Japandroids Pay It Back at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg

Brian King is quite the chatty Cathy. The guitarist and singer of the two-man Canadian group Japandroids rambled on between each number his band played at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday night, introducing songs, giving us permission to go smoke or urinate during "the only slow song we're going to play"  urging us to go pick up records by his favorite band The Dream Syndicate, telling us that he didn't believe the hype about Brooklynites being withdrawn, arms-crossed concert goers, asking us not to make fun of him for talking too much. (I'm not, by the way. It's very endearing.) 

Towards the end he talked about how he and drummer David Prowse have been touring nonstop for close to seven weeks, and will finally get to head home soon. "It's easy to phone it in when the end is so close," he told us. "But we would never do that to you."  

He was true to his word. King and Prowse work their skinny Canadian butts of onstage, summoning enough force for a band with three times their membership. King in particular is a blur of motion, throttling his guitar to eke out as much sound as possible. It's his job to fill the stage, and he takes it seriously. 

There were times during the night when it seemed like the long tour had taken a toll. King would pant hard or look momentarily wiped after a solo. But the crowd had his back, jumping up and down and screaming out every "woo-hoo-woo" in the anthemic "The House That Heaven Built" and chanting back the chorus to "Younger Us" loud enough to drown out King.

This energy loop recharged the band and crowd. Whenever it seemed like people were flagging, the band would pop off another shout-a-long like "Young Hearts Spark Fire," the crowd would draw out the "younnnnnnnnng" part, King would jump on to Prowse's set and scream in to his friends face, and we were all saved for another four minutes.

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