Review and photos – Tokyo Police Club at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, April 23 2011
– review by Rebecca Apostoli/photos by Tamara Lee
Tokyo Police Club played a set of the finest indie pop-rock that Canada has to offer Saturday night at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. TPC (from Toronto by way of Newmarket, Ont.) confirmed their standing as well-seasoned vets of the Canadian indie rock scene with their trademark power pop hooks, catchy synth lines and infectious dance rhythms paired with tight three-part vocal harmonies and punchy stage presence. Joining them were opening bands Said the Whale and Dinosaur Bones.
Said the Whale treated the audience to a solid set of original material from their previous albums as well as a couple of new songs. This Vancouver band has been winning fans left and right ever since their second place win at B.C.-based talent contest the Peak Performance Project in 2010 and Juno nomination for New Artists of the Year just last month. They were fresh, perky and definitely fun to watch on stage, as their energy captured the audience’s attention and made for some very candid moments. Hearing the crowd singing back choruses on more than one tune confirmed that a large part of the sold-out crowd was there for Said the Whale just as much as TPC. These guys (and girl) are just straight-up loveable and charming, from their songs to their stage presence to their tour videos (check them out on Youtube).
Tokyo Police Club took the stage around 11:30 and rocked out hard from the get-go. Lead singer/bassist Dave Monks was super cute in skinny jeans and combat boots, and with his unkempt blond locks flying during his manic dance moves and almost convulsive yet passionate vocal delivery. Keyboardist Graham Wright, guitarist Josh Hook and drummer Greg Alsop also brought infectious energy and a fun yet intense focus on the music itself, which was upbeat, melodic and chock full of indie pop goodness.
When not singing along to choruses, pogo-ing in place or joining in a unity clap, I was busy dodging Monks’ fantastic boots as he came to the front of the stage repeatedly to high-five fans or let us sing into his mic. These guys were so pro even a seasoned musician and concertgoer like myself was impressed by their chops, both musically and performance-wise. If the true test of a band is their live performance then TPC pass with perfect marks.
The major highlight of the night by far was witnessing Tokyo Police Club, Said the Whale and Dinosaur Bones, joined by someone in a giant furry cat suit who danced around on stage, perform Kanye West’s “Runaway” as an encore. Between the rad music and crazy Canadian hi-jinx, it was not a night to be forgotten any time soon.
More Tokyo Police Club photos: