Japandroids played the last show of their U.S. tour at Chop Suey last Tuesday evening to an enthusiastic crowd. Before starting the set, guitarist Brian King asked the audience to “come down here and get wild.” If the crowd was a little hesitant at first, King and drummer David Prowse more than made up for it with “The Boys are Leaving Town”, complete with head-banging and a wind machine that made King look as if he was in the midst of a photo shoot.
The beginning of the set sounded a bit thin (a bassist would have been a welcome addition to the live performance) compared to Japandroid’s excellent first full-length album, Post-Nothing. Prowse and King gained some momentum a few songs later with an extended version of “Heart Sweats”. Prowse’s drumming looked like it was in stop-motion, if that gives any indication of his considerable talent. Although this was one of the stronger songs of the set, the three minute song was extended to a rather self-indulgent ten minutes. The crowd certainly wasn’t complaining, however, as they continued dancing frenetically to the next few songs, “Young Hearts Spark Fire” and “Crazy/Forever”.
Much to the crowd’s surprise, Japandroids bucked the trend of the automatic encore and brought the set to an end with “Sovereignty.” From the red, sweaty faces piling out of Chop Suey and the band members’ drenched shirts, it looked like the right decision.