An epic warm front of awesomeness by the name of Tokyo Police Club came down from Ontario, Canada on 4/20 to the welcoming delight of adoring fans at a packed Irving Plaza. This tour is being hysterically branded the “Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness” tour and is in support of their new EP by the same name (only with a part one ominously placed at the end), which is especially apt as it is the 10th anniversary of their debut EP, A Lesson in Crime. Recorded in just of week of sessions in NYC a short time ago, this impressive five song release will apparently be followed by the second part soon. So, front-man David Monks and the boys have descended upon the East Coast of the states to celebrate in typically radical high-spirited TPC fashion.
“This is a special show for us because we all met at a Tokyo Police Club show at Webster Hall like five years ago,” said Eva Grace Hendricks of the super happy fun Brooklyn band Charly Bliss, who opened the show. Every time I’ve seen this band play it is like ripping off the wrapping of a present on Christmas Day, and I’ve been watching this band unwrap and grow for the last couple years from playing the smallest of NYC stages to some of the biggest. They always seem to draw any crowd into their rampant fun pop/rock style of music, which they aptly call bubblegrunge. What you need to know is: this band is super fun, and watching Eva bounce around like a Tigger on speed and getting worked into spastic fits of glee to the point of her voice adorably cracking during songs is nothing short of pure child-like delight. The whole band is fantastic, her brother on drums is a firehouse of energy behind the kit, Dan Shure on bass is a trampoline of glee, and guitarist Spencer Fox also fronts some tasty vocals as well. In all, they sort of remind me of 90’s Letters To Cleo or Belly, but there really is no comparison to their purely joyful mixture of pop and punk. Now that I’ve seen them opening for big bands like Veruca Salt and Sleater-Kinney, I can see them really commanding the big stage just as well as the small stages I saw them killing it at just a year or two ago. They’ve also got a new album coming, and the new stuff sounds awesome, so I just can’t wait to hear more!
Next up was the California band From Indian Lakes, who I had caught years ago a remembered liking a lot, but, given that so many people in the crowd were singing along to every song, I gather they’ve gotten quite a bit bigger while I wasn’t looking. They certainly do have the wide appeal to attract the crowds for sure, as right off the bat they remind me of both Radiohead and Muse, two of the biggest bands on the Earth today, which is certainly a great start. However, they run the gamut from harmony heavy bands like Manchester Orchestra, electronic-heavy Deerhunter (or maybe more Atlas Sound), to mellowing DIIV-like shoegaze, all with a warm easy to grasp sing-a-long appeal. It may have been a couple years since the World has heard much from brainchild and singer Joey Vannucchi and his band, but they just released a new EP called Wanderer, so I think they may be gearing up for another triumphant run.
“Whew, this has been a crazy couple of days. Someone lost their passport (winking to the audience), but I still got into your country, and we’re here to party,” said Monks mid-set as the packed house erupted into rapturous bouncing about, for the love of their dearly beloved Tokyo Police Club. It has truly been awhile since I saw an audience so unanimously in an elated state of pure bliss, and everyone it seemed to be singing along to almost every song with ear to ear smiles. TPC always reminded me of early Weezer as a comparison of their irreverent style of tongue-and-cheekness, but they definitely have a more high-energy presence, rather akin to the likes of Ra Ra Riot or Mutemath, but again, their mixture and chemistry is extremely unique. Their on-stage chemistry was nothing short of electric, with vocalist and bassist Monks, keyboardist Graham Wright, guitarist Josh Hook, and drummer Greg Alsop all exuding a certain youthful energy that really sweeps you into the stage show.
The last time I had seen them play was and the overly large Terminal 5, but this was far more intimate and full of true fans waiting to dip right into their catalog along with the band in pure ecstasy. It wasn’t until well into the set that they broke out a couple from their first LP Elephant Shell from 2008 with “Tessellate” or the obvious show closer volcano of “Your English Is Good.” It was around mid-set that they cranked out a few from their second disc 2010’s Chap with favorites like “Not Sick,” “Favourite Colour,” and “End of a Spark.” They did play what seemed to be quite a lot of their last album Forcefield, with newer classics like “Hot Tonight,””Miserable,” and a truly epic closer of “Argentina I, II, & III.” However, they did play almost all of their previously-mentioned first EP, even opening the show with “Cheer It On,” which did appropriately bring their whole tame-less career back around in one wonderfully wild circle.
Article: Dean Keim