This past Friday kicked-off a loaded 7 day stand of uber-rockness in Taipei, with Yuck, Toro Y Moi, Lamb of God, The Horrors, Opeth, Bush, Evanescence, and Ladybeard scheduled to make visits, as well as opportunities to enjoy awesome local acts like Forests, Bowz Tiger, and Chthonic. Oh, and there's IndieTaiwan's annual beer bash, Drunken Party of Dragon Year in Banciao, etc. It's been a non-stop kind of year. Yeah!
First up on this current onslaught were The Vaccines from England, riding high on a yearlong whirlwind of acclaim. I arrived a tad late for the support act, local band Mary See The Future but other people were more mindful of the time as Legacy had already reached 60% capacity and continued to grow. Mary See the Future is a band I've heard a number of friends remark on recently, and their appeal is obvious. Summoning the early sound of Radiohead, the band played an impeccably executed set.
The crowd appeared to push 80% as the final touches to The Vaccines gear were being set. The sound system whet our appetites with a song mix ranging from Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run to The Beatles to The Undertones to The Ramones. The Vaccines are in fact an exact amalgam of these influences. No wonder they took the stage to rapturous cheers.
They got right to the point with their quick spurty songs. Blow It Up, Wrecking Ball, Tiger Blood, A Lack Of Understanding, Wetsuit…. The Vaccines' music and performance is like a primary number - indivisibly essentialized and condensed for optimum effect. Not since The Ramones have their been so many I-IV-V chord progressions fired off so rapidly. In the wake of their hit single Post Break-up Sex, vocalist Justin Young had to remark, "You're a loud bunch!" Sometimes we humans are just compelled to state the obvious. It was big Taipei love and the feelings were mutual. That was a happy band up there.
Two new songs, No Hope and a number I didn't catch the name of, made their way into the 15 song set, sounding, quite honestly, a lot like their other songs. I guess if it ain't broke don't fix it. Indeed, it was all right on target with fists pumping and bodies moving, setting us up for another bullseye, If You Wanna.
The flawless and explosive encore of We're Happening and Norgaard left me convinced the band would stay true to their promise to come back, and soon. As a friend remarked after the show, "It's always fun to see people having a good time." No doubt The Vaccines feel the same.