reCAP :: The Strokes :: 2014.05.31
We live in a texting/selfie/tweeting world, and because of it, it’s nearly impossible to simply live in the moment for the sake of, well, living in the moment. We document what we’re experiencing by the millisecond so everyone else can see what we’re experiencing by the millsecond, and The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas knew this culture well and voiced it on Saturday, May 31, when he and his iconic took the stage to a boisterously snap-happy, sold-out crowd at The Capitol Theatre. “Everybody got their phones ready?,” he teased. “Why aren’t you looking at me? I’m right here!”
Those words, which were followed by a chuckle (a common theme all night was Casablancas having a blast on stage and with the audience), for a moment made you – well, me anyway – realize it was time to take this all in. The cellphone went into my pocket, and it dawned on me: here we all were – in Port Chester – watching one of the biggest and best rock acts in the business playing their first gig since November 2011 – not at Madison Square Garden but at The Cap – a venue that holds about about 2,000.
No one was getting a nosebleed. Every note was heard. Every word was felt. Every one was bursting. The band, warming up for their headline spot at Governor’s Ball on Randall’s Island next weekend, was electric from the opener “Barely Legal” to the encore of “New York City Cops,” and the audience sang every line, danced all night, and even acted out the music. As a matter of fact one gentleman in the balcony was air-guitaring so intensely I thought he’d tear something – at the very least – his khakis. How could any of us not?
The band, showing no rust at all, cruised through an all-too-fast but ample 18-song setlist that included studio-sounding versions of tracks off their groundbreaking debut “Is This It” and a trio of tunes off last year’s “Comedown Machine” performed live for the very first time. Highlights also included “You Only Live Once,” “Heart In A Cage,” and “Take It or Leave It.” Who am I kidding? The whole evening was one living, breathing highlight that didn’t need a selfie-with-a-stage-as-a-backdrop to remind us of that. We’ll remember this show for quite some time anyway.