What does one expect from a band like The Strokes, considering a ninety-dollar admission price and the bubbling expectations of hordes of indie fans? Probably not the kind of spectacle one sees with Muse or Pink (Yeah, I compared the three so sue me) but with that kind of admission price and a four-year hiatus, I didn’t know what to expect.
With Julian donning his trademark leather jacket and Albert in his all white three-piece, the band swagger on stage fifteen minutes late and open with New York City Cops. The crowd explodes and I’m awash in a sea of hipster effluvia. It makes sense seeing as the band is enjoying not only a comeback from hiatus but also an even longer-awaited return to Australian shores. The world has been waiting a long time for the return of The Strokes, but Australia has been waiting longer.
‘We’re fucking loud…you’re a better crowd than Sydney’ Julian obligingly states. This is the sort of limited banter we can expect from these NYC Kings of Cool. The band is technically brilliant and the songs are note for note, save for some Casablancas vocal changes. However, it’s frustrating that the songs are devoid of Valensi’s altered solos or a full-on Hammond Jnr. freak out. The band on stage is not the rumored ‘band at each others throats.’ They seem a healthy and well-tuned bunch, with amazed smiles and cigarettes exchanged on stage. Julian frequently turns to Albert with an ecstatic grin, which gives me the confidence that these guys will be playing out for a few more years. Despite what we’d like to believe, this is Julian’s show and if he’s not happy he’ll make sure the band isn’t.
It’s looking very good and if this energetic, almost zealot-like fever is what ergs the Strokes to continue then we can expect them around for a little while longer. Shit, they might even come back down under.