Published Jul 17, 2009The truth is, you couldn't have squeezed another body in for the much-anticipated return of Japandroids to a city that seems to have adopted the west coasters as its own.
Kicking off the night was the leading local blog curiosity Little Girls. Josh McIntyre and his crew have made tongues wag with a couple of EPs, but this night proved that their gothy, lo-fi hum sounds so much more vibrant and fleshed out in a live setting.
Considering they've never had the chance to tour properly, the next act, Toronto's editorial-heavy Two Koreas, have done plenty of work honing and droning their sound into an ardent post-punk machine, to the point where you forget they were journalists before musicians.
"We just wanna fucking rock out," announced Japandroids' Brian King, as he and compadre Dave Prowse finally took to the stage for their headlining spot. Any questions as to whether the Van City rockers could match the intensity of their debut album Post-Nothing were answered quickly with astounding approval from the ecstatic crowd.
Dropping a generous number of f-bombs and completely focused on "rocking out," a nicely buzzed King was determined to treat the crowd to a good time, despite egging on the Leafs Nation by boldly yelling "Canucks rule! Leafs suck!" Amidst strobe lighting and fan-powered winds, the battered duo - King still on the mend from a perforated ulcer and Prowse nursing a "totally fucked up" right hand - played their distorto-garage anthems with a reckless energy, never losing control as they powered through an orgasmic "My Heart Sweats" straight into a pounding "Darkness on the Edge of Gastown."
Showing their appreciation, the pair threw out dedications as often as the congruent exclamatory "woo!" By the time they knocked out signature tune "Young Hearts Spark Fire" and Mclusky's "To Hell with Good Intentions," the guys were bona fide heroes to more than 400 sweaty onlookers.
That they couldn't do another encore because of Prowse's mangled hand was hardly a disappointment, because at this point so many hearts sparked fire that anything more and the place would have burned down to the ground.