Tokyo Police Club brings a ruckus to Ft. Lauderdale’s Culture Room (1/28)

Canadian Rockers are at it again and in the comfort of the United States. No, we’re not talking about the Arcade Fire, we’re talking about Tokyo Police Club. Keep up people! This band has had it right from the start. When taking a glimpse at their discography, it’s pretty underrated. From their inaugural EP, A Lesson in Crime, which sports such gems as “Citizens of Tomorrow” and “Nature of the Experiment”, to last year’s Champ, which offers lead single “Breakneck Speed” and other favorites such as “Bambi”, it’s apparent that this is a band that has yet to disappoint its fans. Last night, they set that in stone.

I’m getting ahead of myself so let me back up. The night at Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale did not start off with Tokyo Police Club. This would be too cool for school and too quick of a show. So to slow things down and get the crowd prepared for what was to come, Someone Loves You Boris Yeltsin hit the stage. To compare the energy and stage presence of Someone Loves You Boris Yeltsin to Tokyo Police Club would be the biggest mistake you could make of the night. The energy that Tokyo Police Club brought to the stage and transferred to the crowd was contagious and brilliant. Unlike anything Culture Room has seen since TV On The Radio last played “Wolf Like Me” when they released “Return to Cookie Mountain”. Bat shit crazy to say the least.

Photo by Lauren Guagno

Yet, not to give Someone Loves You Boris Yeltsin credit for their performance tonight would be foul play. This band, who many were oblivious to at the show, made a name for themselves the second they hit stage. Frontman Philip Dickey’s demanding antics, coupled with air tight instrumentation, won the crowd over, producing friendly moshing and endless crowd surfing. Their setlist, however, was a tad premature. Overtly excited, the band showed their big guns too early, and towards the end of the set, the crowd went back to their social networking, found in the comfort of their hands. Ah, youths.

Social networking, however, was put away the moment Tokyo Police Club hit the stage. No surprise, though, as this relentless band attacks the crowd with chemistry, raw noise, and engagement. But, in a very non-traditional fashion, this band doesn’t just cater to its frontman. Although Dave Monks plays a key role within the band, given his unique vocals, this band would be nowhere without the playful melodies of keyboardist Graham Wright, or Josh Hook’s edgy, complicated lead guitar work. Let us not forget the robot behind the drum set, Greg Alsop. The chemistry that this band creates oozed into the intimate, and confined, walls of the Culture Room; whether it be the leaning of Monks on Hook’s shoulder for support, the tossing of tambourines by Hook and Wright, or the playful smiles Alsop gave to Monks. It’s all authentic, which gives its viewers this connection. What’s more, the band actually looks like they want to be on stage, which is a great relief in an age where apathy is king.

Photo by Lauren Guagno

Take a look at the setlist. It’s raw power in the details. Looking back, I can’t forget the explosion that occurred when they unleashed “Nature of the Experiment” on the crowd. Hungry eyes and carnivorous mouths gobbled up the song and spit it back. To show their pride for the now classic hit, the crowd played up its ever-limited role of jumping, moshing, and body surfing.

Halfway through the set, one thing seemed obvious: Tokyo Police Club refused to deliver a boring night. The band made that very clear when Monks announced to the crowd that they were going to play a new song (“Top 5”) and that they needed the crowd’s help with clapping here and there. This carried over into other tracks, especially during “Citizen of Tomorrow”, where you would have sworn an orchestra had graced the stage. There wasn’t one; instead, it was a choir of fans, with the soon-to-be Canadian royalty conducting the whole night. This is what sold the show for everyone. This band wanted to be on stage, they wanted to sweat their music, and they wanted you to leave with a grin from ear to ear. I left with my chin up.

Photography by Lauren Guagno.

Favorite Colour
Nature of the Experiment
Top 5
End of a Spark
In a Cave
Not Sick
Hands Reversed
Be Good
Citizens of Tomorrow
Breakneck Speed
Wait Up (Boots of Danger)
Your English is Good

Gallery by Lauren Guagno

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