After being the most hyped band in NYC for a year or so, the band decided
to be blunt and say that for their "secret" NYC show at the very small
Mercury Lounge, they would play under the name "The Shitty Beatles."
The word got out slowly and the show sold out a few days before.
Turning into "the" band to like, one would have thought more celebrities would be in attendance. I only saw Horatio Sanz from SNL and someone told me Gideon
Yago - the emo kid at MTV - was there as well.
Not sure if everyone was there to see the show or to be seen itself.
The scene was set quite nicely, as on the stereo when I walked in was
Guided By Voices, who let the Strokes open for them last Valentine's Day at Bowery
Ballroom, and also heard before the band hit the stage was some Tenacious D, in honor
of the next day's SNL performance with Jack Black. It was 1 AM
and the sold out crowd was ready to be rocked or just tell people about the
The Strokes aren't from the school of crazy on-stage antics but all eyes
were on them. Their sound was tight, as everyone in the
band seemed to be playing for something else that night, possibly for their
friends. Julian (lead singer) struck his best "deer-in-headlight" poses while looking out in the
crowd for someone that he knew. His demeanor had everyone staring at him
the entire time. Albert and Nick (guitarists) sounded amazing as their amps
and guitars seemed to be so distinct and apart in sound but together as a
band. Blasting through most of their album Is This It and a new song that
didn't have a name yet, the highlight was the hit, "Last Nite." It was truly
enjoyable to watch. Sure, this band has had all the hype around them, but
tonight they proved to me that they are tight and can play a total rock
show. Everyone mentions the Velvet Underground as their sound but the kids
in this day and age don't know anything about the Velvet Underground, other
than the album has a banana on it. As a joke, Fabrizio (drummer) wore a VU
shirt during their SNL performance that next night.
The Strokes finally proved to me that they are more than hype and I was
definitely one of the first to write them off. What I heard was a band
tonight that is doing things on their own terms. Love them or hate them but
with a two-and-a-half month tour of Europe and more domestic touring to come, The
Strokes and their hype machine of praise aren't going away anytime soon.
Source: Tom Mullen