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Club Night at Terminal 5

January 23rd, 2011

Tokyo Police Club/Two Door Cinema Club – Terminal 5 – January 21, 2011

Tokyo Police Club - Terminal 5 - January 21, 2011
The theme music from The Empire Strikes Back echoed out toward the enormous disco ball hanging over what seemed like an especially sold-out Terminal 5. The lights cut out and the house music became applause as Tokyo Police Club took the stage in a stride combining sheepishness and magnanimity. Their introduction was no mistake; owing to a competition with coheadliner Two Door Cinema Club to see which band could have the more bizarre house music played before their set. This particular song was perfect since a different and more ebullient empire, Tokyo Police Club, was making a triumphant return of its own.

The band mixed recent material and older songs with aplomb, revealing how far they’ve come and how little they’ve changed. Tokyo Police Club opened with “Favourite Colour,” off 2010’s Champ, followed by the spasmodic “Nature of the Experiment,” from their debut EP. Mixing in material from Elephant Shell, TPC played “Graves,” “In a Cave” and a shuddering version of “Tessellate,” with the crowd clapping in perfect time throughout the verses.

The show was about marking milestones as much as it was about reviewing the jet trail of a band in liftoff. After playing recent single “Breakneck Speed,” featuring the central lyric “It’s good to be back,” frontman Dave Monks looked into the balconies and screamed, “This is for anyone who was at Mercury Lounge in 2006,” before playing the clapping “Citizens of Tomorrow” with its winking reference to the future of “2009.” Monks got it: He and his band were the heirs to some throne and they were now sitting on it. For the encore, they brought Two Door Cinema Club onstage to join them in covering the Strokes’ “Last Nite,” a song without which neither band would have been standing in front of 3,000 rock kids in New York City. It was good to be back. It was good to be here. —Geoff Nelson

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.blogspot.com