Concert Review: Tokyo Police Club at Webster Hall: May 15, 2014
This is “What’s Making Me Happy This Week,” a weekly feature inspired by the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
What’s Making Me Happy This Week was the Tokyo Police Club show at Webster Hall last night.
Tokyo Police Club is touring in support of their new album, Forcefield, their first new music since 2010. I’ve been an admirer of the Canadian indie-pop band for a few years, owning their previous EP and LPs on vinyl and digitally, and I’ve seen them live once before, in 2012 at Bowery Ballroom (pictures & setlist). For some strange reason though I never got around to picking up a copy of Forcefield and haven’t listened to any of the new songs even though a few are playing on the radio. Normally, in a situation like that, I’d attend a concert hoping desperately that the band would lean heavily on their older material. TPC didn’t do that last night – the setlist (shown below) was a nice mix of old and new – but I wasn’t the least bit disappointed.
The night began with the first song that was released off of Forcefield, “Argentina“, which had actually been floating around the Internet months before the album was released. From that point on they kept going backwards and forward in time, following up the new with the old, giving everyone something they wanted and as a result keeping the crowd energetic throughout. For example, song 3 was “Nature of the Experiment“, a personal favorite off of teh band’s first EP, but it was followed by two new songs which the crowd enjoyed (and I easily got into), then back to a TPC classic, “Favorite Colour”. I can honestly say that almost without fail I wound up singing along and cheering loudly for every new song I hadn’t heard before.
While the entire show was lively, the last third of the main set plus the encore really separated this show from other indie-pop sing-alongs. I’m referring to the part that began with two new songs that were clearly audience favorites among the Forcefield music, “Hot Tonight” and “Tunnel Vision“. After “Juno“, a good track off of 2008’s Elephant Shell, the band brought the crowd to its highest point of unbridled enthusiasm with “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)” and then main set closer “Cheer It On” (with everyone screaming the repeated lyric “Tokyo Police Club”).
After a very short break, lead singer David Monks came out all alone with an acoustic guitar and told the crowd that he’d need our assistance with what he was about to try. Monks begged the crowd for absolute silence so that he could play and sing acoustic and completely unplugged. This would not be easy at all in the large Webster Hall. Monks sat down and began slowly strumming the intro to “Tessellate“. You could feel the quiet buzz of recognition throughout the room, and once Monks went into the vocals the room softly sang along. It was perfect. Monks smiled and seemed genuinely pleased with how it was going, as he should have been. After “Tessellate”, he held onto his acoustic guitar as the band joined him back on stage and played “Favourite Food“, and then finally they ended the show the way everyone knew they would, raising the roof with their biggest loudest hit “Your English Is Good“.
Tokyo Police Club – just a lot of good clean fun.
And That’s What’s Making Me Happy This Week.