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One small venue, three big bands

Tokyo Police Club, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, and DarkHorse Saloon are collaborating their unmistakable talent and distinctive sounds together into one intimate show.

The friends and band-mates of Tokyo Police Club stem from Ontario, Canada, and though they are fairly new, they have been jamming together since they were 10 years old.

“Any arguments we would have had, we’ve already gotten out of the way,” said keyboardist Graham Wright.

They have played at major music festivals around the world, such as Lollapalooza, where they performed on the main stage in 2007. Now Tokyo Police Club will headline this weekend’s festivities.

“Playing at Lollapalooza was crazy,” Wright said. “It was the first time we’ve played at such a big show and was definitely among the biggest crowd we’ve played for.”

Their latest album, “Champ,” was released in summer 2010, and the boys will wrap up the record’s tour this February. The quartet can be classified as a pop-band, but all sorts of artists inspire them, from The Hives to the Broken Social Scene, Wright said.

“Our style is always changing, from record to record.” he said. “You’ve got to keep changing your music to follow what excites you.”

Wright originally began playing guitar but eventually taught himself to play piano and keyboard.

“I can’t read sheet music,” Wright said. “But in the studio, it’s about figuring out how I see the song going and how I can bring out the song more with my keyboard.”

He said the band is continually setting goals for themselves and has high hopes to achieve them.

“We’re nowhere near ultimate success as a band, but someday we hope to get there,” Wright said.

Touring alongside Tokyo Police Club are Missouri natives Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. To record their first album, “Broom,” which was released in 2005 and re-released in 2006, the resourceful musicians made a makeshift studio at lead guitarist Will Knauer’s home.

Upon signing with Polyvinyl Records and releasing their latest album “Let It Sway” in 2010, the boys began touring with Tokyo Police Club throughout the country and have come a long way since their first record.

“I am going to the show mainly for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, but I like all three bands,” said John Weidner, a UNF communication senior. “I’m stoked because it’s one of the few times the band has left their local area to play.”

The third band and opening act is Jacksonville-based DarkHorse Saloon, who exude true rock ‘n’ roll reverberation at every live performance.

“For this show, our set is going to have transitions between each song, so it’s a non-stop performance,” said Michael Fitzgerald, who plays guitar and sings in the band. “We’re not too good at talking, so we’re just going to power through.”

DarkHorse Saloon has a reputation of getting the crowd on its feet and shaking its hips, and while their repertoire of jingles differs from those of the other two groups performing, they provide a fresh and diverse sound with their rougher vocals and darker vibes.

“We’ve actually got a new song called ‘Punch Drunk,’” Fitzgerald said. “It’s about the drink Four Loko.”

The all-male trio has played at venues around Jacksonville, from Landshark Cafe to Shantytown Pub, since summer 2009. They have conjured up a large and loyal following in the short amount of time they’ve been grooving together.

Though a fairly new band, DarkHorse Saloon has already produced a music video for their song, “Strangers,” and has been recording their first full-length album, featuring 14 brand new tracks, which they plan to release sometime this year.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Fitzgerald said. “We won’t put it out until it’s finished.”

The show will be loaded with testosterone, packed with powerhouse tunes and overflowing with good vibes.

Catch the three bands at Jack Rabbits in San Marco Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. Purchase tickets in advance for $15, or pay $20 at the door on the day of show.

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