Even before the Get Out Of The Garage Music Tour came to Seattle last Friday night, both Tokyo Police Club and Beast Make Bomb seemed to be riding a wave of media attention. New York post-punks Beast Make Bomb are the 2011 winners of Converse’s Get Out Of The Garage music competition, winning an opening slot with Queens of the Stone Age and a showcase at the Rolling Stone BBQ, along with all kinds of goodies. Tokyo Police Club, meanwhile, have been getting some serious airplay with their second full-length studio album, Champ.
The fact that this was an all-ages show meant an uncharacteristically early start for the Showbox at the Market, but there were still impressive crowds gathered inside to hear Beast Make Bomb’s opening chords. Clearly news had spread that they were on the way up. Their set proved to be short and frenetic, drawing on a variety of New York influences (The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and some classic Nineties alt-rock vibes. At times the set became a little repetitive, but they have a core of four or five strong tunes that lift them above your average indie wannabes. Let’s hope that we hear more like that in years to come.
As soon as Tokyo Police Club took to the stage the energy levels seemed to double, and you could feel the Showbox’s springy floor struggling beneath so many pairs of bouncing shoes – many of them the product of tour sponsors Converse. Bassist and singer Dave Monks may still look like a wayward teenager beneath his increasingly unruly mop of hair, but his enthusiasm and energy are clearly infectious.
Opening with ‘Favourite Colour’ from Champ, the four-man club ploughed headlong through the album’s high points, as well as some older tunes and deeper cuts. Many fans are still smarting from their slight change of direction in recent months, but their Showbox performance not only proved that their songs all hang together perfectly – it also lifted the new tracks to an even higher level. In particular guitarist Josh Hook’s creative fretwork – a feature often lost in the studio mix – was given a true opportunity to shine.
By the time Tokyo Police Club left the stage Hook’s shirt was soaked through with sweat, and Monks looked as if he’d just run a half marathon. The smiles on their faces told the real story, though, as did the smiles on the faces of the fans as they headed out into the crisp April night. Beast Make Bomb may be a promising new talent – but Tokyo Police Club are already there.