The Vancouver duo, Japandroids, brought the noise and the post-punk to L.A.’s Fonda Theatre with plenty of new tunes to keep the fans thrilled on their second night at the venue. Formed in 2006, the release of their first album Post-Nothing was an uphill battled that shaped the band we know today. Guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse share duties on vocals and got their name by combining their two favorite bands names (Japanese Scream and Pleasure Droids). Mixing indie, garage and straight-up rock influences, the band made a name for themselves hustling the streets of Vancouver getting gigs together the old fashioned DIY-way. The recent release of Near to the Wild Heart of Life has received rave reviews for their passionate and introspective brand of rock music.
Their two nights at the Fonda were sold out with opener Craig Finn and The Uptown Controllers introducing fans to his inspirational positive vibes. Finn’s singer-songwriter soul is divided into indie and alt-rock with songs that embody his spirit. He asks the crowd to share in his experience and they oblige while asking for more. His storytelling is reminiscent to Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan and have a folk-vibe that is natural and emotional. The big-hearted track “Preludes” rang as it hypnotized the front row into nodding along to the beat. The set included the delicate and yet explosive song, “Jester and June.” Craig Finn is an incredible artist whose aim to rock adds depth and honesty on this tour is much welcomed.
The epic night began with an audio playback loop as both King and Prowse snuck onto the stage under strobing lights. Prowse began with a drum roll that sprang into the anthemic and first song off their album, “Near to the Wild Heart of Life.” King was excited for a Friday night show as he pumped up the crowd, “It’s Friday night and I’m not trying to be antagonistic but I know you’ve got more in you than that.” The crowd exploded as they retaliated with louder howls. After King was pleased, he ripped into the next song, “Let’s get this party fuckin’ started, this one’s called ‘Adrenaline Nightshift.’” King was fearless on the guitar as he took his time to thrash across the stage and even bounced off Prowse’s bass drum a few times. The intensity level was off the charts as the powerful chorus to the song echoed throughout the hall.
The duo took turns on the mic as Prowse took the lead on “Midnight to Morning” and pushed their sound into a higher dimension. During an outrageous guitar riff, King slices his pinky finger on the E-string and paused to ‘Crazy-Glue’ it together. “This is the last new song. I’ve said the same things to most of the crowds on this tour. If you take anything away from tonight’s show, I hope it’s something from this song. It’s called ‘No Known Drink or Drug.’” The enthusiastic rock song melts hearts as the lyrics ring out, “No known drug, could ever hold a candle to your love.” The show ended on the highest note possible as the band brought out Craig Finn to take lead on their cover of AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood.” It was a fantastic way to end the night. Japandroids are currently on tour across the US and Canada. This is one fun and rockin’ show not to be missed.