Show Review: Japandroids @ The Echoplex

Brian King, (photo courtesy of sleepydoll)

I think my buddy Kevin described Japandroids best when he said 'time to watch two guys make four guys worth of sound'.

After sets by electro, grind-core rockers All Leather and rabbit-accessory clad surf(?) band NoBunny (who's set will forever lurk in the dark corners of my mind), Vancouver garage-rockers Japandroids took the stage to a warm, LA reception.


Starting things off with 'The Boys Are Leaving Town', the band ferociously ripped through their entire album and then some with my favorite track 'Wet Hair' being played a time and a half due to a 'we effed up' moment.

The crowd was extremely active and really hit their peak during the desert-groove track 'Crazy/Forever' starting a mini-mosh pit which saw several small, hipster girls get carried away in the swirl of humanity.

Dressed in all white, guitarist/vocalist Brian King was his usual energetic self, 'exploring the space' and taking many of his normal drum-kit perches as he and drummer David Prowse traded vocals over most of the set.

Concluding at a peaked energy level but noticeably drained after really given it all out and leaving it on the stage, Japandroids thanked everyone for coming out and ended things.

As my buddy Randol said, it is nice to see that not all bands feel compelled to play an encore especially with the performance level these guys put out. He was right, too. An encore would have seemed like taking the foot of the throttle. I'm glad they took us all off the cliff.

VIDEO: Japandroids - 'Wet Hair'

Website: www.japandroids.com


No, not THAT Genesis...

We don't often speak about those bands where the drummer has moved from behind the kit to handling lead vocals. Probably because this doesn't always work out to the best of circumstances.

I suppose, as of recently, I could name a few successful kit-to-mic transitions with The Stills and Band of Horses, the latter of who's formation resulted in this move. But looking back, of these movements, Genesis is the band that always comes to mind.

While being a late comer to the Peter Gabriel prog-rock sound of it's earliest incarnation, I always hated them because Phil Collins was a douche and not just because of that Lion King song. I remember being a kid and hearing 'Hold On My Heart' on several of those in-store 'muzak' radio stations and even with not having a well-developed musical pallet at that time, I still knew it was trash.

But, I can thank my buddy Jason for sharing the story of Genesis, not THAT Genesis. So, enter the 'classic era' of that band:

Phil Collins is the drummer, totally spaced on some, from the looks of it, very good drugs. Peter Gabriel is a twentysomething, stud frontman wearing insane costumes while reciting lyrics about the first hermaphrodite who lived on Mount Ida.

Case in point:

(Gwar, eat your heart out.)

The band records, releases and tours on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. During the tour, Gabriel tells his band that he's leaving, something they say they knew was coming.

Deciding to carry on as Genesis, Phil Collins becomes the drummer/lead vocalist. And, needless to say, he wasn't dressing up in any costumes. Initially, things sounded great. If you weren't aware, Collins does a great Gabriel impression...

Because of the extra vocal duty, the band brings in a second drummer (quite a spectacle to watch because, Phil Collins is actually a stellar drummer despite his other douche-y qualities). After this lineup, the band began to shift again and after a couple lineup changes, the three-man, 80's carnation that I grew up despising was upon the world.

And, after all that, my point - Peter Gabriel is it. Look at the pictures, watch the vid and go get an album or two.

It's a compact and biased version (only to Phil Collins) but, it's my blog.

Genesis Live in Shepperton '73 - 'Watcher of the Skies'