Japandroids / DIIV
The Phoenix, Toronto, ON, December 11
Arriving back on Canadian turf after a four-month stint on the road and shooting to the top of year-end lists, Japandroids' Brian King and David Prowse were given a hero's welcome by the at-capacity venue. Approximately three seconds after the opening chords to "Adrenaline Nightshift" were struck, a mosh pit erupted at the front of the stage and didn't die down at all throughout the night.
It's a testament to the Vancouver duo's music that they can get Toronto's too-cool twenty-somethings to abandon all dignity and reclaim their youth through a body-packed pit. But that's kind of what Japandroids are all about. Despite only being on the radar for a few years — and now turning 30 — they've managed to capitalize on reliving a collective youth with songs about drinking too much, leaving their hometown and making out with French girls in France. No songs capture this better than "Wet Hair" and "Younger Us," which were both set highlights.
Lesser-played gems like "Art Czars" and "To Hell with Good Intentions" got their turn in the setlist, while a steady stream of stage divers flew through the venue at the band's request. "The House That Heaven Built," from this year's Celebration Rock, proved to be the most anthemic song of the night, despite a pause in the middle where King hilariously reminded stage crashers to use their "10 fucking seconds" and get off the stage.
Post-Nothing favourite "Heart Sweats" also incited a massive sing-along, while the closest thing Japandroids have to a slow jam, "Continuous Thunder," slowed the pace down before "Young Hearts Spark Fire" and the Gun Club's "For the Love of Ivy" closed the night with a bang.
The big, sold-out venue and flashier-than-usual light show made it easy to see how far Japandroids have come, even in the last year. Despite claims that their voices and bodies had been mangled by the latest tour, the pair delivered a hard-hitting, awesome-sounding, really fucking fun rock show — and that is more than worthy of a celebration.
ReviewsJun 04, 2014
The Menzingers / Lemuria / PUP / CayetanaThe Opera House, Toronto ON, June 3
With four bands on an all-ages bill, there were bound to be a series of highs, lows and surprises on Tuesday night at the Opera House. Each ...
ReviewsMar 03, 2015
Sleater-KinneyThe Sound Academy, Toronto ON, March 2
The return of Sleater-Kinney is significant for so many reasons, but perhaps primarily because they might be the only reunited band of recen...
ReviewsMar 01, 2015
Bry WebbNAC Fourth Stage, Ottawa ON, February 28
The past few years have been kind to Bry Webb. After releasing Provider, his debut solo LP, in 2011, the Guelph musician was invited to tour...
ReviewsFeb 26, 2015
Single Mothers / The Dirty Nil / TriggersGood Will Social Club, Winnipeg MB, February 25
Single Mothers is one of those bands you just have to see to believe. The London, ON quartet has released some solid recordings, but their s...