Concert Review: Tokyo Police Club at The Firebird in Saint Louis

Photo Credit: Katie Guymon

A lead singer and an athlete are not the same. An athlete can easily cover up an injury or sickness and deliver a legendary performance. Hell, one of Michael Jordan’s best games came in a playoff-pressured situation where he needed multiple IVs because of the flu. A musician having a cold — a nasty one where it affects your voice — is a little different. Just ask David Monks of Tokyo Police Club.

I’ll give it to Monks — he really tried to deliver what his fans wanted last Tuesday evening at The Firebird. But, let’s face it, the first six songs were not pretty. TPC’s front man struggled to sing in a lower register, zapping the energy of songs like “Favourite Color,” “End of a Spark,” and “Graves.” The tunes crawled; they sounded like rusty chains being dragged down an ancient gravel road. A gritty effort, yes. Memorable, not quite.

But then something happened. Maybe it was whatever he was drinking (it looked like tea), but somewhere in the middle of “Tessellate,” Monks started to show signs of a second wind (or, really, a first wind). Guitarist Josh Hook, who carried the first half of the set with his electric guitar, started to pick up more steam. The songs started to sound like the band that 400 people came to see on a frozen Tuesday night. And, thankfully, it wasn’t too late.

Photo Credit: Katie Guymon

“I remember when our voices used to sound the exact same,” Monks sang during “Breakneck Speed,” a song off Champ that was sandwiched between two other songs off the same album, “Bambi” and “Wait Up (Boots of Danger).” The trio of tunes, which came near the end of the first set — a set that lasted about 40 minutes — showed of TPC’s ability to rock just right when every member is near or approaching proper form. That 15 or so minutes alone was worth a trip to The Firebird.

The encore, like the show, was short and sweet. But, it did end with a bang, as members of opening act Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin joined their Canadian friends for a rendition of “Cheer It On.” A fine, albeit bittersweet, way to end a show that was just hitting its stride, but in the end, provided enough juice to keep everyone excited for the next one. And the one after that.

Click here for Katie Guymon’s full set of pictures from the show.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment