Tokyo Police Club, Said The Whale & Dinosaur Bones @ The Commodore, Vancouver, April 23rd 2011


It’s been about 36 hours since the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver was absolutely blown up by Tokyo Police Club, Said the Whale and Dinosaur Bones, and I’m still in a trance.

Ok, I’m jumping ahead a little, perhaps.  Let me explain how I got to said trance-like state.

The house lights at the Commodore dimmed right around 9:00pm and Dinosaur Bones from Ontario hopped on stage.  Only having known a couple of tunes such as Ice Hotels and Birthright, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from Dinosaur Bones.  They played a solid half-hour set and did indeed play the tunes I knew, but compared to the much bigger co-headlining acts, their energy was a little…. lacking?  I still highly recommend checking this band out as they do have a great sound and some real

Dinosaur Bones @ The Commodore Ballroom April 23, 2011

potential.  As if touring with Tokyo Police Club and Said the Whale wasn’t “potential” enough..

After Dinosaur Bones finished, house lights went back on and the wait was on.  Anticipation filled the venue as the crowd knew that hometown heros, Said The Whale, were going to be on next.  As a result of said anticipation, the bouncing dancefloor at the Commodore Ballroom filled about as full as I’d ever seen it, the house lights dimmed once again and the crowd went a little nuts.

As ashamed as I am to admit, this was my first time seeing Said The Whale live.  I’m not ashamed to say, however, that they blew me away.  I admired their energy: everyone from drummer Spenny to Jaycelyn on keys were as fun to watch as they were to listen to.  I admired their musical integrity: if you like Said The Whale‘s albums, you’ll adore their live show. This is a true indication of a seasoned rock outfit; they aren’t hiding behind slick production or autotune but killing it with pure talent and ability.  They played just about every hit that I could think of including the song that introduced me to them, The Gift of a Black Heart.  Every song they played just seemed to be better than the last, and the dynamic between co-lead singers Tyler and Ben was inspiring.  Not even a ukulele could stop them

Said The Whale @ The Commodore Ballroom, April 23, 2011

from rocking out, as they killed Goodnight, Moon.  I am already looking forward to my next Said The Whale experience, and you should be, too.

So, with Dinosaur Bones and Said The Whale having warmed up the crowd quite nicely, it was time for the main act: Tokyo Police Club.  Again, this was the first time I’d seen TPC live and wasn’t sure what to expect, and again I was blown away.  This group of rockers from Newmarket, Ontario definitely know how to rock.  It wasn’t enough that lead singer and bassist David Monks‘ vocals and basslines were super tight, but that the entire band sounded magnificent as a whole.  Their setlist expanded their entire discography including Nature of the Experiment from their debut EP A Lesson In Crime; Your English Is Good and Tessellate from their full-length LP Elephant Shell, and then an oodle of tunes from their latest album (and my favourite) Champ.  They represented Champ with a great acoustic intro to Favourite Food, killed Breakneck Speed, rocked Bambi and nailed one of my favourites, Not Sick.  

And just when you thought Tokyo Police Club were all said and done, they hopped back onstage after a short break backstage. But they were not alone.  Members of Dinosaur Bones appeared onstage.  Members of Said The Whale appeared onstage.  A giant lion mascot jumped onstage (I knew I had been drinking beer, but questioned whether or not I was hallucinating at this point).

And then K-OS hit the stage.  And I realized that this was a very, very special show.  Yes, Tokyo Police Club, Said The Whale, Dinosaur Bones and K-OS cover Kanye West‘s Runaway.  Mind. Blown.

(Here’s a YouTube video, not uploaded by me, to prove I’m not lying; forgive the poor sound quality)

It was a classic case of just-when-you-think-this-couldn’t-get-crazier-it-does.  I love it when that happens. 

As all good shows do, it had to come to an end, but what a way to finish it off.  It was indeed an unbelievably epic night full of great music, great times with great friends and great surprises.  Now you may understand why 36 hours later, I’m still in a trance.


~ by DR on April 25, 2011.

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