A Tokyo Police Club at Beauty Bar Las Vegas

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Last week I had a chance to see my first concert in Vegas. It brought me down to Fremont Street for the first time ever. I know what you’re thinking, I’ve been here for two months now and I haven’t been to Fremont yet? Well, no, I hadn’t. My bad. The concert, which I anticipated childishly, was at The Beauty Bar, just across the street from the Fremont Street Experience. My friend and I got there early so we could scope out the video canopy and vivacious night life of Fremont. I was inspired there, deciding that one day I would build a house with millions of LED lights plastered to my ceiling for video viewing. Only then, would I be truly happy. Satisfied, we trekked the two tenths of a mile to Beauty Bar.

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I’ve never been a fan of opening acts, because let’s face it, they’re opening acts for a reason. To my own surprise, the two openers for headliner, Tokyo Police Club, were good. Strike that, they were great. The first came all the way from Canada. Arkells, as they called themselves, celebrated their first state side tour ever. It was a treat for both the band and the audience. They hit the stage with a sort of energy one would have after a big, sugary breakfast. In the words of Paul Newman, the Arkells played it, “fast and loose”. Kicking bass drums and blaring keyboards. They blended well together, engaged the crowd, and by the end of their set, they had a hundred new fans.

After them came a band that Entertainment Weekly said, “makes tenderhearted nerdiness sound like a powerful strength.” Freelance Whales. Their sound was strange to say the least. It was also very, very good. Sounding like a rawer version of Arcade Fire, they blew up the scene without even trying. The band was in love with their own disaster and it made for some beautiful sounds.

The headliner was a Canadian band by the name of Tokyo Police Club. As it stands, my ears and TPC have an unofficial love affair. They are indie in origin and have a sound somewhere between sweet and sour. Carefully evolved and cleverly contaminating pop tones with indie experimental, TPC is the sort of sound that cannot be defined in a single song. Think The Strokes, slowed down and romantically remixed. That’s not to say TPC doesn’t have their own sound, because they have nothing else than trendy, savvy originality.

On stage, they swirled like a tornado in slow motion. The band was in sync and without error. Soft sophistication. Scanning the crowded outdoor alley of Beauty Bar’s concert stage, I could see nothing but wanting faces. TPC gave us what we paid for.; jubilee and with a bit of honey. They even played something new and unrecorded, which drove the crowd wild. As their set ended so ended our fantasy and we were brought back to reality. The crowd filtered out, but the experience stayed. It was a fitting musical beginning to my Vegas story.

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