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Coachella 2013: Japandroids and the future of rock

April 19, 2013|By Jessica Gelt
  • Japandroids rocked the crowd at Coachella.
Japandroids rocked the crowd at Coachella. (Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles…)

Japandroids, the hard-driving garage rock duo from Vancouver, broke a string during their very first song at weekend two of Coachella in the Sahara tent.

"It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's pretty sweet," said guitarist/ vocalist Brian King of the immediate dilemma. The packed crowd cheered and thrust sunburned arms into the air, beckoning for more music no matter what the price.

Japandroids is a rock 'n' roll anomaly at Coachella, a riveting two-piece extravaganza that threatens every preconceived notion about what it takes to rock a crowd in 2013, when electric dance music reigns supreme. In some ways the band is in the same mold as the Black Keys, but its sound is less immediately recognizable, less accessible.

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King is wild, with windswept hair that is as uncontainable as his discordant guitar riffs. Drummer David Prowse is his unpredictable rhythmic companion. It's hard to believe that so much melodic noise can emanate from just two men.

Japandroids' rep has skyrocketed in the past few years. It wasn't so long ago that they headlined the small Silver Lake rock club Spaceland (now the Satellite) and their driving, energetic performance was all the indication devoted fans should have needed to recognize where the band would be headed, and the international recognition it would soon acquire.

At Coachella, the band had clearly achieved a new level of confidence, owning the stage and the audience like true rock rebels. The larger-than-life sound, particularly when it came to the hits from their debut album, "Post-Nothing," drove the crowd into a frenzy, and a sweaty mosh pit broke out. Pushing, shoving, thrusting and clapping, Japandroids fans circled in a sweet but violent pattern in front of the stage, proving that old school rock 'n' roll was far from dead. 


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