Tokyo Police Club opened their North American tour with a sold out show at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, and I was there to take pictures, drink beer, and occasionally get kicked in the back of my legs.

Tokyo Police Club was the first of the “Club” bands I got into (followed by Two Door Cinema Club and Bombay Bicycle Club, who’s musical styles are all suspiciously similar). I hadn’t listened to them in years, but as I discovered recently, Tokyo Police Club is still making good music. Forcefield, their first album in four years, doesn’t disappoint, and I was excited to hear both the old and new material live for the first time.

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I arrived at The Pyramid Scheme freshly buzzed from shift beers at work, just in time to see Geographer’s set, which was excellent for a band I had never listened to. I missed Said The Whale’s opening set, but apparently they were also pretty great. Between sets, much like everyone else, I slammed a beer, smoked a cigarette, and hugged everyone in the front bar. I entered the venue just as Tokyo Police Club were starting their set, made my way to the front, and was promptly confronted by a drunk girl who insisted she was a photography student and really wanted to take a few pictures with my camera (spoiler alert: they were awful). After getting my camera back and hiding from her, I settled in for the show.

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On the first show of a tour, there are usually kinks to work out, but Tokyo Police Club ripped through an 80 minute set with no hiccups. Alternating favorites from Elephant Shell and Champ with new material from Forcefield, they kept both old fans and young kids both entertained. The crowd was energetic, and sang along and danced for much of the set. From the guy in the red Dave & Buster’s shirt who couldn’t stop jumping up and down with his hands up, to the girl hanging on the railing near the merch table, to the hundreds of others who acted like normal humans, everyone had a great time, aside from the drunk kid who thought it would be hilarious to kick my legs in repeatedly while I was trying to take pictures and then quickly ran away when I turned around. Tokyo Police Club capped their set with a four song encore, beginning with an intimate acoustic song, and finishing with a rowdy rendition of “Your English Is Good”. Their English may be good, but their live show is great (I had to do it).

 

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