Live Review: Japandroids, Cadence Weapon at NeumosPosted by Allen Huang
When I last caught Japandroids, I remarked (to a few commenters’ chagrins) that even the blustery force of Japandroids could not rile the Seattle crowd into a worthy frenzy. Maybe it was the rain, or maybe it was the spacious outdoors setting failing to optimally channel the rock duo’s sound into the potent force it should be. Energy was far from scarce on their return to Seattle; even for a Monday the crowd was ready to rock hard.
Celebration Rock, the Vancouver band’s second album, has just been released and their show in Seattle not only marked their first show with the album truly out (cue guitarist Brian King’s tongue-in-cheek diatribe against music pirates), but also their North American homecoming show after a good month long tour in Europe. The band never seemed worse for wear, barreling through songs old and new with excellent fury. The newer songs (each receiving a due introduction) were definitely more anthemic than Japandroids’ earlier, more manic material. Energy-wise, the songs fit perfectly into the bands high-tension catalog.
There are two things that Japandroids is known for: ear blistering volume (check) and oh so Canadian banter (double/triple check). Both Brian and David Prowse (but mostly Brian) were more than willing to share story after story about playing in Seattle, the first time they played in Seattle (at the now closed DIY space Healthy Times), their love of AC/DC riffs, seeing Hot Snakes at Neumos just this past year, their opinion of the crowd’s energy level, you name it. Just goes to show that no matter how hard-edged their aesthetic may be, you just can’t shake the nice out of a Canadian musician.
Opener Cadence Weapon made a strange set fellow for the relatively straightforward rock group. The Canadian rapper, whose last album, Afterparty Babies, was a favorite of mine back in 2008, enchanted early attendees with his off-kilter rhyme schemes and his intelligent-but-not-too-kitschy similes. The songs from his forthcoming album, Hope In Dirt City, sound a little more party-centric than the cerebral Afterparty, but if his previous albums are any indicator, Cadence Weapon’s lyrics are more rewarding once the top layers have been peeled back.
Even to a less than present crowd, Cadence Weapon chose to put his nicest face forward, chiding his friends in Japandroids for heckling him from the crowd, thanking fellow Canadian Grimes for a beat to one of his songs, and introducing his Auntie who had come to the show just to see him. What a nice bunch of Canadian boys.