd surfing began, and then it turned into a pit for the thrashy "Movement."

There was also crowd favorite "Yeah" (it always kind of destroys), the throbbing "Someone Great," and LCD signature tune (and first single) "Losing My Edge" which seemed to take on extra meaning (and some new lyrics) in the hours before their retirement. Al Doyle also threw the keyboard hook from "Da Funk" into it at one point -- probably the closest we'll get to Daft Punk playing in LCD's house this week. (Though who knows what surprises are in store at MSG?) Also a treat: the band also threw in their cover of Harry Nilsson's "Jump into the Fire" in the encore, plopped in-between "All I Want" and "New York I Love You." Another highlight.

I don't know if he was saving his voice for singing, but James Murphy was rather unchatty between songs. Which is okay, the music spoke loud enough.

Shit Robot opened the show, and their set included LCD's Nancy Whang on vocals for "Take Em Up". They also later joined LCD on stage. Special guest Colin Stetson joined LCD on horns. Original LCD guitarist Phil Mossman played on some songs.

Only two more nights left for LCD's existence: tonight at Terminal 5 and then the big blowout Saturday at MSG. More pictures and video, and last night's setlist, after the jump.

Continue reading "LCD Soundsystem played Terminal 5 w/ opener Shit Robot, covered Harry Nilsson (night 3 pics, video, setlist)"

photos by Vincent Cornelli

LCD Soundsystem

"What can I say? I just witnessed one of the greatest bands of my generation going out at the top of their game. And it was a tremendous show: three hours long, 24 songs, career-spanning, players and instruments all in white, a choir singing from the balcony above stage right, a wall of white lights strobing on at all the appropriate times. Terminal 5 is maybe the size of the Showbox SoDo if the Showbox SoDo had two balcony levels, and the place was sold-out packed. It was ecstatic, it was bittersweet, it was a wake, not a funeral.

After opening with "Dance Yourself Clean" (that beat drop!), LCD founder James Murphy thanked openers Liquid Liquid (who were awesome) and then told the crowd, as he often does, that he knows people want to film and take pictures, and he's fine with that, but maybe put down the phone, he advised, "maybe just be here."" [Seattle Weekly]

LCD Soundsystem played their second of four Terminal 5 shows last night (3/29), and like the first night, Reggie Watts returned to guest on the 45:33-heavy second set. The setlists from both nights (for comparison), videos from both nights and more pictures from last night, below....

Continue reading "LCD Soundsystem & Liquid Liquid played Terminal 5 again (night 2 pics, videos & setlists)"


After an opening 8pm set by Liquid Liquid, LCD Soundsystem played for over 3 hours, starting at 9:10pm, at Terminal 5 in NYC last night (3/28). The show, their first of their last, was split into three sets. Each set had a short break in between, though James Murphy didn't play much of a frontman role during the 2nd set so in a way that one seemed like a much longer break for him. In fact, the jammy 2nd set (update: which included 45:33 stuff) started with a guest appearance by Reggie Watts on vocals. Speaking of vocals, Nancy Whang's singing was often showcased throughout the night, in addition to her keyboard/synth skills. Pat Mahoney got a great workout behind the kit (as did multi-instrumentalist Al Doyle at times). The night ended with a one song "NY I Love You" encore. The entire setlist is below.

I got there around 8:45 (missed Liquid Liquid unfortunately) and there was no line to get in. It was packed, but thanks to the set changes I was able to get pretty close when people moved around during the first break. If I hadn't been watching from the right side of the room when the show started, I might not have realized that there was a boys chorus stationed above the stage on the balcony (left side, stage right). James did acknowledge them though, and at least once during the show the shirtless and shredding Al Doyle (who often seemed to play the bandleader role) looked up at them with a very approving "you just nailed that part" grin. Based on LCD's March 10th tweet, we know the chorus haven't been playing with the band for that long (despite the plan to have them from the start).

James narrated the show. He told us about the set breaks ahead of time, apologized for stuff, introduced all band members multiple times. Said stuff like, "we learned a lot of stuff for this show and have more band members around to make sure we can play it all" and "we haven't played that one in 6 years... or was it 5 years," and "this is like a finale and a reunion for us since we're so old." It'll be interesting to see if they change the setlist at all night to night (they played the same set every night last time they played multiple nights at Terminal 5).

The show is long and great, full of hits and rarities, and you'll want to dance, so if you're going to the second show tonight (3/28), or the third tomorrow, or the fourth the day after that, or LCD's final show ever at MSG on Saturday, try to go with some energy.

A few more pictures, including shots of the merch and setlist, below...

Continue reading "LCD Soundsystem played Terminal 5 (night 1 pics & setlist)"

People under the disco ball (more by Vincent Cornelli)

A message to LCD ticketholders from LCD Soundsystem...

Continue reading "LCD Soundsystem has a message for ticketholders (like get there early & stuff)"

Sleep @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple in 2010 (more by BBG)

Sleep will reportedly be getting back together for a few more reunion shows, one of which will take place at Terminal 5 in NYC on June 22nd. $25 advance tickets go on sale Friday March 25th at noon. Stay tuned for more dates and openers.

Update: all three (just three) dates they'll be playing are listed below

Continue reading "Sleep are returning again, playing Terminal 5"

photos by Andrew St. Clair

The Pogues

NIGHT ONE, NIGHT TWO, and a set of pictures from the final of three nights of Pogues, the St. Patrick's Day show, at Terminal 5 (setlist & Titus Andronicus included), continue below...

Continue reading "The Pogues & Titus Andronicus @ Terminal 5 (night 3 pics)"

Cold War Kids

Cold War Kids' March 24th Radio City Music Hall show has been moved to Terminal 5. "All tickets will be honored." Baths and No Age are still the openers.

If you happen to be in Austin, come see Baths play the BrooklynVegan Day Party at Swan Dive/Barbarella at noon today (3/19)

photos by Chris La Putt

The Pogues

The Pogues completed their short tour and 3-night NYC run at Terminal 5 on St. Patrick's Day. We already posted about the first NYC show. Here are some pictures from the second, and they continue below..

Continue reading "The Pogues & the So So Glos @ Terminal 5 (pics)"

"Saw Godspeed You! Black emperor.
When they played "Moya" couldn't help myself from crying". - miniminimouse

"Godspeed the black emperor was one of the more interesting bands I've ever seen live,
really challenging and unapologetic but it works" -burnsie77

"I have never enjoyed every aspect of a show as much as Godspeed You! Black Emperor tonight! (except running out of men's tshirts) #epic" -MilanoKookee

"Godspeed played an epic 2 hour set. Sleep, static.
Like an ocean swell of sound." -Sef Gray

GY!BE at Terminal 5 last night (via helephantttt)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor

In a singles-obsessed, everybody-dance moment in music, it's astonishing that this bleak instrumental collective with songs stretching well into double-digits and no obvious frontperson still commands such devotion.

But for fans, many of whom discovered the band during the years of night-vision bombing footage from the Iraq war, Godspeed offered a kind of solace in a difficult political moment. And from the set's opening movements, off the band's standout 2000 album, "Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven," it was clear why Godspeed resonated. There's simply no other band whose members play desolation and joy off each other like they do. -[Pop&Hiss]

That review comes from the Los Angeles Godspeed You! Black Emperor show last month. The reunited and revered Canadian post-rock band played the first of a string of FIVE NYC shows last night (3/14) at Terminal 5, a trend that will continue today and tomorrow at Brooklyn Masonic Temple, and then Thursday & Friday (3/17 & 18) at Church of St. Paul the Apostle. Colin Stetson opened last night. What did you think of the show?

Check out a video from Terminal 5, some other videos, and last night's setlist, below....

Continue reading "Godspeed You! Black Emperor played Terminal 5 (setlist)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin and Chris La Putt

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark @ T5 (by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

"It's been a long time. The OMD lineup has not played in North America since 1988. As you can imagine, we are really really excited. We have been playing gigs now in Europe for three-and-a-half years. It has gone brilliantly. We have built up a really big following again. The gigs have been brilliant. And we've been really trying to get ourselves back to North America, so we are really delighted now that we have...." [Andy McCluskey]
The North American OMD tour is on the move and hit Terminal 5 in NYC last night (3/8). It was originally scheduled to take place at the smaller Webster Hall, but was moved up after it sold out. Oh Land opened the show like she will continue to do along their way to SXSW.

More pictures and some videos from the NYC show, below...

Continue reading "OMD played Terminal 5 w/ Oh Land (pics & video)"

My Morning Jacket @ Terminal 5 in 2010 (more by David Andrako)
My Morning Jacket

For six weeks, My Morning Jacket will offer free downloads to celebrate the forthcoming album Circuital. The first five downloads will be live songs taken from each of their shows at New York's Terminal 5 this
past October. On April 12th, the countdown ends with a new song from Circuital."
Who made it to My Morning Jacket's last NYC show, aka VH1 Storytellers (that Lykke Li is filming an episode of today)?

photos by Winnie Cheung


"I hate everyone that got Terminal 5 Girl Talk tickets. I hate you." - Al

"It's like woah at Girl Talk @ Terminal 5" - Amber Roussel

Girl Talk

Girl Talk kicked off the second leg of his 2011 tour at a sold-out Terminal 5 in NYC last night (2/24). The first leg ended at Wellmont Theater earlier this month.

Max Tundra and Junk Culture (who both also played Glasslands on Wednesday) are opening all dates through March 23rd. That includes last night, though we missed them. Pictures from Girl Talk's set are in this post though.

$75 "Early Bird Tickets" went on sale yesterday for the Governors Ball, the new fest coming to Governors Island that will feature a co-headlining set by Gregg Gillis. It's unclear how many tickets were in the "Early Bird" allotment, but they are already sold out. $85 "Limited Advance Tickets" are on sale now. They eventually go up to $95 each.

More pictures from Terminal 5 below...

Continue reading "Girl Talk played Terminal 5 (pics), Governors Ball on sale"


Trey Anastasio played a 2-set + 1 encore show at Terminal 5 in NYC last night (2/22). Video of his second-set closing cover of "Empire State of Mind" and the full setlist is below with a new set of Phish dates that were announced today....

Continue reading "Trey Anastasio covered 'Empire State of Mind' & other songs @ Terminal 5 (video, full setlist), Phish announced a tour (dates)"


As you know, tickets for the LCD Terminal 5 Soundystem shows go on sale at 9am. Hopefully all the restrictions mean that everyone who wants a ticket can get one.

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Dr. Dog

The [Dr. Dog] show started in an almost cult-like environment as the stage was adorned with abstract stain glass art that emitted a strange yet awe-inspiring light. As the band entered the stage, tribal hymns were piped through the sound system and the crowd greeted them with deafening applause. I felt as though I was entering the Temple of Dr. Dog and was about to take part in a right of passage or ritual into the band's world. The opening note was the monotone ring of Miller's organ as McMicken cried out the first line of "I Only Wear Blue," one of the more memorable tracks off the new record. It only got better from that point as Dr. Dog pleased the crowd with songs off all their records. The set featured a great balance of slower songs ("I Only Wear Blue," "Shadow People," and "The Breeze") and fast jams ("The Rabbit, the Bat, and the Reindeer," "Stranger," and "Mirror Mirror") that kept the entire venue swaying and jumping the entire night. Some memorable tunes were the band's cover of Architecture in Helsinki's "Heart It Races" (complete with an interpretive dance performance by a friend of the band), "The Ark," and "The Beach." -[Philadelphia City Paper]
Dr. Dog played Terminal 5 on Friday night, 2/18 (a week before the Philly date, reviewed above) as part of their stint of East Coast dates with The Head and The Heart which concluded Saturday in Boston.

Phantogram was originally scheduled to be on board for the Terminal 5 date, but were replaced by Jeffrey Lewis following a family emergency.

If you missed the show on Friday, The Head & The Heart are teaming with Daniel Wayne to play Maxwell's TONIGHT (2/21). Tickets are still on sale.

Dr. Dog recently released a video of "I Only Wear Blue" made with compiled tour footage. Check that video out, as well as more NYC pictures and the T5 setlist below...

Continue reading "Dr. Dog played Terminal 5 w/ The Head & The Heart & Jeffrey Lewis (pics & setlist)"

Cut Copy

The Vine: The band's obviously gotten bigger since its inception. I believe the biggest show you played was at Lollapolooza last year. Is there a different style that you take when you're playing to that many people, as opposed to a club show?

Dan from Cut Copy: I think there probably is a slightly different style. When a crowd is so big, it's almost like you need to really try and address all of the people that are there. At a club show, you've got people right up in front of you, so I guess you don't need to work quite as hard to get peoples' attention. With such a huge crowd, it's almost like you need to somehow... the guy at the back of the crowd that's thinking about maybe going to see Phoenix, who were on just after us; you have to make sure that guy is still engaged by what you're doing. So yeah I think you've got to work a little bit harder, often, at some of those bigger events to make sure you capture peoples' attention, and keep it.

Like PJ Harvey, Yeasayer, and Queens of the Stone Age before them, Cut Copy have announced a Terminal 5 show today. For Cut Copy it makes three upcoming shows in a row at the large NYC venue. The new date is April 6th and tickets go on sale Friday at noon (with AmEx and CutCopy.net presales happening Wednesday). The previously announced April 1st and 2nd shows are sold out.


Queens of the Stone Age have announced a March and April tour, but not just any tour, but a tour where they will perform their 1998 self-titled LP in its entirety (and other songs too). The LP is being re-released...

"The reissue of the first Queens' album will be happening through Rekords Rekords in partnership with Domino on 7th March 2011 and will be available on CD, double vinyl LP, and via digital download from here. The record has been remastered from the original tapes and features three additional tracks: The Bronze, These Aren't the Droids Your Looking For (from the split EP from '98) and Spiders and Vinegaroons (taken from the Kyuss/QOTSA split EP.)"
"..to celebrate the re-release of Queens Of The Stone Age eponymous 1st album, Rekords Rekords are releasing a VERY limited edition 7" of How To Handle A Rope (A Lesson In The Lariat) backed with Avon on Monday 28th February 2011. It will be sold exclusively here. It's limited to 1000 copies, all individually numbered, so we all know what that means; sleep on it and you haven't got a hope in Hell of owning a copy, unless you feel okay about forking out some stupid money on eBay."
Adding more fuel to the fire that the band will appear at SXSW in mid-March, the tour kicks off on March 18th in New Orleans. It hits Terminal 5 in NYC on March 25th. Tickets go on sale Friday February 18th at noon ($40 advance / $45 day of show). All tour dates below...

Continue reading "Queens of the Stone Age re-issuing self-titled debut, performing it in full on tour (2011 dates)"

photos by Brook Bobbins


As you can tell in the above picture, Chromeo's Friday night show at Terminal 5 was in fact sold out. They now continue on tour until 2/19 with both MNDR and The Suzan, who both also opened the NYC show. Then in March Chromeo will head to Austin for SXSW. They play Coachella in April, and Sasquatch in May. All dates and a bunch more pictures from the Terminal 5 show, below...

Continue reading "Chromeo played Terminal w/ MNDR & the Suzan (pics), playing SXSW (and Sasquatch & Coachella)"

Okkervil River

This sums it up:

On June 7, Okkervil River will take the stage at Terminal 5, the largest NYC venue the band has ever played, in support of their highly anticipated new album, 'I Am Very Far' (out May 10, JAGJAGUWAR).

On February 8, Okkervil River will release 'Mermaid,' a new 12" single featuring two b-sides from 'I Am Very Far'.

Terminal 5 is the first of many worldwide tour dates to be announced in support of 'I Am Very Far,' the band's first album in three years.

Stay tuned for more info on that Terminal 5 show, including tickets. The band recently debuted a new song on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Video of that, with more album and single details., below...

Continue reading "Okkervil River releasing new LP & 12", playing Terminal 5"

DOWNLOAD: Rusko - Feel So Real (Dubbel Dutch remix) (MP3) (via)

Rusko @ Electric Zoo 2010 (more by Andrew St. Clair)

Get ready to dance. DJ's Rusko and Doorly are heading out on a North American tour together in April and March, hitting Terminal 5 in NYC on April 27th along the way. Tickets for that show go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon, and general sale begins on Friday.

The show, and maybe even the tour, is sponsored by HARD, so not surprisingly Destructo's name is also on the Terminal 5 bill, just like it is for the March 18th (Crystal Castles) & 19th (Simian Mobile Disco) HARD shows at the same venue.

Rusko is also on the now-fully-announced lineup of Ultra Music Festival which is happening in Miami in March. He plays the same day as the Klaxons whose March and April tour is now also fully announced.

All Rusko dates and a video below...

Continue reading "Rusko & Doorly --- 2011 Tour Dates (Terminal 5)"

photos by Andrew St. Clair, words by Dominick Mastrangelo

"Tokyo Police Club at Terminal 5. These men do indie rock well" - Luke McCormick

Tokyo Police Club

In the awkward land of co-headlining shows there's always one band that you think should be the headliner. Personally, going in, I knew all along that Tokyo Police Club would be that band when they and Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club performed at Terminal 5 on Friday. Having been thwarted in three previous attempts to see them live (the most notable being an unfortunate corresponding time slot opposite My Bloody Valentine at All Points West in 2009) I was still hoping the band that drew me way in with their excellent Lesson In Crime EP and followed it up with two hook-laden full-lengths would be the same one taking the stage as part of "The Last.fm Festival".

But going on after Two Door Cinema Club and their highly polished electro-pop anthems, complete with blinding light show, Tokyo Police Club seemed to spend most of their set trying to match TDCC in both sound and arena rock grandeur, when their songs, as brash and catchy as they are, beg for slightly more nuance. Or perhaps restraint. I was a tad let down, but more on that later

Two Door Cinema Club's set, for long periods, sounded like the same song over and over - did they just play "Undercover Martyn" or "Something Good Can Work"? - with the same high hat-led dance beat as well as recorded backing track and even canned horns on set opener "Cigarettes in the Theater". "What You Know" was a highlight as Alex Trimble crunched out a solitary guitar riff and then sang without accompaniment before the rest of the band launched in to support him. Yet, even then, the catchy guitar pluck so noticeable on record was lost, such the volume of the backing track.

Bloc Party instantly comes to mind but for all the pulsing lights and clear, bigger venue ambition TDCC have a long way to go and are still short on variety before they can match that kind of live performance. But the sold-out crowd was very much into the set and prior to the sing-along of set closer "I Can Talk" (also a highlight) Trimble pulled extra applause when he mentioned how great their CMJ performance at Webster Hall was last October but that "tonight was even better."

Happy Birthday Dave Monks
Tokyo Police Club

That Tokyo Police Club entered to the dying strains of Bill Conti's "Theme from Rocky" (their 2010 release was, after all, called Champ), underscored how much of an underdog they may consider themselves. For a band that was set to call it a day before the Pop Montreal performance that ultimately led to them signing their first record deal, their first full-length Elephant Shell was unjustly considered a let-down on the heels of the Lesson EP (though it was featured quite a bit on Friday.)

"We're Tokyo Police Club and we're fucking excited to be here," said birthday boy and lead singer David Monks one song into their set. And you could tell how excited they were - Monks and guitarist Josh Hook pressed heads during "Nature Of The Experiment" and then Monks scurried over and pressed his head into keyboardist Graham Wright's back and then he was coaching the crowd in how to clap during "Tessellate".

But as Monks' vocals continued in a hollowed echo - like he was in a hangar instead of a terminal, it pulled more and more away from the rest of the band's sound. Monks is not shy on packing loads of lyrics into the band's sub-three-minute songs and it was frustrating to have them lost in the mix at times.

Though on songs like "End Of A Spark" which featured Passion Pit's Ian Hultquist on acoustic guitar, and the slow build of Champ's lead track, "Favourite Food" - songs that weren't straight forward postpunk - "Breakneck Speed" was another, everything fell into place and they showed why they deserve to be tops in the pecking order with their tour mates.

After they finished their set with "Wait Up", complete with audience participation on the "woo oooh ooohs" and "Your English Is Good" both Tokyo Police Club and Two Door Cinema Club came out for the encore. "We're going back to 2001," said Monks (who was 14 then), before the ensemble launched into The Strokes' "Last NIght". It was fun, wonderfully timed and the crowd ate it up. It was hands down the highlight of the evening as Monks and Trimble took turns on vocals and everyone else ended up on the drum riser playing to TPC drummer Greg Alsop.

Lost in the fray were Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin who opened the night with a straightforward set of easy, indie-pop numbers. Including those from last year's subtly underrated, Chris Walla-produced, Let It Sway.

Tokyo Police Club

Andrew St. Clair was on hand for TPC's soundcheck and caught all three bands including the TPC birthday cake moment. More pictures from all of it, and the setlists below...

Continue reading "Tokyo Police Club, Two Door Cinema Club & Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin played Terminal 5 (pics & setlist)"