I’ve been waiting a long, long, time to see The Strokes. They’ve always been that one band that I’ve never gotten to see. Deep down, I feared that they would break up before I had the chance to see them. Thankfully that never happened. They made their hometown return in epic fashion last night at New York’s most famous area: Madison Square Garden.
The Strokes are the essential Madison Square Garden band. They’re a rock band with huge hits, and this is their home. It’s a match made in heaven. Although I would have loved to see them at a smaller venue (obviously), there is no denying that MSG fits the glove, just right.
Devendra Banhart was the opener, and his set was hit and miss for me. Immediately after his set, someone quickly took the stage, but it was too early to be The Strokes. Low and behold, and the legendary Elvis Costello walks out on stage. He said “April Fools” before kicking into a short, but very sweet set. Talk about a massive surprise.
The moment finally came for The Strokes to arrive, and boy, was it something. They opened with “Is This It”, possibly the only proper way to say hello to NYC again. We had no time to catch our breath. They then dove straight into “Reptilia”, “Under Cover Of Darkness”, “Hard To Explain”, and “Last Night”. What a run that was. The Strokes really bring their a-game live. They transform their sound to a huge sonic boom of blaring guitars that are just demanding you to be in absolute awe. Julian’s voice shines live, sounding free and warm in a live setting. People complain about The Strokes being static during live performances, but there was no sign of that tonight. Julian sang with the crowd in the pit during the entirety of “Juicebox”, and he jumped into the side seats during the encore performance of “I Can’t Win”.
Elvis Costello came out to sing “Taken For A Fool” with the band, putting the whole night into perspective. This was a magical moment among magical moments. The setlist was absolutely perfect, I couldn’t ask for anything other than *possibly” 12:51. Other than that, they played the best of their best. The new songs sounded great, and the old songs sounded brand new again. It was like I was hearing all the songs for the first time again. Now that’s the way a concert should make you feel.
Anyone who hates on The Strokes is just trying to hard. These guys are one of the greatest rock bands of our generation. They brought practically all of New York city together 10 years ago, and they did it once again, last night. This is a performance that you will hear your friends talking about for years. If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren’t there, then…sorry.
Below, check out a video I took of Elvis singing on “Taken For A Fool”, along with a few photos and the setlist:
Here’s another video:
Is This It
Under Cover of Darkness
Hard to Explain
Life Is Simple In The Moonlight
Youâ€™re So Right
You Only Live Once
New York City Cops
Taken For A Fool (Feat. Elvis Costello)
Ask Me Anything
I Canâ€™t Win
Take It or Leave It