The Strokes played a scorching show at the Gibson Amphitheater (formerly the Universal amphitheater) March 30. And being a new convert to this band I was most excited to see them live.
Leading up to the concert a friend of mine, a massive Strokes fan, told me the singer, Julian Casablancas, seemed sloshed at the last concert he saw and at one point stumbled into the audience for 20 minutes. Not the best picture to paint for a neophyte Strokes fan like me.
My friend assured me that even though Casablancas was inebriated he still put on a hell of a show.
Still, mild uneasiness set in as I anticipated the concert. Any ways, here’s how it went down.
The Strokes came on around 9:30 p.m. and quickly got down to business with audience going wild.
They played “JuiceBox” and “Heart In A Cage” from their latest album “First Impressions Of Earth” early on in the show.
Now, to my mind, what is spectacular about the Strokes is how tight the band is. The band can end a song like a truck hitting a brick wall, and that to me is fantastic.
The light show consisted of four towers of lights on stage and a triangle formations of twenty swiveling light hanging from the ceiling that served to punctuate the themes of the songs quite well.
The crowd went wild when favorites like “Reptilia,” “Someday,” and “Last Night” were played.
“Ask Me Anything” slowed the night down with Casablancas on vocals and Nic Valensi, who usually plays guitar, playing piano.
This was a stand out track from their third album with a winding, melancholy organ riff and Casablancas world, worn vocals,
The audience was a sea of glowing cell phones, scattered lighters, and held up beer cups. “Ask Me Anything” stands out in my memory like a kiss at the end of a date.
“Ize On The World” also set the crowd to clapping and screaming as the band slammed precision riffs over the vocals.
At the end of the show The Strokes did three encores that ended with “12:51”, a song which worked great as a capstone to the concert.
The only negative thing about the concert was that the two video screens that were blurry and unnecessary since even the view from the seats in the back where I was, was great.
The camera work was static and badly done with Casablancas cut off at the knees on the screens.
Walking out, after the show, I was half deaf and loving every minute of the experience.