Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Live Review: Japandroids 12-5-12 Webster Hall, NYC

Live 12-5-12
Webster Hall, NYC

"Welcome to night two of our New York Circus!" is how guitarist Brian King introduced Japandroids rocking Wednesday night show at Webster Hall. The duo who have been riding high off of their excellent new release Celebration Rock and are touring some larger venues as their growing crowds bop, bounce and shout-along.

Slamming into a choreographed introduction instrumental got the blood pumping before ripping into the barn burning "Adrenaline Nightshift". King along with drummer David Prowse provide energetic tunes that just never stop.  The crowd also loves to participate as the first stage diver received almost as big a cheer as the band.

"Fire's Highway" seems custom made for even larger venues with it's strumming and slamming skins as the "Ah-Oh-O-Oh-O's" rang out.  The clap-a-longs got started for "The Night of Wine and Roses" while "The Boys Are Leaving Town" from Post-Nothing thumped and rumbled.       

Musically Prowse is a dynamo on the drum kit, filling gaps and leading some inventive playing that at times can feel both pop and somehow devastatingly heavy, a neat twist.  Two songs on which he clearly shined this show were "Wet Hair" and "Evil's Sway".

King (with Prowse) also address and cover brilliantly the basic problem with a guitar drum duo like this when playing live; a lack of low end. Low tones, effects, or just clever playing makes King's electric guitar echo a bass at times before high note solo's. Prowse's kick drums never seem to stop being in motion and mask the rest.  While a bass could only help, it must be noted there was no empty low end at this show.

While the complete hour and a half set was a winner, the group shown brightest on the dynamic "The House That Heaven Built".  The songs soaring riff's, pounding beat and climatic lyrics were sensational and midway through the bands offering is was a certain high water mark.

Also credit must be given to Japandroids for not succumbing to the cliched encore.  King and Prowse played a dynamite set, and ended it swimmingly with their cover of "For the Love of Ivy". Here's hoping they stick with this policy, it will make the nights they do play an encore even more electric...if that is possible.        
A great show that makes you feel good about rock and roll.  Here's hoping the next time Japandroids come to town they play a weekend though as that would surely be a rager. Even mid week it kicked ass.
Here is a video from the 4th, this was the same "Intro/Adrenaline Nightshift" that they did to open the 5th:

Another video from the 4th:

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