Josh Hook and Dave Monks of Tokyo Police Club. (Photos by Steve Cross)
When we arrived at Exit/In around 9:45 p.m. last night, Eagle Seagull were just finishing up a set of what sounded like totally inoffensive piano-y pop with some Robert Smith sounding vocals. Uh, 9:45? That rock 'o clock is one sly pair of boots.
At 10 p.m., a somewhat tired-looking Tokyo Police Club took the stage and started off with a slow one. We met their label rep, Jeff, from Saddle Creek, who said the band hadn't slept for like 36 hours or something, having just played Memphis the night before. We chatted about how Omaha, the Creek's headquarters, stacks up to Nashville. Turns out the population is about the same, only Omaha knows it's Omaha, and Nashville doesn't seem to realize it's not a top market. "I still bet you get better shows than we do," he said.
The crowd filled in pretty fast right after the band started, with a small crowd up front who were clearly fans from all the way back to the Lesson in Crime EP. It took a minute for the band to warm up, and some songs seemed a little faster or a little slower, but numbers "In A Cave" and "Your English is Good" helped stoke the momentum.
But as they loosened up and seemed more energetic, so did the crowd. The band thanked the us all a bunch for coming, and said a few times how glad they were to be back in Nashville with their drummer in good health.
By the time they pulled out back catalog songs "Citizens of Tomorrow" and "Shoulders and Arms," the crowd was clapping it up in unison. For a moment, it was almost like when The Features used to play "See You Through," and everyone in the room just seemed to know when to do that staccatto clap sequence.
After the show, they worked it old-school at the merch booth.