Japandroids @ Lincoln Hall – Chicago 06/21/12

Last night was my first time seeing Japandroids perform indoors and in a headlining slot and they did not disappoint.  There is no quit in the Vancouver duo made up of singer/guitarist Brian King, and his partner in crime, drummer/singer David Prowse.

Prior to starting their set, King spoke emphatically of the band’s love of Chicago and the Schubas/Lincoln Hall franchise, stating that they they play Chicago more often than Seattle (a far closer trek for them) and intend to be back several times this year. (In fact Japandroids will be back at Lincoln Hall on 7/12 for a Sound Opinions taping, followed by their second appearance at the Pitchfork Music Fest on 7/13)

Japandroids kicked off the evening with the self-described warm-up tune “The Boys Are Leaving Town” and played all the hits from 2009’s Post Nothing, in addition to (all 8 songs from) this year’s breakout Celebration Rock.

Both players gave it their all on their instruments and traded verses and euphoric  “ohhhh’s” and “ahhhh’s” vocally.  A definite highlight was the studio length “Fire’s Highway.” (which King said had to be edited for time when they recently played it on Jimmy Fallon – as songs must be under 4 minutes)

The sold out room showed their love by requesting songs be played again, (“Wet Hair” & “The House That Heaven Built” were common catcalls) a testament to the giddy addictiveness of the Japandroids music.   A mosh pit of sorts was in effect much of the night and the jubilant energy was a nice change, for as much as I adore Lincoln Hall, sometimes the deafening silence and raptness between songs can be a vibe killer and sanitizer for the live show experience.

So, catch Japandroids when you can because they are riding a wave of buzz for the new album and not coasting at all.  As singer/guitarist Brian King said, “If the band isn’t rocking itself out of tune, you are not getting your money’s worth.”


1. The Boys Are Leaving Town

2. Adrenaline Nightshift

3. Younger Us

4. Fire’s Highway

5. Rockers East Vancouver

6. The Nights Of Wine And Roses

7. Wet Hair

8. Evil’s Sway

9. The House That Heaven Built

10. Crazy/Forever

11. Sovereignty

12. Continuous Thunder

13. Young Hearts Spark Fire

14. For The Love Of Ivy

Song of the Year?


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