The Strokes have spent the better part of the last year riding high on the success of their debut album, Is This It, and traveling the world to prove to nay sayers everywhere that they are, in fact, the real thing. Last Friday night (10.11.02) at the Aragon Ballroom on Chicago's North side was yet another chance for the NYC-based quintet to prove to the world that they are better than everybody else. Mission accomplished. From the first few notes of "New York City Cops," The Strokes took hold of the 3,000-person venue and continued to tighten their grip with each song during the hour-long set.
The Strokes switched it up throughout the night, playing all of your favorite Is This It tracks, as well as a number of new songs. They were, as expected, as tight as humanly possible and had all of the swagger and confidence that one would expect from a band who is considered by many to be the best band in the world. Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi were the most animated of the bunch, taking time out for the back-to-back guitar-god pose on a few occasions. Julian was his normal mildly inebriated self and, as usual, he didn't miss a note.
The Strokes even ended the show with perfection. As the night wore on, and the crowd's excitement level boiled over, some crowd surfing ensued. Aragon security fought like madmen to get the "kids" to keep their feet on the ground, but they were having little success. As The Strokes ended their set to an eruption of cheers from the packed house, Fabrizio came running out from behind his drum kit and launched himself (over the security rail) into the uplifted hands of his adoring fans. And with that, the show was over. There were no encores, but really, there didn't need to be. They're the fucking Strokes and it doesn't get any better than that.