NxNE Review: Janapdroids at The Dakota Tavern (Surprise Show)

The band I was most excited to see at this year’s North by Northeast festival was defo (yes, we say defo now) Vancouver garage-rockers Japandroids.

Cut to me obsessing for a day about who the ‘secret band’ playing the 2 a.m. Thursday time slot at Dakota Tavern would be. I strongly suspected it would be Japandroids and my inkling paid off.

A few minutes after YOUNG EMPIRES left the stage following a sweaty, enthusiastic set, Japandroids bounded onto the stage and into my pants…I mean heart. The packed crowd (yeah, apparently this particular secret guest was the worst kept secret in town) went nutso for the entire 45 minute set. I had never actually witnessed a mosh pit in an alt-country bar before (particularly during The Boys Are Leaving Town and Young Hearts Spark Fire – two standout songs). There’s a first time for everything! I spent half my time marvelling at the awesomeness on stage, and the other half fearing I’d be tossed over the bar by an overenthusiastic spastic fan! The walls shook. It was amazing. I had planned to catch their set at Lee’s Palace the following night but seeing them up close in a smallish venue was worth the risk of falling asleep at work the following day (totally did).

Formed in 2006 by Brian King on guitar and David Prowse on drums (they share vocal duties), Japandroids should be the soundtrack to your sweaty, drunken kitchen dance party. They are cocky, ambitious, frantic, unpolished, brilliant, confident, sneering, contagious, a little childish, and total chaos personified. And it fucking works.

The band has self-released two EPs – ‘All Lies’ (2007) and ‘Lullaby Death Jams’ (2008). After signing with Unfamiliar Records in early 2009, they released their debut LP ‘Post Nothing’, which was long-listed for the Polaris Music prize. They were later signed to Polyvinyl Records, and received a 2010 Juno nomination for Alternative Album of the Year. Earlier this year, Japandroids announced they would be releasing a 5-part singles series. ‘Art Czars,’ the first in the series, came out in April.

Japandroids tour as hard as they play. In 2010 to date they’ve played South by Southwest, Musicfest NW, Bonnaroo Music Festival and the Phono Pop Festival, to name just a few. They also performed on late Night with Jimmy Fallon in January.

Links, dinks.

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/japandroids

Web site: www.japandroids.com

 

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