Where: Snug Harbor- Charlotte, NC
When: March 27, 2010
If you go to a Japandroids concert looking for a band to embody the name, I don’t know that you will leave satisfied. There are no Japanese band members or robots to speak of. No intergalactic space sounds or foreign languages spoken. There are just two skinny white guys, some drums and a guitar.
But don’t be fooled. What this band may lack in size, they more than make up for in sound and energy. Indeed, these guys rock out with a sound much more equivalent to a sextet, something I credit almost solely to singer/guitarist Brian King’s seemingly endless amounts of energy.
I was constantly perplexed at how he wasn’t pulling muscles or giving himself whip lash throughout the almost 90 minute set. Even drummer David Prowse seemed to look on in amazement (and sometimes amusement) at King’s exuberant presence on the tiny stage at Snug Harbor. And he plays with the guy every night!
It’s this kind of energy that makes this band’s music so infectious. There’s nothing particular jaw-dropping about their musical skills, not to say they aren’t talented. It’s just that this band could have easily made a cliché album with their 2009 release, Post-Nothing. Two guys making loud, teen-angst type music in their garage seems like it should have played out in the 90’s, and yet it feels fresh and interesting with this band.
This is a band you listen to or go see when you just want to have some fun. The less than complex lyrics (often shouted in unison by the band mates) make for the perfect backdrop to a skuzzy, beer guzzling type bar.
Snug Harbor, where I saw Japandroids play, holds about 150 people and I image this was the perfect setting to hear this band play live. If the venue were any bigger, you would lose the magnetism of King’s onstage antics. And if it were any smaller, you would probably get kicked in the face as a result of King’s onstage antics.
I have a feeling that this band has a pretty exciting future of ahead of them. I don’t think they will ever sell out arenas or have legions of followers, but I do think they will be part of a new movement of underground rock that will hopefully redefine the mainstream.
I wasn’t able to get any video footage of the band, so you will have to accept my blurry photos as proof of King’s massive stage presence. If you get a chance to see this band live, it will be more than worth the meager fee you’ll pay for the tickets. Do yourself a favor and just go.