all photos: Shauna Alexander; all words: Zachary Goldbaum (afterparty photos coming later today)
As Woody Allen put it, I would never join a club that would have me as a member; that is, unless that club were Tokyo Police Club or Two Door Cinema Club. The two coolest clubs in indie rock joined forces at 930 Club on Thursday, and despite being barely old enough to get into clubs, the co-headliners delivered a sold-out, frenetic show filled with enough clubbangers to make a kid wanna make love (in the club).
Two Door Cinema Club took the stage first with a tone-setting rendition of “Cigarettes in the Theater.” In his Belfastian staccato, Alex Trimble’s rattled off the apt opening lyrics (“it starts in the theater/ a night of encounters) and the other three members backed him with the same sharpness and clarity that appears on their debut album. Trimble has the verbal dexterity to keep up with their accelerated rhythm section, a combination that provides for a sufficient amount of both dancibility and sing-a-long-a-bility. As they played through the entirety of “Tourist History,” the quartet made it clear that they were thoroughly enjoying their third trip to the District and even peppered in a bit of flattery: “My friend told me yesterday,” said the wife-beater clad bassist, “that this is the best venue in the United States… he wasn’t lying.” Thank you, you kind Irishman, I’m blushing.
Tokyo Police Club took the stage like the front runners at a high school battle of the bands. You know, the guys who brought the most people and are sure to rock simply because they’re so excited to be there. It’s unreal to think that TPC has been around for nearly five years, especially considering how young they all are. The good news is they haven’t allowed rigorous touring to interfere with the youthful exuberance they bring to the stage.
They opened with “Favorite Color,” one of their signature songs that end shy of the three minute mark and overtly evoke The Strokes (guitarist Johnny Hooks sounds equal parts Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi while lead singer Dave Monks, with his lanky frame and unkempt mop-top, even looks like Julian Casablancas). They continued to pull from their burgeoning oeuvre of EPs and albums, playing spunky, energetic arrangements of “Nature of the Experiment”, “Tessellate”, “Bambi” among others, and finally playing “Your English is Good” before briefly exiting the stage.
They returned shortly thereafter with Two Door Cinema Club and engaged in some nostalgia. Monks offered a brief explanation for their final song, explaining that without it, neither band would be where they are, and also expressing his disbelief that it came out ten years ago. The song: “Last Nite” by none other than The Strokes. It was a heartwarming cover, and a great example of young artists unabashedly cherishing the music they love.