Japandroids Destroys its Kick Drum, Tells Jokes and Puts on One of the Best Shows of the Year
Japandroids | Swearin'
November 20, 2012
Eyes closed, head bowed and rhythmically jogging in place with his guitar over his shoulder, Brian King looked like a linebacker psyching himself up for kickoff as David Prowse started in on the drums.
Japandroids dove into an extended introductory jam that gradually built to a crescendo, finally exploding into...a comedy set. In his fury, Prowse broke the kick drum, leaving several awkward minutes to fill, which King gamely did with an impromptu series of jokes. I'll spare the details of why hipsters make poor lovers, but the unfortunate beginning only made Japandroids more determined to "make up for it" by "tearing the house down".
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Mission accomplished. Throughout their frenetic seventeen-song set, the Vancouver duo showed why it has earned its reputation as a great live band, blessing the Firebird with what was unquestionably one of the best St. Louis shows of the year. Fusing great technical acumen with non-stop energy and enthusiasm, Japandroids played with the urgency of a band that regularly acknowledges it could break up at any time.
King was a dervish on stage, whipping his mop of hair around like a Will Smith offspring and covering every square inch of the stage with spastic dancing, often having to leap back toward his microphone stand to avoid missing his vocal cue. Prowse's drumming was sharp, precise and powerful. Not since Super Bowl XVIII have skins taken such a beating. The comment most frequently heard leaving the show was amazement at how much noise was made by just two people (clearly people making that observation don't have children).
King had amazing rapport with the crowd, slapping hands with the first row, providing background stories about many songs and letting everyone know when it was time to "fucking rock." The only risk he took was when he boasted that the hockey team that is locked out in Vancouver is superior to the hockey team that is locked out in St. Louis. Ouch. King may have alienated the two or three people that may still care about the sport with that unprovoked attack.