Tokyo Police Club: 15 January 2010, Toronto

The environment Saturday night inside Kool Haus felt more like a Turkish bath than a concert venue. The steamy surroundings were partly due to the capacity crowd packed shoulder to shoulder in front of the stage, but the humidity really spiked during the energetic performance of the evening’s second opening act Two Door Cinema Club. The four-piece out of Bangor, Ireland played an impressive set of brief, yet catchy indie-pop tunes highlighted by the squealing guitar-licks of Sam Halliday and effortless vocals of Alex Trimble. Judging by the intensity of the crowd’s enthusiasm, a level usually reserved for the headliner, it’s fair to say they gained a number of new fans, me included.

Tokyo Police Club opened their set with “Favourite Colour” followed by their early hit song “Nature of the Experiment” from the EP Lesson in Crime, but despite hitting fans with a quick favourite, the energy and upbeat tempo that existed for Two Door Cinema’s set diminished at this point. The band played the rest of the set in a more relaxed style, taking the opportunity to unwind and really enjoy themselves, knowing the hometown crowd in front of them were longtime fans and would agree they earned it. Since hitting the scene in 2005, Tokyo Police Club has played an endless string of festivals and venues spanning the US, Canada and the UK, although having only recently released Champ, their second album.

The highlight performances of the evening were “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)”, the band’s recent hit and fan-favourite, as well as their cover of the Strokes “Last Nite” in which they invited Two Door Cinema Club back on stage, during the encore. It was a solid set from start to finish and overall, a great night of music strengthened considerably by the efforts of Two Door Cinema Club. It was a respectable start to 2011 for Tokyo Police Club and contingent on them building on its momentum; the band can expect a great year.