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Live Review: Japandroids, Emperors

3 September 2013 | 8:37 am | Kane Sutton

There was no encore, nor was it necessary, but the two hung around the back of the venue afterwards and were happy to chat to adoring fans as they left in what was a very memorable – and extremely sweaty – evening.

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Japandroids were back to flirt with our shores once more, much to the delight of their many adoring fans, who were given the opportunity to see them play a string of more intimate shows after touring with Laneway Festival earlier on in the year. Kicking things off at the Rosemount Hotel were Emperors, who were a last minute call-up after the original support act were no longer able to perform. The short notice was of no detriment to their performance though, as the group powered through a set filled with some very memorable tunes. Set closer Be Ready When I Say Go was, of course, their most recognised song and one that really set the early crowd into motion – a genuine anthem that deserved all the praise it earned.

Japandroids were pretty casual in their set-up, wandering around on stage in plain sight while setting up all their gear. That relaxed demeanour vanished entirely though once Brian King picked up his guitar and roared into the set with Adrenaline Nightshift, a song that, you would think, would cause a sweat-fest onslaught. This was not the case. For some bizarre reason, the crowd's involvement in the early part of the set was fairly lacklustre, with only the first few rows returning the energy and passion that was present on stage. Following the second song, The Boys Are Leaving Town, King roared, “Your ten-minute warm-up is over now!”, desperately trying to kick-start some enthusiasm into the crowd. This seemed to put the crowd into action, and from there they steadily began to build themselves into a frenzy. Playing songs strewn across their two albums, Wet Hair and Art Czars gave the die-hard front rowers moments to cherish, while tunes from their second album in Younger Us, Evil's Sway and Fire's Highway had everybody absolutely everybody dripping in sweat. Despite not doing the energy levels any favours, slower songs in Continuous Thunder and I Quit Girls were welcomed by the crowd and were a perfect opportunity to recompose.

As the set inevitably drew to its conclusion, King again implored the crowd to give them one final thrust of energy: “Get ready, guys, we're about to go wild. It's a Monday night but you guys are gonna give it your all. Let's fucking do this.” The duo launched into their biggest and most popular song in the catalogue, The House That Heaven Built, and from there, it was as much about watching the band as it was screaming out the lyrics and protecting your head from the number of people crowd surfing across the venue. Being front and centre didn't do this reviewer any favours, as the favourable crowd surfing exit point became jammed with punters trying to get themselves over the barrier. After many kicks in the head, it was time for the band to finish up, and they closed with The Gun Club's For The Love Of Ivy, a tune that had the crowd even rowdier that the previous song due to its fast pace and incredibly catchy melody. There was no encore, nor was it necessary, but the two hung around the back of the venue afterwards and were happy to chat to adoring fans as they left in what was a very memorable – and extremely sweaty – evening.