Tokyo Police Club show worth a little inclimate weather

Review: Fans brave winter's elements to catch the Canadian indie rockers' intimate show at Buffalo's Soundlab.

How far would you travel in one night for a band? What about 300-plus miles, more than six hours of driving and an infinite amount of snowflakes to navigate? You could repeat the band’s first album 12 times in that span, but that pace and intensity is part of the Tokyo Police Club appeal, making a road trip like that worthwhile.  

Tokyo Police Club's show at Soundlab in Buffalo, N.Y., sold out in a matter of days when it was first announced. Fans in attendance clearly felt opportunities like that could not be missed, regardless of any obstacles standing in the way. You'd never be able to tell anything unusual was happening outside as bodies were close and sweat evident from both the band and the audience throughout the night. This was Tokyo Police Club's second visit to Buffalo since the release of their second album, Champ, last year.

The band members would later note they had to work on incorporating the new material into a set throughout their current tour because a lot of the material had a different pace and feel. The results of their efforts were polished and surely appreciated at Soundlab. Fans took their cues and swayed when tempos went down, clapped and bounced when they went up, and seemed to shout lyrics back at the band for both new tunes like "Bambi" and old staples like "Citizens of Tomorrow." 

Frontman Dave Monks played into the obvious kinship the band has with the area. He started the night by asking the crowd to get excited from the start because the Sabres won in overtime the night before.  Several times throughout the evening, he conducted the crowd in clapping rhythms and once even in some minor singing during the chorus of “Favourite Color.” Afterward he and drummer Greg Alsop were in agreement that the area felt like home (aka partially Canadian), and they’d adopt Buffalo if the United States ever asked.

Tokyo Police Club’s live show now is certainly different from what it was immediately after the release of Elephant Shell in 2008.  Back then you could expect to see nearly every song in their repertoire because of their sub-three-minute nature, and the intensity and pace felt like a punk show with playful mosh pits and constant jumping. The band’s sound and style certainly has matured a bit since then. The music may have found a new tempo, and crowds may get breaks from constant motion, but when the band is still playing unreleased songs about loving Harleys, their shows have the same playful energy as always. It’s worth the trip, so here’s to hoping one will be made sometime soon.

Tokyo Attitude

Tokyo Police Club got some attitude. Elephant Shell blew my mind when I first heard it. Yeah-yeah.

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