Review by Zach Frimmel // Photos by Jack Newton

The weekend-wild anticipations that Thursdays bring can be a drag, but the Japandroids and Bleached show this past Thursday was everything but lackluster. Whether you went stag or brought something to brag about, nobody stood alone. We were a sardine-packed house and the audience swung arm-in-arm as Brian and David lavished their Vancouver punk vigor. From stage dives to crowd surfing to their seizure-inducing light show, the kinetically high-octane adrenaline that shot off the walls of the venue kept the night volcanically heated and alive.

But before the Japandroids yelled like hell to the heavens, Bleached rattled off their punk progressions with power-chord torque. Combine two beat-keeping browns, one pink-haired frontwoman, and one fret-riffing blond and you’ve got the rock-studded outfit called Bleached. If you can mentally have Best Coast run into Wild Flag and Johnny Ramone at CBGBs then you might be able to hear the sonic of Bleached. They even did a Ramones cover to solidify their similarity.

For those of you who don’t know, Japandroids also played at Neumos back in June this year. They loved their sing-along-studded patrons so much that they couldn’t help but return to order another round of melodic punk on the house. The night was wild and blazed with brilliance. The Japandroids’ catalogue and sure-fire live shows speak enough volumes for them. The twosome has been out on the road for three months touring both Europe and the States and just when they were so close to home, they shot themselves right back on the road for another loop of touring. Good news for us!

An hour and half set usually enervates the interest of most crowds, but Brian King and David Prowse certainly knew how to work a crowd and flirt with our stimuli so that didn’t happen. Between the glorious white light that illuminated them after songs and their frenetic presence, it wasn’t difficult to remain under their hypnotizing aura. During their set they gave a shout out to KEXP for going against the radio grain and playing “The Nights of Wine and Roses” because they like it better while other stations were playing some other track. All in all, Japandroids know how to put on a good show and it was obvious, goddamnit.

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