Arts, Features

REVIEW: Tokyo Police Club starts stiff, finishes with energy

David Monks, Lead singer and bassist of the band Tokyo Police Club, performs during their set at House of Blues on April 26. PHOTO BY LEXI PLINE/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

On Thursday night, Boston’s House of Blues was packed. Hundreds of expectant concertgoers eagerly waited for the performance to start. Suddenly, the lights dimmed, conversation stopped and Canadian indie rock band Tokyo Police Club came on stage, opening for indie pop band Matt and Kim.

Tokyo Police Club vocalist and bassist David Monks wore a plain white shirt with a tiny peace logo on the right side of his chest, a black cap and jeans. His outfit gave off the kind of indie vibe found at Urban Outfitters.

The guitarist Josh Hook wore a black shirt with ripped jeans, following an up-to-date fashion trend, while the man on the keyboard, Graham Wright, went for a classic look in glasses and a button-down shirt. The band’s simple wardrobe gave off the aura of ordinary people accomplishing their dream of playing music.

The lights turned different shades of blue with their opening number. At first, the band’s performance was a little stiff. Monks gave off an awkward vibe, almost standing still in front of the microphone as he sang and played the bass. In contrast to their frontman, Hook and Wright had good energy. They rocked their hair back and forth, feeling the music in their body.

For the second song, the lights switched to red, creating a more energetic vibe. Monks stopped playing the guitar and his serene voice came through clearly. He sang better when he stopped playing guitar, allowing his voice to blend in with the music and bring the song together.

Overall, the band gave off an old-school vibe coupled with the essence of popular 2000s boy bands, like the Jonas Brothers merged with the Arctic Monkeys. Guitar and bass sounds were the main element of their songs. Whenever there was a solo on either of these two instruments, it was beautifully executed, filling House of Blues with their melodious sound.

As the concert progressed, the energy in the crowd grew, and so too did the energy from the band. By the fourth song, Monks let loose, giving a more entertaining performance. He interacted with Hook as they played their instruments.

Then the sound of their popular song, “Argentina (Parts I, II, III),” started playing and the crowd screamed. The quick pace and lead guitar put everyone on their feet as they sang and danced along. Monks even took off his cap and shook out his bleach blonde, mid-2000s, skater-boy hair as he sang and played.

Even though the band’s interaction with the audience was mostly limited, Monks took matters into his own hands and asked the audience to jump. The whole House of Blues jumped along to the rhythm of “Argentina (Parts I, II, III).”

When Monks announced their last song, some members of the audience were disappointed that Tokyo Police Club was leaving the stage, but many were still excited to see the main event, Matt and Kim. The lights flickered between the colors of blue and red as they played their last song, “Your English Is Good.”

The presence of the drummer, Greg Alsop, was more prominent as the beat drove the song. During the chorus, the guitar stopped, and Alsop played softly in the background.

Monks’ voice was clear and harmonic as he sang the lyric: “Cause you don’t need to change / Your future’s with us.” After playing for a full hour, their last performance was where they gave their all. They asked the crowd to clap to the rhythm and the room collectively sang the lyrics of their last song, creating a unified feeling.

Though initially stiff, Tokyo Police Club eventually gave a vibrant performance. Their music is fun, staying true with the original principles of rock — the sound of a good guitar and strong drums. After seeing them live, I added “Argentina (Parts I, II, III)” to my playlist.

One Comment

  1. Tokyo Police Club definitely had a great wardrobe.