Japandroids Leigh Righton

In 2012, Japandroids — an uproarious, life-affirming guitar rock duo out of Vancouver — released the best album of that year, Celebration Rock, an endearing ode to late nights, close friends, and an unwavering belief in embracing the beautiful present.

After touring for two solid years behind that release, the band suddenly disappeared. Nothing was heard from guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse, and rumors abounded that the duo — who have famously expressed their struggles with songwriting — were content to fade into retirement, leaving their project behind on an relentlessly satisfying high point. During the band’s extended absence, many fans glumly accepted that their beloved group had called it a career.

Then, news broke earlier this year that band would be performing live once again, playing a series of select shows across North America (that sold out immediately) and on Halloween, the group announced that their third full-length release, Near to the Wild Heart of Life (these guys have a thing for inspirational album titles), would be coming out on January 27, on Anti- Records. Apparently, King and Prowse had been recording on the extreme down low for two years, putting together music in various studios in 2014 and 2015.

For everyone who loves earnest, impassioned, and fucking loud rock music, this is great news. It’s even better news that the group is set to embark on a full-fledged tour in support of Near to the Wild Heart of Life. On Monday, Japandroids released details of their upcoming world tour, which includes a stop at The Fillmore on March 14. It will be their first performance in San Francisco since playing at the 2013 Treasure Island Music Festival.

Japandroids live shows are intense, interactive affairs, with the band’s “whoa-whoa-whoa!” choruses encouraging an animated call-and-response dynamic from the audience. The band has always lived to celebrate the night — to revel in the euphoria of experiencing amazing music with an adoring crowd — and then to figure out how to deal with the next day later.

Rock music is a better place to be when the Japandroids are playing. San Francisco fans should feel lucky that they get to see is this remarkable live act perform once more, and they’d be unwise to miss out on a chance to see them play in a venue as iconic as The Fillmore.

Japandroids, Craig Finn and the Uptown Controllers
The Fillmore
March 14, 2017
8pm, $25