Tokyo Police Club @ La Sala Rossa – 26th January 2017

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It seems that playing records from your back catalog in their entirety is the thing to do these days. In the past couple of months, we’ve had The Sounds, Reel Big Fish, and now Newmarket Ontario’s Tokyo Police Club, on the 10-year anniversary of their breakthrough record A Lesson In Crime.

Possibly due to there being 3 decent gig options around the city on this Thursday night, Sala Rossa is probably only around half-full by the time Tokyo Police Club take to the stage and hastily launch into Not My Girl. The stop-start guitars of My House follow, and the gaps in the song are punctuated by raucous crowd noise, with the chorus of “I COULD SEE IT FROM MY HOUSE!” screamed back with the ferocity of a sold-out arena. What the crowd may lack in volume it clearly makes up for in enthusiasm. And they only get crazier!

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After the synth-laden Miserable, frontman David Monks reminisces how the band got their start back at Pop Montreal back in 2005, when he was just 21! After more cheers of appreciation, the grooving PCH (with its killer solo) and almost tribal-sounding End Of a Spark are greeted with emphatic “woooo hoooo’s” reverberating from various parts of the floor back into the mic stretched out into the crowd by David. Favorite Colour takes things a step further, as a mini circle pit forms in front of the band and the energy level goes up another notch. Breakneck Speed adds a pogo-ing contingent to this equation.

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A short while later, David informs us that we’re going back in time to 2006, when he was still at McGill University, which unsurprisingly draws huge cheers from the crowd. This leads into the Lesson In Crime record, which follows at breakneck speed and of course, leads the floor section to erupt into life once more with the crashing drum intro of Cheer It On and proclamation of “OPERATOR, GET ME THE PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD!!!” The shouts of “TOKYO POLICE CLUB!!!” at the chorus are deafening, and a great show gets even better. Nature Of The Experiment still sounds absolutely amazing, as does the sci-fi vibes of Citizens Of Tomorrow, which concludes with a huge clapalong. That record closes with La Ferrassie, with its mellow drum beats providing a moment to catch ones breath, before exploding back to life once again towards the end. A great record, still sounding great, and a real treat to hear it played in full like this; worth the ticket price alone!

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The main set closes with Argentina and Frankenstein, before the band return for a one-song encore of Your English Is Good, standout track from 2008’s Elephant Shell record, and the crowd goes crazy one more time. Things at the front get a little too frantic for David’s liking: he’s asks the guilty party who are evidently squishing a group of girls “do you guys love Tokyo Police Club? Then cool it, don’t hurt my ladies!” Ever the gentleman! The band vacate the stage for good after a storming 75 minute set, and the satisfied Sala Rossa crowd filters out into the night, with no doubt in anyone’s mind that they made the right gig choice tonight.

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Set List
Not My Girl
My House
Miserable
Toy Guns
PCH
End of a Spark
Favourite Colour
Bambi
Can’t Stay Here
Breakneck Speed
Tessellate
Cheer It On
Nature of the Experiment
Citizens of Tomorrow
Shoulders and Arms
If It Works
Be Good
La Ferrassie
Argentina (Parts I, II, III)
Frankenstein

Your English Is Good

Review & photos – Simon Williams

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