Things started off OK in scenic San Francisco. On a night when the ultra-hyped Strokes were
returning to town, playing a bill with LA's Sunstorm and local boys The Pattern, the mood
was set when the latter hit the stage with an unexpected vigor. The Pattern, featuring Lookout Records head
and ex-Peechee member Chris Applegren on lead vocals, got their groove on in ways
previously unimaginable. For the first band on in a 3 band set, this act's talent was almost heretofore
unheard of. Visualize an American Oasis reared on The Stooges and MC5
instead of The Beatles and you'd pretty much have the gist of it. These kids brought the dirty rock
and in a big way.
Next up was Sunstorm, rocking out in a fake Verve circa 1995 manner. The lead singer looked
like a mix of Verve's Richard Ashcroft and acting loony Jason Patric. When this is
the most noteworthy aspect of a live set, not much else can be said.
Everyone's favorite up and comers The Strokes were now center stage on the mic. LET THE STROKES
BACKLASH BEGIN HERE. What is the deal with these guys? Everybody loves them, but I just don't
hear it. They are from New York and have all the New York influences, like Television, and
Velvet Underground, adding in bits of Iggy Pop and, of all things, The Smoking
Popes. PLUS, the whole secondary appeal is supposed to be their looks. WHAT? One guitarist
looks like McFly, the other like Billy Joel with Downs Syndrome and the "pretty boy"
lead singer (son of ex-Elite modeling agency kingpin John Casablancas) looks like a extra-New
Jersey Rocky Balboa prior to the first beatdown from Apollo Creed, with fashion advice
from Sonny Crocket. Please. They barely managed to get a rise from the ¸ber-trendy San
Francisco indiekid population in attendance. Only album tracks "Last Nite" and "Easy To Explain"
seemed to carry any sway at all. I may be the only person not falling for their derivative 1979 New York
rock, but from this vantage point, I wish the bill had been reversed.
Source: Woodward & Bernstein