Japandroids returned to Denver on Monday, November 18, this time to throw down at the Bluebird with Phili’s Swearin’ in tow. It was only a few years ago when lead singer, Brian King, stated that the duo, including drummer David Prowse, performed at the Hi-Dive to 10 people. With time, dedication, “crappy gear” (complete with bright green tape on the guitar, which required tuning between each song) and tenacity you can sell out Larimer and come back a few months later to pack out the Bluebird.
Adding to his making-it-in-a-band-advice, for those in the audience who were aiming to be in the position of these Canadian musicians (and rapid Vancouver Canucks fans), if you notice that you have a stain on your T-shirt right before you take the stage, simply pin a button over it. Problem solved! …I think I counted three stains on his shirt, but when you’re on tour as much as these guys, having an opportunity for laundry becomes a luxury.
I had missed the July show but was able to catch them in August in the U.K. I would say that the crowd in Denver was more emphatic and bent on punking up the show versus the Leicester peeps, churning the floor of the Bluebird as “Younger Us” and “The House That Heaven Built” from their latest album, Celebration Rock, threw them into a frenzy of arms, heads and sweat. Sing-alongs ensued as favorites from a few years before came up on the set list, including “Young Heart Sparks Fire” and “Wet Fire.”
Kudos to Swearin’ from Philadelphia opened for Japandroids, having just joined the tour. Allison Crutchfield leads on vocals and guitar, with Kyle Gilbrid on guitar and vocals, Jeff Bolt on drums and Keith Spencer on bass. Their sound took me back to the early ’90s rock and punk when L7 and Magnapop where on college radio rotation, and mix tapes where being exchanged for ‘zines to fuel the passion for music discovery. Their fresh songwriting and enthusiasm makes them a band to watch and a real complement to the Japandroids tour. Stream (and buy) their self-titled debut: http://swearin.bandcamp.com/
11/23 Birmingham – Bottletree
11/24 Memphis – Hi-Tone
11/25 New Orleans – One Eyed Jacks
11/27 Orlando – The Social
11/28 Tampa – Crowbar
11/29 Gainesville – High Dive
12/01 Atlanta – The Earl
12/02 Asheville – Grey Eagle Tavern