Friday April 04, 2008, Miami, Florida
Tonight I got a chance to see Tokyo Police Club live at Studio-A in Miami, a small, intimate, beautiful venue that regularly features new Artists and is one of the only remaining bastions of Indie music in South Florida. From the line outside, it was evident that this band is more popular than I had expected, with a looong line of people of all ages, dressed in various shades of black. The opening bands for this show were the Miami-based The Jean Marie and the Minneapolis band, Eagle Seagull.
Woo! What a show. By the time this relatively young band stepped on stage, the venue was filled to the rim with anxious fans, packed in so deep and so tight that I doubt a dropped penny would even hit the floor. TPC (to us fans, that is) came in rocking and didn't let up. The intensity of their play was evident in the energy that the crowd reveled in, singing along to every syllable and jumping up and down, electrifying the tiny venue. It was, quite a sight.
Tokyo Police Club jumped from one song to another song to another, with the slightest pause in between. There was no usual, pointless, inarticulate banter that most bands engage in, following each song, trying to engage the crowd (and other than Bruce Spingsteen) failing miserably nearly every time. Nope. This was Rock time. I joined the crowd center stage and in that hot, sweaty bathhouse of perspiration, heat and energy, I joined them in singing along, arms raised in rockin' reverie and feeding off the vibe of the band/fan perfect storm. A small mosh pit even broke out beside me, and being the aging man who is desperately trying to retain grasp on his youth, I joined in. All good fun and although not much of a mosh pit, I still managed to bruise a rib.
Tokyo Police Club played hard and they played with heart. Crisp chords and organized songplay with little (if any) jamming. They covered every song on their current album and even played a few from their upcoming album, Elephant Shell (available on April 25th on iTunes). It was a roaring good time and the band proved that they can handle a concert with energy and intensity. One thing I noticed was that they did not deviate from the recorded version of their songs, so it was a live version of what they have already recorded. As a fan, I like to see the band reinterpret their music when playing live, just to give those who came all the way out to see them a bonus above and beyond what they can get on their car stereo. The night was closed out by that all important song by Tokyo Police Club, Tokyo Police Club, which nearly brought the roof down on the small club
By most measures, it was well worth the time to go out and see TPC play. I am looking forward to the new album and who knows, maybe they'll make their way back all the way to South Florida once again soon.