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.”
They played their first public hometown gig in over five years and this was definitely a heroes welcome. The guys were in fine form and everyone (the crowd and the band) was pretty freaking pumped up after the show. Smiles all around.
I had an amazing time/night, and it truly felt like old times. Never have I thought I could recreate those feelings and memories of 2001-2003, but tonight certainly came close. I saw so many old friends, sang along to so many classic tunes, fantastic all the way around.
I want to thank YOU GUYS for making it such a fun show — so many of the faces I saw were of young folks — kids who weren’t old enough to even ride a two-wheeler when Is This It came out, but there you all were up in the front, smiling, so happy, and enthusiastic about seeing The Strokes. You kids are so awesome. You totally rock!
The birds are tweeting outside and the sun is coming up, so I’ll try to jot down some stuff before my eyes fall out of my head:
I’ll start with the end — The very last song, in typical Strokes fashion, was “Take It Or Leave It” — but this time singer Julian Casablancas took it upon himself to bring the music to the people — well, specifically to the people in the seated section stage left. Climbing up on the stage left speakers, and then grabbing onto the side railing, Julian positioned himself in the midst of the raised seated floor section, where upon everyone started grabbing on to him from behind.
At one point, Julian jumped down to the floor, and the barricade felt as if it were going to tip over — terrifying me because that’s where the handicapped folks were sitting. Luckily, Julian moved back up and further over into the crowd, bringing the rest of the song to the front section of the room, and a bit to stage right at the end, finally finishing on the stage.
You can check out the entire song below — excuse the sort of crazy Cloverfield-style look of the middle — I could never be a war correspondent with that kind of sloppy camera work, but the beginning is pretty awesome if I do say so myself:
VIDEO: “Take It Or Leave It” – The Strokes @ MSG – 4/1/11
Well folks, today is the last official day of Strokes March Madness. *Sniff sniff* It’s been a wild and crazy journey through the last 10 years of Strokes memories. I want to thank everyone for being so kind and encouraging me through this insane exploration into fandom. You’ve all been oh so nice and supportive.
Above is a photo of the first ever Strokes t-shirt that I bought, at my first ever Strokes show. It’s still my favorite Strokes shirt, and luckily I can still get into it. It’s a comfy piece of clothing that’s quite timeless — just like The Strokes.
Tomorrow I’ll be at the first public Strokes show in New York since 2006. I’m going to predict that it’s going to be pretty effing awesome.
Here are some of my favorite posts over the last month:
Wow. My second LCD Soundsystem farewell show @ Terminal 5. Definitely way crazier than the first night’s gig.
I nearly DIED when they broke into my absolute favorite Harry Nilsson song, “Jump Into the Fire,” during their encore. Check out Bromander-in-Chief James Murphy totally killing it in this video I took of the song:
VIDEO: “Jump Into the Fire” by LCD Soundsystem (Nilsson cover)
“I love you New York, but you’re bringing me down.”
Some random observations:
I kinda love LCD shows because it totally brings out the most ridiculously outfitted men:
So MANY freaking dudes in white shirts and black ties. I call it the “broniform.”
One dude wore a leather jacket the entire time while in the pit. Necessary.
Two guys behind me had homemade “DANCE YRSELF CLEAN” t-shirts (Hanes tees with Sharpie writing on them). I’m going to assume they came together…and that they went to braid each other’s hair and talk about James Murphy after the show.
I thought it would only be appropriate to revisit The Strokes‘ previous set of shows at the sister venue to Madison Square Garden — the Theater at MSG.
In 2003, the band did three sold out shows to promote their newly released second album, Room on Fire.
I distinctly remembering complaining about having to watch Regina Spektor, who I was not enamored with at the time (think I called her a Tori Amos wannabe), three nights in a row.
Kings of Leon were the second openers, and although I did like some of their songs, never again did I ever want to see them three nights in a row — especially with their ridiculous Stillwater hair and mustaches.
A last minute ticket came through for tonight’s LCD Soundsystem final shows blowout at Terminal 5. It’s been years and years since I last saw LCD Soundsystem, but they have always remained in my mind as one of the premiere effortlessly cool bands from NYC.
Up at the front it was a dirty, sticky, absolutely sweaty mess. I have never felt so much back sweat from so many different people.
Sure this looks like fun, but what you don’t see is everyone’s back sweat dripping down the sides of my arms.
Bromance was in full effect, with weirdly a majority of the audience on the floor being made up of bros. Bros who were just happy to be with their fellow bros, dancing to the tunes of the head bro, James Murphy.
My brain exploded twice in one week when both the Strokes and the White Stripes played a double headlining bill first at Irving Plaza (August 14, 2002) and then at Radio City Music Hall (August 15, 2002) in New York City.
The Irving Plaza show was insane of course, with the White Stripes opening, and Strokes playing to the hometown crowd. At that time Julian Casblancas had an injured knee, so he did both shows sitting down on a stool. During the Radio City show Jack White came out during “New York City Cops” and did the guitar solo. Mindbogglingly weird!
I’m sorry, I really can’t explain it, but as much as I love the White Stripes, it was really all about The Strokes last night. Totally. It’s the first show they’ve done in New York in… 8 months… and it’s just… *sigh* dunno. Great.
Anyone else remember these two epic nights in music history?
Yes, this is where all the Alone, Together newsletters first started, with Issue 1. The intro letter was by Matt Romano, and although he called for folks to rename the newsletter (because technically the fan club was called “Alone, Together,” not the quarterly mail outs), I don’t think that ever came to fruition.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Let me reiterate, the Alone, Together fan club is no longer in existence. It was only around for a few years between 2002-2004. Sorry!
Every day in for Strokes March Madness I’ll be posting something from my Strokes archive. Please tweet or FB like if you enjoy where this is going.