words by Jeremy Nifras

Japandroids and Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn are on tour together now in support of Japandroids' great new album Near To The Wild Heart Of Life and Craig's forthcoming solo album We All Want The Same Thing. The tour hit NYC last night (2/23) at Terminal 5.

With flashing strobe lights galore, Japandroids wasted no time playing fan favorites, but for the most part, the band's setlist was heavy on songs from their latest record, with the epic centerpiece "Arc of Bar" in particular hyping up the frenetic crowd (which guitarist Brian King described as "more sing-along than usual"). Proving that point, the band let the crowd sing the majority of "The Nights of Wine and Roses", with King only singing a few lines.

Throughout the night, the duo was constantly energetic and unrelenting. Despite only having one guitar, the band sounded absolutely massive; King's guitar was incredibly ferocious, shredding from song to song, while the thunderous rhythms of drummer David Prowse elevated the sense of awe among the crowd.

The band played all but one song from their 2012 masterpiece Celebration Rock, as well as performing three songs from their 2009 debut, Post-Nothing, including "Young Hearts Spark Fire", a track the crowd repeatedly requested.

Craig Finn, alongside his backing band The Uptown Controllers, opened the night by performing songs from his upcoming album, such as the excellent "Preludes", as well as tracks from his 2015 record, Faith in the Future.

Like they've been doing this whole tour, Japandroids and Craig Finn ended the show on stage together for a cover of The Saints' "(I'm) Stranded." If you missed it, watch a video of them doing that in Toronto here. Pictures of the NYC show are in the gallery above. Setlist below.

We also caught the tour in Chicago and pictures of that show are here.


Near to the Wild Heart of Life
Adrenaline Nightshift
Fire's Highway
True Love and a Free Life of Free Will
North East South West
Younger Us
In a Body Like a Grave
I Quit Girls
Arc of Bar
The Nights of Wine and Roses
Evil's Sway
Midnight to Morning
Wet Hair
Continuous Thunder
No Known Drink or Drug
Young Hearts Spark Fire
The House That Heaven Built
(I'm) Stranded (The Saints cover) (with Craig Finn)


photos by Em Grey

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