Japandroids redeem themselves with incendiary Entry set

Categories: Concert Review
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Japandroids stormed the sold-out 7th St. Entry Saturday night as if they had a point to prove, or more specifically, something to atone for. The Vancouver duo played an infamous show at the Turf Club back in September that quickly went off the rails due to copious amounts of booze consumed by the band. And during their first ever Minneapolis performance they seemed determined to make amends for that shit-show right from the start, with a tightly wound, explosive 65-minute set that featured guitarist Brian King bounding around the tiny stage while drummer David Prowse pounded out his propulsive beats. It was a taut and focused 11-song set that, while lacking the alcohol-induced hijinks of their earlier show, still proved to be just as animated and unrestrained a performance.

King came out alone for a two-minute guitar intro before Prowse joined him onstage, settling some sound issues before the band kicked into their first song, a propulsive "The Boys Are Leaving Town" that again featured a lengthy guitar intro by King. It seemed that the band was settling into the sound of the room a bit during this track, and the set didn't really catch fire until they tore into their volatile new single "Art Czars." And from that point on the set was a high-octane blur of fiery songs and boundless energy.

"Rockers East Vancouver" was dedicated to an old friend of theirs from Vancouver who now lives in Minneapolis, while "Wet Hair" was dedicated to "anyone who suffered through our show in St. Paul." The spirited song completely erased all memory of that notorious night, and as far as I'm concerned all is forgiven as the band delivered the rousing, coherent set they really should have played back in September.

"Heart Sweats" and "Darkness At The Edge Of Gastown" (featuring Prowse on vocals) were especially tempestuous, before the band really set the place off with the simmering intensity of "Crazy/Forever," my favorite song of the night. That song flowed seamlessly into a sweet version of "Sovereignity," which found King changing the chorus to "It's raining in Vancouver, and I don't give a fuck because I'm in Minneapolis tonight." Normally I wouldn't buy into that sort of pandering, but King seemed genuinely happy to be playing here so it came off as a sincere gesture, making the song that much more stirring.

"Young Hearts Spark Fire" really got the exuberant crowd moving, and proved to be another energetic highlight of the strong set, before the band decelerated just a bit with what Prowse claimed is the only slow song they have (and the only song they hadn't played yet from their excellent debut Post-Nothing), the slow-burning vehemence of "I Quit Girls." Their set closed with an absolutely killer cover of mclusky's "To Hell With Good Intentions" that ended the night on a stellar note. Japandroids were tight and riveting throughout their brief but highly-charged set, more than settling the score from their somewhat shambolic set in the fall, and hopefully setting the stage for many memorable local shows to come.

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