Japandroids at 7th Street Entry, 7/03/12

Japandroids at 7th Street Entry, 7/03/12
Photo By Erik Hess

Japandroids with Cadence Weapon
7th Street Entry, Minneapolis
July 3, 2012

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Slideshow: Japandroids at 7th St. Entry

There were plenty of reasons for everyone who packed into the Entry last night for the sold-out Japandroids show to celebrate. Not only were we mere hours away from observing our country's birthday, and all of the fanfare and festivities that typically go along with that, but the crowd certainly seemed keyed up to see a band who have made one of the best rock records of the year in Celebration Rock.

Japandroids themselves had a reason to let loose as well, as their Entry show represented the last show on their current U.S. tour, and they "had to let off some steam before the long drive back to Vancouver." That all added up to a wild, untamed set from the Canadian duo, which easily set the small club off and got the 4th of July party started a little early for everyone who made it into the show.

Guitarist Brian King greeted the crowd warmly as he took to the stage on the sweltering summer evening, "It's starting to feel like home in this place." And with that the band launched into a long, feisty intro to "The Boys Are Leaving Town," the first track from the band's stellar debut, Post-Nothing, which King claimed was just "a little warm-up song." Most bands would kill to have a song that potent in their arsenal, but to Japandroids it's just a track to get the blood flowing a bit.

The band then hit us with a raucous trio of tracks from the new record, beginning with a fiery version of "Adrenaline Nightshift," which featured the first of many lusty crowd singalongs with the group. King, who was in jovial spirits all night, emphatically introduced "Younger Us," by saying, "This song is maximum fun. It's the oldest song from our new record." And indeed, the track was an absolute riot, as the band clearly had it in high gear at this point.

King joked about how they had to cut 45 seconds of "Fire's Highway" from their recent Jimmy Fallon performance, but we were going to get treated to the "extended remix version" of the thunderous track, with drummer David Prowse setting the tempestuous rhythm behind his kit, as he did all evening long. Before a wild rendition of "Rockers East Vancouver," King did a bit of free promotion for the beautiful Canadian city, telling us "Come visit, it's awesome."

Japandroids at 7th Street Entry, 7/03/12
Japandroids at 7th Street Entry, 7/03/12
Photos By Erik Hess

A blistering version of "The Nights Of Wine And Roses" quickly followed, with King affectionately admitting that the boisterous number is "an homage to the Dream Syndicate." The energy level was kept on high during a rapid-fire rendition of "Wet Hair," with King and Prowse trading off vocals as the song thundered on.

King talked about their recent tour with Bass Drum Of Death, and how "Evil Sway" was their favorite Japandroids song, and claimed that the track features, "Our generation's defining drum solo. I hear no other challengers or contenders out there." And Prowse assuredly nailed the solo when it came, as the volatile track's "American Girl"-echoing chorus got everyone to sing along.

"The House That Heaven Built" could easily be one of the songs of the summer, and the band absolutely destroyed the room with an exuberant, unrestrained version of the track which got most of the crowd dancing along wildly. And King took notice, saying "It's definitely a party tonight" before a spirited rendition of "Crazy/Forever," which flowed smoothly into a jubilant version of "Sovereignty," just like it does on record.

Japandroids at 7th Street Entry, 7/03/12
Japandroids at 7th Street Entry, 7/03/12
Photos By Erik Hess

King then exclaimed, "We're going to get weird now, I hope you don't mind. You're from Minneapolis, of course you like to get weird." He went on to introduce "Continuous Thunder" as a slow song, but a slow song for Japandroids is still rowdy, and the simmering track still slayed. King even brought up the band's disastrous, whiskey-filled Minnesota debut at the Turf Club in 2009, joking about how one day they will play a free show there and it will be their "Redemption at the Turf Club."

"Young Hearts Spark Fire" was an emphatic anthem, and again got the crowd moving in time to the track's breakneck pace. King introduced the last song of the night by saying, "Anyone who has seen us before knows that we don't do encores, we just give everything we've got in our set." And with that, the band tore through a storming cover of the Gun Club's "For The Love Of Ivy," which brought the set to a riotous finish, with both the band and the crowd completely spent and gone. King had one last word of advice for the crowd as they begun tearing down their set, "Now go get drunk, but get home safe so you can come see us the next time." And that next time can't come soon enough.

Japandroids at 7th Street Entry, 7/03/12
Photo By Erik Hess

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: This was my fifth time seeing Japandroids, and they haven't disappointed me yet (even that infamous Turf Club show was highly entertaining and obviously quite memorable).

The Crowd: It was packed in the Entry, but everyone was there to have a good time.

Overheard In The Crowd: "I like your band."

Random Notebook Dump: "Young Hearts Spark Fire" was so good that it caused my friend (and yours) Kyle Matteson to dump an entire Budweiser over his head. Yeah, that happened.


The Boys Are Leaving Town

Adrenaline Nightshift

Younger Us

Fire's Highway

Rockers East Vancouver

The Nights Of Wine And Roses

Wet Hair

Evil's Sway

The House That Heaven Built



Continuous Thunder

Young Hearts Spark Fire

For The Love Of Ivy (The Gun Club)

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