Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tokyo Police Club/Ra Ra Riot/Jukebox The Ghost - Rock and Roll Hotel - 8/7/07

This was one of my most anticipated concerts of the summer and oddly enough, the show actually lived up to my lofty expectations. Apparently, I wasn't the only one. The show sold out early. Even getting to the Rock and Roll Hotel a half hour before it started, did not guarantee a spot in the front row. The younger fans were sitting against the stage in great anticipation for what was to become an amazing show.

The first band was DC's own Jukebox the Ghost. I had not heard much of them prior to the show and was extremely surprised at how good they really were. They played a really great set of indie pop, switching off between main singers and giving the crowd plenty of songs to dance to. For a band that has only released a 5 song EP, they had plenty of songs in their repertoire. After the show, I got to meet the guys and they were some of the nicest people that I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Go out and grab their EP to prepare yourself, as they make their way up and down the East Coast over the coming weeks. These guys are going to get big, so get on board now.

Next up was Ra Ra Riot, who unfortunately lost their drummer earlier this summer. However, it seemed to make them bring it even harder and there was barely a moment during their songs when any of them would be standing still.

They started off the set with "Each Year," which is one of my favorites from their EP. The energy felt by the crowd before the set was only heightened with band members dancing with each other, getting up on monitors to sing and just generally bringing lots of raw emotion to their music. It is rare these days to see a lead singer who only sings and it was a welcomed sight, because the showmanship was just immaculate and he really gave the crowd everything we wanted.

The two ladies on the strings, really added to the overall sound. The violinist even added vocals to a few of the songs. There were some problems with her mic early on, but everything was fixed by the end and she sounded great. The band even played several new songs that I am sure they will play on September 6th at the 9:30 Club, when they open for Editors.

Finally, it was time for Tokyo Police Club. Ever since I got A Lesson in Crime, I have been hoping for these guys to come to DC when I was in town. They finally got here and it was everything that I had been waiting for.

The guys played all the songs off A Lesson in Crime as well as songs from the Smith EP and my favorite, the single "Your English Is Good." I got a video of the song when they played it and when I get it edited, I will find a place to host it and post it on IA for everyone to watch. The energy these guys brought was hard to believe and was even greater than that of Ra Ra Riot. The sold out crowd was singing along with every song they knew and listened intently to the new songs the guys previewed.

After signing with Saddle Creek
, these guys seem to be stepping it up another notch. If their new CD sounds anything like the new songs they played, it will be one of the best of 2008. I really look forward to that release and the guys coming back to DC.

Jukebox the Ghost Pictures
Ra Ra Riot Pictures
Tokyo Police Club Pictures

Jukebox the Ghost - Hold It In
Ra Ra Riot - Each Year
Tokyo Police Club - Box

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