Tokyo Police Club, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Roky Moon & BOLT Warehouse Live February 3, 2011
In case you haven't noticed, it's freezing outside. And if you're from Houston, like Aftermath, you're not accustomed to it, nor do you ever know how to dress for it. So when Aftermath walked into Warehouse Live Thursday night and heard the familiar sounds of Roky Moon & BOLT!'s "Hot Saturday Night," we smiled at the thought of a warm Houston evening, the kind that people usually grumble about when the humidity index is high. We say usually, because compared to a windy, 25 degree evening, it sounds like paradise.
As if we were sitting in front of a fire, Roky Moon's music kept at least 100 fans warm as the evening began. They kept it short and sweet - the set only lasted about 30 minutes - and by the end, nearly the entire crowd was cheering and applauding. Aftermath has a hunch they made more than a few new fans.
Shortly after Roky Moon finished, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin took the stage and couldn't have looked happier or been more enthusiastic. Could it have had something do with the fact that their recently-released album, Let It Sway, was produced by Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie?
Well, let's look at the facts: since then, Yeltsin has been on the cover of the College Music Journal and featured in an issue of Rolling Stone. Yeah... that just might have had something to do with it.
It's fun to watch performers enjoy their own music and appreciate their fans so much. These guys looked like they were playing their first show ever in front of a live audience; not because the performance was amateur, but because the group was all smiles and high-energy for the entire show, and it look like they may have been having just as much fun as we were.
Halfway through the set, vocalist Philip Dickey took off his guitar and went to sit down behind the drum kit. Percussionist Jonathan James rose from his seat and picked up a bass guitar, while bassist John Robert Cardwell took Dickey's guitar and previous spot in the front of the stage. Cardwell was the band's front man for the rest of the show.
The ability of Yeltsin's members to play musical chairs with their instruments wasn't lost on the crowd, especially not an avid female fan in the front, to whom the band dedicated a few songs as a token of appreciation for her enthusiasm. Thirty minutes passed, and the they left the stage, but not before thanking the crowd and expressing their hope to visit Houston again soon.
By the time Tokyo Police Club's sound check was finished, Aftermath had taken off three layers of clothing. Warehouse Live's back room was packed, and we were getting hot and sweaty, as were the rest of the Houstonians there.
TPC recently talked to Rocks Off about their new album and how it felt like the band members, as well as their music, were maturing. After seeing their live performance, Aftermath would have to agree.
While their newer music is different than their earlier material, these young Canadians managed to keep a consistent, high level of energy throughout the set. New songs, old songs and in-between songs were all lauded, with three or four oldies being most praised by the crowd.
Before the last song even began, the crowd, anticipating that the show was nearing an end, began to scream for an encore. Front man Dave Monks and the rest of Tokyo Police Club just laughed, finished their set and walked offstage; they were playing with us, fully aware that we wanted more, but going about their set as if we hadn't yet requested an encore.
The crowd began to chant again, and less than a minute later TPC was back onstage, and the fans roared one final time.
Personal Bias: We like Canadians, because they always seem polite. Maybe there's a way TPC can capitalize on being from Canada. They could set up a tour with Justin Bieber, LIGHTS and another artist or two from Canada and have some sort of Canadian Invasion 2012... or something. No? We're being silly? Oh, all right. But be honest - you'd go if it happened.
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Overheard in the Crowd: During Roky Moon's performance: "I really want to go see Rocky Horror now!"
Random Notebook Dump: Otenki played with 30 Seconds to Mars last week, and Roky Moon & BOLT played with Tokyo Police Club this week. We could get used to this kind of thing. Keep it up, Houston. We're proud of you.