The Strokes LIVE at MSG!
April 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
I first fell in love with The Strokes in 2005, when I saw the “Juicebox” video on Fuse. I never heard of the band prior to that, but as soon as I heard Julian Casablancas’s voice stream through my tv screen, I knew that this was a band I needed to research. After watching countless interviews, listening to all of their albums & b-sides, I put The Strokes on the top of my list of favorite modern bands (they were nestled in between Story of the Year, The Arctic Monkeys, & early Kings of Leon respectively). But never in a million years did I think I would ever see Julian Casablancas, Albert Hammond Jr., Nick Valensi, Fabrizio Moretti, & Nikolai Fraiture LIVE. But on April 1st in a sold-out arena, my dreams came true.
The setlist for the concert was spot-on. Opening with “Is This It?”, the NYC-bred band solidified their status as one of the best as the crowd went wild among all the flashing neon lights. They played a few songs off of Angles, but just enough to give the fans a taste of their new sound. Songs like “You Only Live Once”, “Heart in a Cage”, “Someday”, “Last Night”, “Whatever Happened?”, “New York City Cops”, “Reptilia” and many more veiled Madison Square Garden in a painfully beautiful nostalgia, as everyone in the crowd sang every song word for word. The emotions were heavy and tangible; it was amazing to see this band that many people admire and respect come back after a 4-year hiatus and perform like they’ve been in the game for decades.
My favorite song performed was “Under Control” with no question. Pushing away the fact that it’s my favorite song from the band, the slowed-down version of the tune combined with the melancholic lights of the disco ball brought me to tears. I’ve never been so moved by a sole performance before. But the biggest surprise (and a great April Fool’s prank) was when the legend himself Elvis Costello took the place of Devendra Banhart and performed a perfect & energizing 4-song set. Costello also joined the band to sing “Taken For a Fool”, one of the better songs off of The Strokes’ new album.
Closing their set with “Take it or Leave it”, the night was topped off in a manner only The Strokes could pull off. Seeing The Strokes live was the ultimate dream. Every song they played was stunning; Casablancas’ voice was pitch-perfect, Hammond Jr. & Valensi ripped their guitar solos, Moretti gave his all on the drums, and Fraiture strummed that bass like no other. I have to admit, I was waiting to hear “Barely Legal”, “Razorblade”, “Evening Sun” and “12:51” but their solid performance wiped away the ghosts of those songs. I got to be in the undeniably talented presence of a band that is bound to become legendary, and I will be forever grateful. Seeing The Strokes live in the city that they all, and myself as well, grew up in is a night I will never EVER forget. WOW.
Photo Courtesy of: Tumblr