Tokyo Police Club are not Tokio Hotel. Tokio Hotel is an absolutely horrific and abhorrent German teen rock band. TPC are Canadians in skinny pants with a pretty devoted and fervant following. The sold out show at the Trocadero Saturday night was evidence that these guys are on to something with their second LP, Champ. Frankly, TPC can be a hair on the emo side, churning out anthems that are just perfect for pierced faces to scream their lungs out to. But as it turns out, they don't waiver into the shitty and obnoxious category of whine rock. Theirs is more celebratory and fist-pumping. A lot of bands came to mind last night. Really, the list just flows: Weezer, the Toadies, Smashing Pumpkins, Blink 182, the Get Up Kids, Phoenix, Modest Mouse, etc. They may never get as big as any of those bands (minus the Toadies), but they're on their way with this tour.
They played singles like they were hits to an adoring crowd with Champ standouts like "Breakneck Speed," where the lead singer and bassist, Dave Monks, does some truly outstanding "oooh oooh aoh oh oh" singing. This one feels especially well-crafted for crowds to shout along to. It achieves a Pixies vibe when Monks vocally harmonizes with the keyboardist and guitarist, reaching for that visceral sound from "Where Is My Mind?" The most teen angst anthem from this record has to be "Wait Up," and it would be the test to see if that song transported you to a mall skate shop. It didn't. It made you long for bangs to whip around.
"Your English Is Good" was an Elephant Shell hit that sold well live. They played a pretty short set but came out for a badass encore. They brought out members from the opening bands to bang out "Last Night" by the Strokes. That's it. Just a three minute cover of one of the best modern rock songs. It was a fun, thrilling finish to an energetic and lit-all-crazy catharsis. It's fun to think about the times when your braces and baby fat felt like they were never going to go away and you were never going to have sex. Those really were dark days and sometimes you just need an easy-to-remember chorus for millions of teenage boys to scream to.