February 2oth at The Royale
By: Moin Khwaja
After an amazing world tour in support of 2012’s Celebration Rock, Japandroids took a bit of a hiatus. This quickly changed in late 2016 when they announced the release of a new album, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life. Upgrading their venue from the Great Scott to the Royale, the band brought a massive crowd last month, selling out the club the day of the show.
Starting the night off was Craig Finn and his band, The Uptown Controllers. Using many aspects of spoken word and rock’n’roll, Craig Finn did an amazing job of portraying a story in his music. With very slow spots in the set to highlight his lyrics, he was able to quickly change over to beating rock riffs to help convey a change in time in his narrative. Having only one opener felt beneficial for Finn, as most of the crowd was already there and giving him a bigger audience than usual for a set which it seemed like most enjoyed.
The setup for Japandroids was one of the more complicated ones I’ve ever seen at the Royale. With walls of lights, several spotlights, and more lasers on the floor, most of the stage was littered with moving gadgets. Guitarist and vocalist Brian King boasted about 3 amp heads and 9 cabs for one guitar, making a wall of amps. Additionally, drummer and vocalist David Prowse had his drums up at the front of the stage next to Brian as opposed to being behind him. The duo blasted the intro to the show by playing the title track of their new album, using every flashing light they had in the venue. The band made rounds around all three albums, making sure to hit most of their catalog
The crowd was very interesting to watch as well. They pulled people of all age groups, from kids to adults looking like they were 50. What was common, though, was that everyone was into the music–even the mosh pit was diverse. Songs with the most activity were “wet hair” and “The House That Heaven Built”. After what seemed to be the end of the set, they made an announcement. Bringing up Craig Finn, a Boston native, they played a song called “For Boston”, with flashing green lights to boot. Having those special words said for this city was the perfect way for the show and night to end.
With Japandroids headed on a world tour for in support of Near The Wild Heart of Life, there is no idea when they will be back to play a show in Boston. When they do return, it’s a must see act.
Listen to Near To The Wild Heart Of Life here: