Tokyo 15th February 2012
The deep vocals of Jordan Gatesmith start the night off with ‘America’ ~ “Come back to me with your bottle of fears. Commit yourself to a steady career” what! wait? I thought these were just four boys with a few guitar cords ~ that some pretty wry sneering in them there lyrics.
“I’m freaking out” says Gatesmith “Tokyo is my new favourite city” well the already on side crowd is loving that “…all my love all my love” he throws out to his father who birthday it is today and into ‘Beach Sluts’ with wild abandonment.
‘Told You Once’ has gone through a lot of polishing since it appeared on their debut EP ‘This One’s Different’, the drums from Brent Mayes are little hot darts of anger blistering through the air “I hate myself more than I hate you” impassioned romantic resentment all churned up with youthful disillusionment, these might be societal music lyrics but the malevolent edge here is exceptionally fervid.
Concluding what has been an expeditious, yet extremely gregarious set with ‘Back of the Neck” with is surf rock ohhhs and it’s 50’s charged guitars work, Howler leave to genuinely ecstatic crowd approval.
Walking on to The Ramones ‘Rock n; Roll Radio’ Pete Robertson unashamably beckons for more whoops and applause. Justin Young (definitive interview with Justin here) punching the air victoriously before bringing some serious hair-banging action as they open with ‘Blow it Up’ It’s a year in the waiting ~ third times a charm, the first two gigs postponed due to a tsunami and a surgery. No grudges here ~ ok there was Fuji Rock last year but this, this is diffferent it’s not raining for a start nor the middle of the day. In the dark neon pricked shadows there is an audience quite literally loosing it estaticaly as ‘Wreckin’ Ball’ thunders in.
Even in the restricted confines of the moss pit ‘Wetsuit’ still has the same dizzying effect effect like you’ve spun on the same spot under a late summer sun for sometime. There are no sutbilaties of course that is what this song plays on those very sepia stained youthful freedoms, the clever thing is that even live crammed in with hundreds of hot bodies the sensational devil may care feeling still feels like your secret. A troika of new non ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines’ songs infiltrated the set, perhaps they will all make, the got to be soon, new album. First ‘Tiger Blood’ the single produced by Albert Hammond, hardly a wonder why comparisons to The Strokes are thrown about. A lo-fi thumper with a bounce of a bassline its all killer no filler and with a final cresendo it’s over ~ classic short and sharp it’s clearly The Vaccines. “I want you to act like you hear it before” coo’s Young prior to ‘Teenage Icon’ it’s fleshier, has more solidity than expected, not unlike the final new track ‘No Hope’ there is defiantly a forward develevelopment taking place, positive sounds reverb off the ceiling
“How you all, looking good – kawaii!” states Justin “Freddie said your fucking cool” as we run headlong into ‘Post Breakup Sex’ it’s had an electrifying effect on the crowd who’s buoyancy just shot up the scale it builds and its catching, as the band menouvour about the stage either a clash with Justin or an errant cable takes down Freddie for a few moments. ‘We’re Happening’ bites and snarls it’s paradoxical lyrics lost to us at this moment as we bath in the collective noise immersing us. We’re there the worst of times the last song time ~ last rampage of the day were gonna make it count “Ready?” asks Justin as Freddie starts us up for ‘NÃÂ¸rgaard’ “See you at Summer Sonic” he near whispers ~ a moment for everyone to process that’s new, that is not public knowledge ….. “Crazy, crazy easy tiger” the room is scream singing. They’ve left the stage and as the audience shuffles bar wards bodies still in rhythmic mode, voices still sing songing and heartbeats frenetic ~ just what was expected.