[3 June 2013]
PopMatters Events Editor
If the idea behind 2012’s Celebration Rock was to capture the live show energy of Vancouver’s Japandroids, consider the mission accomplished. Truth is, one of last year’s most beloved albums not only brought the live experience to their fans’ headphones, but Celebration Rock also pushed the band’s performance and presentation to new heights. But contrary to what you might think, this is due in no part to fancy light shows, razzle dazzle effects, or expensive equipment upgrades brought about by new-found exposure or fallback from the band’s best-selling album to date. No, Japandroids is still just two dudes on a dusty stage. They’re just better, and rocking harder.
Brian King and David Prowse took the stage at The Vogue in Indianapolis to no introduction. The duo ripped through a setlist of Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock highlights during a 15-song set that featured little downtime, save for a short-lived guitar strap malfunction. The sold-out crowd fed into the commotion – a luxury that has surely aided in the band’s growing reputation as one of the most raucous live acts around.
Yet you still get the feeling that even if attendance was meager, King and Prowse would still be performing as if their lives depended on it. It’s a testament to their musicianship, as well as their energy, that their two instruments speak so boldly and so fully – some of the most captivating moments of the night were when King stepped away from the mic and the duo jammed for minutes on end, side-by-side, as the crowd danced along. Japandroids’ own unique brand of indie noise-rock brims on the edge of punk, but includes just enough pop sensibility that everyone in the room feels fulfilled – something that is undoubtedly leading to more and more converts with each passing performance.
Japandroids are on the front half of their North American tour, before heading to Europe, Asia, and Australia later this year. Tickets can be purchased here.