The Strokes @ the Joey Ramone Birthday Benefit Left the Crowd Sedated

So maybe I had the foresight to not attend this event, or maybe I’m just getting old and tired, but I didn’t make it to the Joey Ramone Birthday Benefit last night at Irving Plaza. But my friend Bao did attend, and here’s what he had to say:

Finally after 3 hours of standing, the Strokes come on. The crowd cheers louder than any other time at the concert. They start out with “Life’s A Gas”. No surprise there. They then follow that by playing another Ramones cover which I think was “Pet Cemetery” but don’t quote me on that.

By then I was just pumped to hear some Strokes songs. At the end of their second song, Julian screams out “Good Night!”. The crowd at this point is stunned. People turn to strangers around them and say what the fuck. I was still in shock. Maybe they are really pushing this new encore policy so some people hopelessly chant “Strokes! Strokes!” but to no avail. It was over. About 1/4 of the crowd leaves in disbelief. I decide to wait it out hoping by the grace of God they come on again. Nope. The night is over.

UPDATE: According to a reply from the Strokes’ management to a fan, the band did not receive any compensation for playing the gig, and the promoters only asked them to do one song…so doing two songs was actually a bonus.

Here’s a picture Bao snapped. Check out his Flickr for more.

strokes irving plaza joey ramone

28 Replies to “The Strokes @ the Joey Ramone Birthday Benefit Left the Crowd Sedated”

  1. uh, i don’t know why Emily but when i click that link, i get automatically signed in as in indi3freak on the strokes messageboard. i don’t know if thats you or someone else but maybe you should double check it.

  2. i think the second song was “it’s not my place.” and yeah, it would have been nice if they had played longer. i liked their ramones covers, though.

  3. That would piss me off!! I can’t believe it… they really HAVE gotten “dick-ish” and I hate saying that because of how much I adore them…

  4. what else has made them “dick-ish” besides this? and ill bet you theres a backstory to what happened last night.

  5. i was at the show last night and like many others, felt very slighted by the 2 song set. the strokes were advertised as one of the headlining bands, so it came as a huge surprise when they walked off stage after roughly 12 minutes. shortly after, i talked to one of the guys working at irving and he showed me the official event schedule — the strokes were in fact only slotted in for 20 minutes. very weird. the two covers (“life’s a gas” and “it’s not my place”) were awesome; sitting through mindless self indulgence was not so awesome.

  6. Ryan said that when they were asked to do the show, they were asked to only play one song so they actually played for twice as long, and they also weren’t paid.

    Still pretty weird

  7. In case they didn’t notice, it was a Joey Ramone Birthday Bash, not a Strokes concert. Some artists perform only two songs some year. If people went to the bash just for one artist, they are dumb.

    The FOJ segment was pretty good: Richie and Tommy Ramone, Andy from the Dictators, the Bullys, Wayne Kramer, Chetah Chrome and many more. Great show.

  8. People aren’t “dumb” for attending the bash solely for one band. It’s not like Coachella or Bonnaroo where tons of bands are playing (most of which are worth listening to).

    I am not an enormous Strokes fan, but avid fans saw this event as a rare chance to see their favorite band play in an intimate venue. I agree, one or two of the other acts were decent, but I must say, this Ramones benefit paled in comparison to 2004’s event at Spirit, which featured Josh Homme, Joan Jett, Sonic Youth, The Strokes, and Blondie (among others).

    The bottom line is this: The Strokes were advertised as one of the headlining acts. It was poorly handled by the promoters – that’s all. In any event, the cause was worthy (cancer research) in spite of the deceptive marketing.

    P.S. I know I already mentioned this in a previous post, but words simply can’t do justice to how awful Mindless Self Indulgence was. After sitting through their disgusting, innocuous set, the crowd deserved a decent set from The Strokes as a reward, if nothing else.

  9. i thought it was kind of cool to see mindless self indulgence, because, like, i am totally isolated from something like that. i had no idea such a thing existed. and they did play a long set. their fans were probably happy afterward, so that’s cool.

  10. This was the annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. EVERY band does a 15 – 20 minute set. This is a charity event – the money goes to lymphoma research. None of the bands got paid! The Alarm and Glen Matlock came over from England to play just a couple of songs, for goodness sake. The Strokes didn’t even have the decency to turn up for the press conference earlier that afternoon, or the fund raising photo exhibit the next night. I don’t know why they even bothered to play the Bash at all. It was never meant to be a “Strokes concert” – the event was all about Joey Ramone and his memory.

  11. Hey! how about Richie Ramone’s performance at the concert on 05/19. Did he sing any song or played drums or smthg like that?

  12. Richie played drums throughout the “Friends of Joey” part of the show, and sang a verse of one of the songs (I think it might have been “Somebody Put Something in My Drink,” which would have made sense).

  13. The Strokes did do Life’s A Gas and It’s Not My Place (In a 9 to 5 World). And yes, both songs were awesome. I agree that it was incredibly disappointing, but I also agree that the night was not about the Strokes. It was an homage to Joey Ramone. The problem was that the show was already four hours long, as it was overbooked with friends of Joey who wanted to pay tribute. The Strokes just didn’t want to be greedy and do an hour and say f-u to the other bands hoping to pay respect. I was totally pissed at first, but realize now that it was an act of class for the boys to leave Canada to back to NY to play the show for no $. And to clear up any misconceptions, the Strokes did not advertise the show on their website until it had been sold out for weeks. broke the story about them playing, and they were never billed as headlines, but merely as special guests. I’m a huge Strokes fan and of course wanted to see more of them, but the night was about JOEY.

  14. I was at the bash (maybe you saw my Joey Ramone tattoo on my back?) and i have to remind you, the night was about JOEY. JOEY RAMONE OF THE RAMONES. who the fuck cares if the strokes did 2 songs? good thing they did only 2. the night wasn’t about them. it was about joey, the ramones and raising money for lymphoma. it’s pretty pathetic you guys paid $25 to JUST see the strokes. OTHER legends were there! the living ramones, glen matlock from the SEX PISTOLS or do you know who these bands are? i can’t tell you how many “who is joey”s I heard through out the audience. you guys make me sick. if it weren’t for the ramones there’d be no strokes.

  15. Hey, I was at the Bash too, and I really agree that the night wasn’t about the Strokes… it was about Joey. That’s the entire reason I went, and when the Strokes came on, I didn’t even realise it was them! I think it’s cool that they only did two songs, and both were Ramones covers, because it was like a tribute to Joey, which it should have been.

    (unrelated – those Joey fans who haven’t seen Becca’s tattoo are missing out in life! it is the most amazing tattoo I have ever seen).

  16. for all those pp,l who are saying oh dicks this and bastards it wasnt a strokes concert and as much as i adore the sthokes this was to ceelbrate the birthday and death if a legend i literllay saw ppl being like ok i get it hes deda get over it was the past thats really wrong if it werent for the first there would be no precious strokes

  17. Although I was pissed after the strokes left so quickly (and yes i agree that it was poorly handled) i wasn’t all that surprised that they’d do that to draw in more people.
    stop hating mindless self indulgence
    i had no idea they were to play until a photog next to me told me they were next. i personally think they’re amazing and yes they are a band that might not be appreciated or understood by most people but there’s really no need to call them disgusting, they’re not. they put on an amazing show and did what they do best which is playing great music while pissing off the audience. they do that on purpose, theyre not just jerks, theyre witty and they impressed me way more than the strokes that night.

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