The fourth stop on Birds of Tokyo’s tour supporting their new EP Anchor was underway last night at The Triffid in Brisbane. Us Queenslanders were treated to a sold out venue, and the show didn’t disappoint either. Melbourne genre-avoider Ecca Vandal was slated to open for Birds of Toyko, and the performance she treated the crowd to made me question why I hadn’t heard of her earlier. Her band warmed up the air in the venue, building up a solid soundscape of rock for their leader to smash through with her diverse vocals. Ecca Vandal blended rock with dark, seething basslines and popped up for air occasionally with a pop edge, but her flirtation with the genres stretched far wider. A few tracks reminded me of Bloc Party, while others reminded me of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and some were entirely unique on their own. It was the first time I had seen a support act out-perform the headliner, and I’m super excited to catch Ecca Vandal back in Queensland again.
Birds of Tokyo were good, there’s no denying that. I was blown away by how easily Ecca Vandal dominated the stage and the audience, because many would never have heard her music before. Ian Kenny led his troupe out on stage to a flickering whir of sound and lights that mingled with the screaming of the front row. They treated the crowd to the brand new single Weight of the World before later delving into debut album hit Wayside. You could tell the old Birds of Tokyo fans from the new, and for whatever reason it may be, the front half of the crowd catcalled for the new songs while the back half belted out the old. I stood with the latter, and was blown away as I always am when the band played Silhouettic. There wasn’t much crowd interaction as the band tore through a main set of 60 minutes and 15 songs, closing with Wild at Heart. Encore opener saw Ian Kenny sing up a few octaves, which stood out like a sore thumb amidst their eclectic set of pop and rock songs, but closed with front crowd favourites Lanterns and This Fire. Part of me wishes that Birds of Tokyo could have remained with the sound they started with, but I can also respect their drastic transition to family friendly pop rock between Universes and their eponymous 2010 release.