Bringing their long tour to a close, The Pack A.D., Said the Whale, and Tokyo Police Club all brought their A-game to the Danforth Music Hall’s stage. Each band put on a set that was intense and memorable in its own way, ensuring another successful entry into the Edge’s Jingle Bell Rock concert series.
Kicking off the night were Vancouver’s Pack A.D., whose lean, efficient garage rock was cranked up to full volume. Despite only consisting of two members, their unbridled ferocity ripped through the venue, frontwoman Becky Black‘s razor sharp guitar licks heating up the air. Adding to the energy was the banter between songs, with Black and drummer Maya Miller delivering charismatic quips all through their set. Another fun addition was their cover of the classic Weezer hit “Buddy Holly”, a song that celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.
Next up were fellow Vancouverites Said the Whale, with their melodic indie pop and rotating cast of vocalists. Drawing from four albums worth of material, they consistently engaged the crowd with their upbeat and diverse catalogue. Wildly popular drummer Spencer Schoening had his time in the spotlight during the melancholic, percussionless “Seasons”, to massive cheers.
Capping off the night were Newmarket’s Tokyo Police Club, who have had an extremely busy 2014 with the release of their newest record Forcefield. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been eight years since they were upstarts on the scene, with their pugnacious, raw indie rock grabbing the ears of listeners around the world. Since then they’ve become Canadian rock royalty, one of the country’s biggest rock acts.
This growth was immediately reflected in their opening song, the 9-minute odyssey “Argentina (Pts. I, II & III)”. Though it doesn’t veer too far from their pop-based roots, it’s still a remarkable sign of musical refinement and something that can be heard as you listen to their now vast catalogue of hit singles. Selections from their albums Champ, Elephant Shell, A Lesson in Crime, and the aforementioned Forcefield were played throughout the night, with each era boasting a definitive style that is at once unique to its respective album but also meshes well with the band’s foundational sound.
2015 is perhaps too early for yet another new record, but a Greatest Hits album would most certainly be appropriate. As they proved at this Jingle Bell Rock show, Tokyo Police Club have a mountain of singles that would amount to an endlessly re-playable collection of top-tier Canadian indie pop.