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VIDEO: Tokyo Police Club rocks campus

author: jael bartnik multi-media editor

Band fulfilled all expectations at Sept. 28 show

On Wednesday, Sept 28, Tokyo Police Club reverberated the walls of the Riddell Centre with sound waves of indie/alt. rock radness. To be honest, the last time I had listened to Tokyo Police Club, I was in grade eight watching MTV Canada for the first time. Not surprisingly, anything aired on MTV that didn’t actually involve music couldn’t hold my attention. It was interesting to see a band whose lyrical subject matter contained many quirky traits and executed with synth loops and catchy guitar riffs.

Fast forward to the present, I was unsure of what to expect once the doors opened and security started letting people in. I took my place at the front of the stage with my camera in anticipation for some type of music with neutral expectation. The crowd was small but enthusiastic and there was a buzz of conversation. I started to feel a little bit old seeing some of the faces as I scanned the room.

The first opening band, The Elwins, an indie band also from Newmarket ON., set the standard for the rest of the evening. I was certainly envious of how much energy the performers had, considering it was a Wednesday and school is a thing. The structure of their songs had a melodic seasoning of surf-spiced indie rock. It was pretty difficult not to toe tap or at least bob your head a bit with the audience members all huddled at the front either dancing or clapping. They’d made a good impression.

The second band, Born Ruffians, had a slightly more cynical, attitude-filled version of indie rock melodies. The song, “Eat Shit, We Did It,” is pretty self-explanatory. I have to say I really enjoyed that song. There’s nothing quite like a song that sends out a strong “fuck you vibe” to get me into it. At times a tad self-indulgent in the lyrics, it was balanced out with oddly peppy and danceable music. Even more spectators joined in singing along and clapping. I felt even more out of place as their set continued trying to focus on getting pictures and video while trying to navigate people dancing in and amongst the crowd.

Straight-up rockin’ it. Credit: Jael Bartnik and Ella Mikkola

By the time the first two bands had finished, I wasn’t sure if I had the energy to stay out for much longer. However, Tokyo Police Club did not disappoint, as the crowd condensed towards the front of the stage. To be honest, I hadn’t listened to Tokyo Police Club since I was in grade eight, but it was interesting to hear the difference between their old songs like, “Cheer It On” and “Nature of The Experiment.” It wasn’t quite the same as the music I had heard back in the day, but considering my tastes have changed since then and that nostalgia was a motivating factor in going to this show it was pretty good. Their new songs sounded cleaner and more pop influenced. There was still the essence of old Tokyo Police Club, but it felt cleaner cut and incorporated slower dreamy dance tracks such as “PCH.”

All in all, it was fun to give a band from my pre-teen years another go. It captures a strange time period of MySpace, angst, and selfies taken with digital cameras (awkward and lots of pictures pointing at a bathroom mirror. It’s not as flattering as selfies nowadays) or at least these are all things that come flooding back to my memory. Now that my preference for musical genres is a bit different, I’d say that it was a solid show for anyone who enjoys indie, likes dancing, and has the stamina to stay out until 2:00 a.m.. In total, I’d rate this show eight Melon Collies out of ten on the scale of infinite radness.

About Jael Bartnik