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Posted Jul 3rd, 2009 (2:20 pm) by Mathew Plotnick

The Annex is a pretty small venue for a band with any repute to play in. So when the Jaguar Club played on June 25th, I entered figuring that the place would fill up fast. Of course, I was being naïve, as it was 7pm on a Thursday night. This might have not been the worst thing for the band, especially considering that they were using a new guitarist for the first time. The Jaguar Club is made up of musicians from all over the country, but they are currently based out of New York City. They have a sound that is similar to some of the best bands of the 80’s, namely The Smiths and REM. However, listening to their recorded music can’t possibly provide an experience as thrilling or just plain fun as seeing them live.

The Annex is a bar with a capacity of about 300 people, but I estimate that less than 30 people were in the bar that night, and most of them seemed to be friends and family of the band. Your loss New York. The band didn’t show any of the lack in energy that one might expect from a band playing to a near empty house. Will Popadic, the lead singer and guitarist of The Jaguar Club, was brimming with vim and vigor throughout the show, bouncing around the stage and clearly having a great time. His melodic and heartfelt singing is one the most appealing aspects of the band’s music. Even live it sounded clean and polished. The entire band displayed high levels of intensity and enthusiasm in their playing, with the slight exception of the group's new guitarist. However, he did play very well, and his stage presence will no doubt improve as he grows more comfortable with with role in the band. The drumming on any given song in the band's repertoire is fast paced and generally impressive, and Jeremiah Joyce kept a great rhythm going throughout the show. The group's bassist, Yoichiro Fujita, remains so consistently locked in to the groove of the band's playing that his considerable skill can go unnoticed, but that is only to his credit. Every song sounded great live, and anyone who made it to the show was lucky to be there, even if they were in small company.

The Jaguar Club is set to release an album on September 1st. Until then, those in the New York City area will have a few more chances to catch the band live. Some of those dates include a show with Foreign Born and The Veils, and an album release party on August 29 with a few other local bands. If you don’t live in the area, keep your eyes open for the Jaguar Club as they prepare to tour in the near future. This is a band that puts out an energetic and exciting performance that will have you moving your feet. The music is great, and they have no problem with reminding you of that fact from the stage.

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