Japandroids (Knitting Factory) – 5/24/18

Bare-bones rock n’ roll straight from Canada.

Japandroids is not only one of the greatest band names in rock, but one of those unheralded bands that you probably haven’t heard of.  Brian King (guitar and vocals) and David Prowse (drums) don’t waste a lot of time or effort in their straight-ahead minimalist sound.  I’ve been a fan of theirs since their debut record, Post-Nothing, was released in 2009, but had never had the chance to see them perform.  I was delighted to see that these guys from Vancouver, BC didn’t incorporate additional musicians for their tour – this one a co-headlining journey with Wolf Parade, a band I decided to skip after hearing my guys were playing second.

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From the start, they came out swinging, leading off with “Near to the Wild Heart of Life”, the lead single off of their fantastic 2017 album of the same name.  This one is a little less raw and edgy than most of their catalogue and has a killer sing-along chorus that got the crowd going.  Although their set was pretty short, clocking in at just under an hour, they went at it nonstop with not so much as a break or monologue.

During one extended jam a roadie came out to fix the tape holding down Brian’s cord and Brian went ahead and jumped on his shoulders without missing a note.  At the beginning of another song, Brian took a seat on David’s bass drum for a quick leg break – but never stopped playing.  David (wearing a classic David Bowie t-shirt) was busy throughout, providing all of the bass and boom to accompany Brian’s shredding and yelling.  To say these guys have energy is an understatement, and they seemed to be loving what they are doing.  I would gladly go see them again and encourage everyone to check out their most recent release, which is their best yet.

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Setlist:

Near To the Wild Heart of Life

Fire’s Highway

To Hell with Good Intentions

North East South West

Younger Us

No Known Drink or Drug

Young Hearts Spark Fire

The Nights of Wine and Roses

The House that Heaven Built

Spotify playlist link:

https://open.spotify.com/user/1217400912/playlist/3KRyl2AdAXdJA1QbnGq1Zm?si=w7wZ4tgXSDOMNkilKu05TQ