BY JAMIE DAVIS Julian Casablancas must be feeling good considering all the end-of-decade praise his band The Strokes are getting for their debut album, the generation-defining Is This It. He certainly looked like he felt good on Saturday night at the Trocadero, giving us the good old rockstar poses he perfected years ago. And really, this is part of what makes him unique, that he is willing to act like a genuine rockstar, throwing his drinks at the lights with nothing more than a sarcastic “oops.” For the last song before the encore he even climbed up on the stack of speakers next to the stage and onto the balcony, giving hugs to the female fans who pretty much died the moment he touched them. You wouldn’t see The Kings Of Leon doing that, let me tell you. Aside from his antics, the show stood up musically as well. He had one of the most ridiculous backing bands I’ve ever seen as well. Two guitarists, two keyboardists, a percussionist and a drummer, and no bass player. Whats more, everyone but Julian and the drummer played guitar at some point during the show, which meant some songs had up to four guitars going at once. And of course all the members of the band looked like they could have come straight out of the Arcade Fire, with the exception of the exceptional guitarist to Julian’s right, who was probably about 62, had a potbelly, a beautiful gray moustache and ponytail, and looked he had just dropped in from playing a gig in Easy Bob’s Bar and Smokehouse with a band called something like “The Moonshine Swingers”. They were all stellar musicians though, blasting out tunes like “Out of The Blue” and “Eleventh Dimension” with full force. The one downer for the gig however was the sound. Julian’s microphone sounded absolutely awful, loaded with high end. His voice is rough enough as it is, and with some tasteful distortion it has been known to sound great, but here it was just absolutely piercing. With that aside, the show was great with the highlight being either the aforementioned balcony incident, or his keyboard-only cover of The Strokes’ “You Only Live Once”, which apparently is how the song was originally written and demoed in the first place. We even were treated to a new song the name of which I have no idea, but was great, and presumably destined for the new Strokes album. At any rate, it’s obvious the man can put a show, and only made us all more hopeful for a return to form from The Strokes. Hopefully he’ll at least have a better mic by then anyway.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jamie Davis is a senior at Kimberton Waldorf High School. He enjoys Blink-182 more than any Thom Yorke fan should.