Tokyo Police Club provided a nice counterbalance as openers to Matt and Kim for two sold-out dates at 9:30 Club last week. In comparison to hyperactive party band Matt and Kim, Dave Monks and company were positively sedate, which was actually quite good for absorbing the Canadian band’s post-punk rhythms.
A highlight of the set came early as Tokyo Police Club first performed “New Blues,” a new single from an as-yet-unknown future record. Online observers have hailed the jangly tune as a return to roots for Tokyo Police Club, as Dave sings idly over a rush of collaborating guitars. Dave was in fine form on Wednesday, his body seemingly adrift on notes emanating from the band.
Listen to “New Blues” by Tokyo Police Club on Soundcloud:
Meanwhile, Graham Wright seemed to spend a lot more time on bass than keyboard, which suited the band’s sound. Guitarist Josh Hook often threw down with Dave in the middle of the stage, and drummer Greg Alsop held it all together in a way that seemed both aloof and really connected at the same time. Dave spent time jamming with Josh and literally bouncing off the back of Graham, and the band’s chemistry was strong all around.
Surprisingly, Tokyo Police Club put the spotlight on their second studio album, Champ, released in 2010, with songs “Breakneck Speed,” “Frankenstein,” and “Wait Up (Boots of Danger),” accounting for three of the 10 songs performed as Matt and Kim’s opener. “Breakneck Speed” remained a terrific showcase for the band’s sound and how well the quartet contributed their instruments to the overall song. The band played it as a slow roller coaster, building up to a chorus that allowed Dave to savor the refrain, “It’s good to be back.”
Tokyo Police Club closed the show with their signature song, “Your English Is Good,” from their debut full-length album, Elephant Shell. The performance of “Your English Is Good” was more sedate than you may have seen in other performances by the band, but again it proved to be a good vehicle for listening to the band’s live performance once again and for grooving away prior to Matt and Kim’s more brash antics.
All in all, it was a good show, and likely a smart strategic move for Tokyo Police Club to open on a string of sold-out dates to remind us of their talents after last touring the release of the two-part EP set, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Radness, released in 2016. Tokyo Police Club have wrapped their tour but with new songs on the way, you can bet we will see them on the road again soon.
Here are some pictures of Tokyo Police Club performing at 9:30 Club on May 2, 2018.