Japandroids Destroys its Kick Drum, Tells Jokes and Puts on One of the Best Shows of the Year

One of Japandroids' calling cards is its call and response-type chants, particularly with the "hit" from this year's Celebration Rock, "The House That Heaven Built", the highlight of the set. The crowd participated loudly throughout the night, chanting "XOXOX" during "Heart Sweats," "French kiss some French girls" during "Wet Hair" and knew precisely how many "oooooo"s belonged in each part of the choruses of "The Nights of Wine and Roses" and "Fire's Highway". Other highlights included raucous renditions of "Younger Us" and the closest thing the band has to a slow song, "Continuous Thunder".

Japandroids doesn't have a deep catalogue, with just two eight-song albums to date, but the duo plowed through fifteen of those songs with the zeal of a band choosing its favorite songs from a discography ten times that size.

At the conclusion of "The Boys Are Leaving Town", King again addressed the crowd, apologizing for not having been to St. Louis for more than three years and profusely thanking it for coming out to the show "when we know you have shit to do". On behalf of all fortunate occupants of the Firebird last night, thank you, Brian and David, for reminding us why we do go to concerts that extend into the wee hours of a Tuesday night - that is the shit we want to do.

Swearin' opened with a twelve-song, 45 minute set that was unfortunately fraught with technical issues. The Philadelphia quartet, drawing primarily from its 2012 self-titled release, showed great promise with its hook-heavy songs that evoked the Ramones, Hole, the Pixies and Nirvana. Vocals are not the strong suit of Swearin', a problem exacerbated by too little volume on Allison Crutchfield's microphone and too much on Kyle Gilbride's. With a little more seasoning and better stage setup, however, it is easy to imagine the talented band headlining such a venue the next time through town.

Follow Dave Geeting on Twitter at @thegeeter.

Adrenaline Nightshift
Fire's Highway
Art Czars
The Boys Are Leaving Town
The Nights of Wine and Roses
Rockers East Vancouver
Younger Us
Heart Sweats
Wet Hair
Evil's Sway
The House That Heaven Built
Continuous Thunder
To Hell With Good Intentions
Young Hearts Spark Fire
For the Love of Ivy

Location Info


The Firebird

2706 Olive St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

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While I had hoped to experience the kind of show that Dave did, unfortunately, I did not. My guess is that he was close to the stage.


The show was a good, but it was by no means great. The 50 people immediately in front of the stage were obviously having a ball. The rest seemed ambivalent. There are probably several reasons for this, but the biggest was -- and this is a complaint I heard from nearly everyone that I talked to at the show -- the sound.


To be clear, this was not the Firebird's fault. The band brought their own FOH engineer, who seemed to be confused for the first 15 minutes of the set and then gave up, apparently. The problem was that the music didn't hit at all. Volume was too low. Guitar was way too low in the mix. From the back of the shallow room, it felt like I was a mile away. I'm sensitive to loud rooms, and while I had earplugs in my pocket I was never remotely tempted to pull them out.


Again, the band played well and passionately. And apparently those up next to the stage weren't feeling the disconnect that the rest of us were, given the number of beer-clutching hands in the air. But for many others, something was clearly flat.


@the_dauph we really do.

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