Tokyo Police Club @ Terminal 5 1/21/2011

Tokyo Police Club played Terminal 5 and I was there.  SPOILER ALERT: they rocked!  But first, the opening and co-headlining bands…

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin was up first, and their set went along exactly like I expected it to.  They played a few songs from their new album mixed in with their most popular tracks from their first two.  They ended with what’s probably their best song, “Pangea,” and everybody enjoyed it.  Yet honestly, I don’t think the band is cut out for bigger venues.  That’s completely based on the style of their music though, as they don’t really have any rocking anthems to sway a large audience.  Their brand of folk rock would definitely be better suited for a club, and that’s really a good thing.  A more intimate setting would let the band come across more consistently than a live stage would ever let them.

Two Door Cinema Club is an interesting beast and I find myself split on how to write about them.  They played a great show, but I honestly didn’t like it that much.  Their sound was impeccable, yet I found that all of their songs really blended into one.  I’m going to chalk this up to the fact that I don’t like everything this band does.  The electronic feel they give their music doesn’t always do it for me, and they came across as more of a dance act than the rock band that’s often featured on last year’s debut album.  My favorites by them live were the same as my favorites on the album, especially “Eat That Up, It’s Good For You.”

I think my ultimate feeling toward TDCC is this: a lot of their songs have this, for lack of a better word, “unreal” fealing to them.  Not that they aren’t good and entertaining, but that their songs sometimes lack what I would call a soul.  The album, as well as the live show, felt very produced, and I can sense this weird lack of heart in the band.  I felt the same way about Oberhofer the night before.  Sure, the band is consistent, efficient, and (by all intents and purposes) good, but I always feel there is something missing.  Ith Oberhofer, it is a lack of genuine song writing.  With Two Door Cinema Club, it is not so much that as it is a lack of feeling.  They have the hooks to keep you entertained, but the delivery always falls flat.  This is the opposite of Tokyo Police Club.

Dave Monks writes the songs of Tokyo Police Club, and his sentiments are all over every note the band plays.  They are a direct translation of his feelings, and the band does and did a great job of getting those across to the listener on Friday night.  Ultimately, the songs are simpler than TDCC’s, and any of them could be translated to just Monks and a guitar and have the same effect.  He sings from the heart, and even when he is completely off-key (semi often), it has no effect on his spirit and clear passion for music.  That’s why I would be bold enough to say that Tokyo Police Club will be around for a long time if they choose so.  If not, Monks will probably be doing something musical no matter what.

In terms of performance, the vocals were more powerful than I thought they would be, and Dave sung well throughout the performance.  They played a ton of songs, and they were all played perfectly.  My biggest gripe is that the sound man must have spent more time on TDCC than TPC, because the mix was pretty terrible.  The guitar was far too low for the entire set, and I’m surprised that nobody did anything about it.  That fact didn’t matter that much anyway, because people were too busy singing along to the clever lyrics and fun melodies than they were focusing on the sound.  TDCC might bring the beat, but Tokyo Police Club bring the soul of a true band.

Capping off the night was an amazing performance of the Strokes’ “Last Nite”, with all three bands coming out for the encore.  I was ecstatic, obviously, but in the end it really goes to show you something.  The cover was probably the defining moment of the night, and no song by any band there could match up to the love fest the crowd gave to a version of New York’s favorite band’s classic hit.  Now tell me that doesn’t say something about lasting appeal, I dare you…

That’s it for now.  As a gift for reading, check out these songs…

Two Door Cinema Club – Eat That Up, It’s Good for You

Tokyo Police Club – Wait Up (Boots of Danger)

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