Japandroids (Magnet Club, 29/08/12)
holy cow, what a gig last night!
i may have already mentioned it, but it’s true. Magnet Club is an awesome venue, most of the (rock) bands i saw there were just tremendous concerts.
the frog likes you little Magnet, you and all the bands who played on your magic stage. you’re tiny, perfectly adapted to small batrachians, your sound is just as dirty as it should be. moreover you offer one of the frog’s favourite beers and provide tired frogs or toads with some area where they can sit. how delicate.
nonetheless, when you attend a rock concert, you actually don’t expect anyone to sit. especially at Japandroids‘ concerts!
sitting while listening to their music would be just as falling asleep with Arctic Monkey’s do me a favour, i.e impossible.
anyway. tonight the frog is happy because its first newsletter bore fruit: its maths toad decided to come over and the frog is gleeful to share its music faves with its pals.
while i’m waiting for the toad, i spend my time observing things around me and realize, a bit bewildered, that some frogs are, well, indeed, familiar. i recognize at least two sound engineers of other venues, and a few frogs whose faces are well-known to me… ok, the pond may be small but i guess it’s the first time i’ve been paying a special attention to my peers. believe me, it’s not an easy thing to be lost in a permanent daydream…
the crowd is especially tall and compact tonight. and excited. looks like some pogo is in the air. we can’t see the usual shoal of dwarves (= my concert family), so we head to the “rest area” and climb a few steps to have a beautiful, and almost open view on the stage. Brian King (vocals, guitar) appears on the left in a very elegant and pleasing-to-the-eye white shirt. on the right David Prowse (drums, vocals) displays a calm and resolute grin. and between them, there’s a magnificent central beam which obstructs the way and with which we’ll play all evening to make sure to see both of them at the same time!
there’s no supporting band and Vancouver’s Japandroids start apologizing for being late, how cute. until a enthusiastic “let’s go” arises from Brian King’s mouth.
it’s high time to shake your rump (who cares if you’re tired?). because, let’s face it, you just can’t stay in front of Japandroids without moving, at least a leg. with a hot-tempered guitar and tempestuous drums, the only thing you can do is to waddle along furiously.
the toad doesn’t actually know the band, and the frog only listened to their new Celebration Rock‘s album once. but their music is just perfect and brisk, and it doesn’t take long before we start supporting them on The house that Heaven built, with our oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, ohhhhhhhhh… as a matter of fact, i have to confess, that it’s impossible to stay quiet and move my legs gently when they break into Fire’s Highway. this is just huge!
Japandroids’ music is raw and full of energy. eagerness fraternizes with efficiency and heartfelt sympathy. lyrics are puzzling and full of intelligence and feelings, despite the fact it’s difficult to get a word of King’s singing during the concert. his guitar celebrates riffs and wild melodies, whereas David Prowse’s drums are extremely powerful and wisely orchestrated. no simple and easy-doing drums, but cleverly composed tunes which could blow your ears in a few seconds, in the most delicate way. this is genuine rock & roll, real fireworks!
Japandroids’ music sounds like a matter of life and death (as Pitchfork best described it in their championed “Best new Music” review), just like Cloud Nothings. but the major difference with the latter, is that this two-piece band sounds like a five-piece one! they’re really amazing. when you look for infos on them, the recurrent thing that stands out is the energy of their gigs. and the drums in the very last song they play tonight is simply breathtaking.
i don’t even know if it is worth noting that we leave the Magnet Club with the unpleasant feeling to have spent two hours in a sauna with our clothes on. my sticky fingers struggle to seize Celebration Rock and No Singles before i jump on Zorrinho and ride back home happily, singing like a nutty frog.
my dear pond, i love you.