A few songs into Tokyo Police Club's set last night, Dave Monks remarked that this was the millionth show the band has played in Winnipeg. And in some ways, he's not over-exaggerating too much. They're always playing here, so many Canadian bands are playing here, but I never really got around to seeing them until last night. Which is kind of sad because my number one job on this site is to promote Canadian content. My excuse? CreComm. But now that it's over, I figured there was no better way to celebrate than by checking out a show I wouldn't have had the energy to check out otherwise.
First up was Dinosaur Bones, who are on Dine Alone Records just like TPC. I had listened to a single once, but never really thought much of it. The good news is their set was actually pretty good and made me want to give them a second listen. They've got some catchy tunes, they sounded great live and weren't afraid to interact with the crowd. All essential for any good performance in my books.
But Said the Whale was way better and I hate to admit I never listened to them before. I've heard of them. I know they won a Juno this year and they're on my list of Canadian bands so some user on this website has told me about them along the way. But I never got around to it last night. And wow, they blew me away. This might sound lame, but not since TAT opening for MxPx and Lagwagon has a band extremely impressed me based on their live show alone.
Basically, they did everything Dinosaur Bones did, but better. Their songs are even catchier, I don't know how to describe them, but they kind of remind me of Library Voices a bit. I can't really tell you what all they played because I never heard the songs before. But I picked up some of their stuff and I recognize some tunes. Like "The Gift of a Black Heart" and "This City's a Mess." And "Camilo (The Magician)", this song was seriously stuck in my head and when I got home I absolutely had to find out what it was called. They had great energy on stage and weren't afraid to talk to the crowd, their big story was about how they played a hockey game with TPC earlier that day. And they ended with a ukulele!
So after Said the Whale I knew one of two things. Either Tokyo Police Club was somehow going to pull off being even better and this could possibly be one of the best shows I've attended in my life. Or they would slightly underwhelm me, which was sadly the case. Not that they were bad, but Said the Whale stole the show for me. Of course, I'm not the biggest TPC fan either. I really like some of their songs and I can enjoy their records, but I feel like they're just a tiny bit overrated. Just a bit.
And this show just proved my point I guess. It was very less talk, more rock. It also got better as time passed, the second half of their set was the best by far. It was also filled with most of their singles, which the crowd seemed especially excited to hear. Like "Your English Is Good," "Wait Up (Boots of Danger)" and "Bambi." And "Frankenstein" which is one of my favourites off of Champ by far. Their guitar player really knows how to shake a tambourine, it's actually quite amusing and probably my favourite thing about their performance. They ended with "Cheer It On."
Honestly, after ages of going to nothing but pop-punk shows and seeing bands like Protest the Hero, this show was incredibly refreshing. And it made me realize even more just how much amazing music is being made in Canada right now. Would I still like to see my favourite American punk bands? Yeah. But we have plenty of good music up here too and I look forward to seeing more of it.