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Photo: Meghan Kearney

We Were Promised Jetpacks + Tokyo Police Club
Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR
11 June 2016

By: Meghan Kearney

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Two long-term Secretly Rad favorites visited Portland, OR to tear up Wonder Ballroom together this past week. Right on schedule, Scotland’s We Were Promised Jetpacks and Ontario’s Tokyo Police Club exceeded all expectations.

Tokyo Police Club, possibly the happiest live performers in existence, and the thrilling Jetpacks each continually increasing in talent, passion, and new jams with each visit provided another solid spectacle.

We Were Promised Jetpacks, who shuffle their live performances between dimly lit, smoke-filled, motionless moments and lurid explosions of sound and lighting led a heavy opening the Wonder, an upgrade in space from their long list of previous Doug Fir performances (author brag: this was my 7th time seeing the Jetpacks!).

Plowing through energetic hits like “Quiet Little Voices,” and “Safety In Numbers” and soul-shakers “Pear Tree” and “Sore Thumb” front man Adam Thompson who ditches his microphone as often as he shouts into it crushingly crooned the audience. To the left, guitarist Michael Palmer entrancingly riffled his strings at light speed while bassist Sean Smith and drummer Darren Lackie smacked through the beats.

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Photo: Meghan Kearney

Tokyo Police Club turned on the contagious charm as they bounced through a giant setlist of favorites all the way back to Elephant Shell through their new EP Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part 1). If we had a dollar for every smile on the stage and in the pit…

Between running around the stage, joyfully head butting fellow band members, hopping down into the crowd to sing directly into the eyes of the audience, lead singer and bassist Dave Monks lit up the venue with a smile as jubilant as their setlist. Crowd faves included “Bambi,” “Breakneck Speed,” “Toy Guns,” the 3 part “Argentina” and an almost tear-jerking “Favourite Food” in an extra-extended set.

Two bands that never seem to tire, and continuously perform better than before, dazzled the eyeballs out of Portland, again. And we can only hope that there’ll be even more again, and again, and agains.