Greatest Week in NYC: The Strokes Return and LCD Soundsystem Say Goodbye @ MSG – 4/1/11 and 4/2/11

This week has been completely insane — I witnessed over 9 hours of LCD Soundsystem (yup, I was at the LCD MSG show as well), and one glorious night of The Strokes all in one week. I think I sweated off my body weight about three times over, dancing myself clean, moshing in multiple pits, and just freaking out in anticipation.

I’ll admit, it’s hard for me to try to figure out what to say that hasn’t already been said. Probably by now you hard core fans have already read all the reviews, you know the set list, you’ve heard what happened at the show.

I love how happy Julian looks in this photo. He’s stoked he’s singing with Elvis Costello!

Yes, Elvis Costello opened up for The Strokes with a surprise 15-minute set playing “Pump It Up,” “Radio Radio,” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love And Understanding.” And yes, before playing “Taken for a Fool,” Julian mentioned the song’s chorus had an Elvis Costello-quality to it, and that he should probably just come out and sing it — then immediately defusing any expectation of him making a second April Fools’ appearance by laughing and saying “April Fools’! I’m kidding, he’s not doing it, but he should have. Next time.”

Then of course the joke was on all of us when Elvis DID actually come out and perform the song with the band! So crazy!

Rolling Stone video

Seriously, how FUN was that?

Another absolutely incredible moment was when Julian decided that hey, “Juicebox” really should be sung from the middle of the general admission pit. He was up on top of the side stage speakers when all of a sudden he was gone and WHAT? he was running through the middle of the crowd!!

Oh HAI Julian Casablancas running literally all over the pit! Love that he not only brought it to the front, but also ran to the back as well — disturbing those poor people who were just hanging back minding their own business. Hahah!

These videos capture a lot of what it was like to be in the middle of the chaos as Julian made his rounds — people politely singing around him, crazily no one really shoving or pushing anyone in an aggressive way. Just fans having funz singing along, laughing, back slapping Julian, and jumping up and down. Amazing stuff, guys!

This video is hysterical. Julian is literally in this girl’s face and she can’t help but giggle and squeal, “OMG HE’S IN FRONT OF ME!!!”

Oh and remember my description of the “Take It Or Leave It” crazytown? Check THIS out:

If you missed it before, my on personal crazytown:

S’more shots of the guys:

Nikolai Fraiture. Bassist extraordinaire.


I love that half the people in this photo are not looking at Julian. What is going on over there on the left?

PREVIOUSLY: The Strokes Return to NYC @ Madison Square Garden (MSG) – 4/1/11

Oh, it’s just Nick Valensi being a ROCK GOD. No biggie.

Classic Casablancas

There hasn’t been a greater week in New York City in a LONG TIME.
As I mentioned in my previous post about the Strokes MSG show, between LCD and the Strokes, I have seen SO many old friends out and about — folks I haven’t seen in years because we are all old and never go out. Just standing in the hallway and aisle at MSG last night, I ran into three different sets of people who I stopped to embrace.

It really really made me nostalgic and happy. There was a time when I was going to shows all the time and I would know just about every one in the front rows of ever concert I went to. I wouldn’t have to worry about going to a show alone because I knew I would always know someone there. Now when I go to shows, that’s less and less true. There are kids there who are probably wondering why the old lady next to them looks so sad all by herself. Kids so young that if I started talking to them I would probably come off as some creepy weird old cat lady.

But this week was a total return to 2001-2003, down to going to dancing the night away at parties and then heading to Veselka at 4am to eat pierogies. (You OGs know what I’m talking about.) I know this post is supposed to be about the Strokes show at MSG (I’ll get to that soon), but all this reminiscing is a part of WHY this week’s shows were so special to me. These two bands represent a special time in my life, when I was just really getting heavy into music, going to shows, and meeting so many of the wonderful people who I can now say I’ve known for nearly a decade.

I think people who move to New York all have similar experiences in that when you move to this city, you can feel totally overwhelmed by what’s going on — it’s not an easy town to live in — so your friends become SO important to you. They are basically your life lines and support systems. For those of you who don’t live here, you don’t understand, THIS TOWN HAS NO MERCY. Just by the mere fact that these shows were happening I have re-connected with SO many people who I know, but have fallen a bit out of touch with over the years. THAT is why these shows mean so much — yes, we all love the music and the fun at concerts — but really what I love the most is how these events have brought me together with folks that I love.

I wouldn’t nearly have had as much fun at any of these shows if it hadn’t been for the presence of some truly amazing, kind, and big-hearted people with whom I’ve been lucky enough to come in contact. I’ve even made some new friends, met incredibly sweet strangers, and basically had my faith in the human race restored.

THANK YOU Strokes fans for being so genuine, pure, and incredibly enthusiastic. Many times during the MSG show I found myself looking at these groups of young kids just singing their little hearts out. There was this one young kid who got up on his friend’s shoulders on the show and he looked like he was having the BEST TIME EVER. I saw him later on the way out and I just said, “Good job!” and gave him a high-freakin-five. YESSSSS!

THANK YOU LCD Soundsystem fans for wanting to dance the night away. Thank you for sharing all of your back sweat, your fist pumps, your elbow throwing with me. Thank you for letting me shove some of you dudes out of my way and into the pit — and even the couple times I was picked up and tossed were kinda scary, it was all part of the experienced of just freaking the eff out. Thanks for letting loose.

I know I’m kinda sounding like a fan girl right now, but I think it’s important for me to say all of this. When I go to shows like the ones I attended in this past week, I’m going as a FAN. I’ll say it, I’m super annoyed by folks who just show up to these things because it’s the “cool” thing to do, but are so scared of looking like an idiot that they don’t want to dance, they don’t want to shout out song lyrics, and they don’t want to have fun. I’m also super annoyed by folks who are so focused on musical perfection (oh, Julian messed up during such and such song? So what?) that they’re completely oblivious to that unquantifiable element that makes going to see live music special.

MORE: New York Times, BV

Published by Laura

I run The Modern

3 replies on “Greatest Week in NYC: The Strokes Return and LCD Soundsystem Say Goodbye @ MSG – 4/1/11 and 4/2/11”

  1. Sunday morning said it all as I limped around the house. Two LCD Soundsystem shows (Thurs, Sat) with the Strokes sandwiched in the middle reminded me of the late nites of 2001-05. Back then I was the old man with the young pups, For the last three nites while there were lots of young people at least I wasn’t alone or the oldest person there. Although I did get the excuse me Sir comment a few times 🙁

    Three great nites!

  2. Oh my gosh Steve I wish I had known you were there. Would have loved to have seen you!!

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