Saturday, January 09, 2010

"Everybody Was Well Dressed, And Everybody Was A Mess"

So it's Christmas Eve and the whole family is getting together. Your grandparents, uncles, aunts, godmother and such. But you cannot wait to see that older cousin, the cool one, the cute guy who's funny and charming, but never really takes you seriously. After all, you're the little girl. You waited the entire year for that night, where you can just be around his jokes and feel important for being in his presence. He is awesomeness in person.

Cheesy reference? That's exactly how it felt when Julian Casablancas finally entered the super packed (obviously sold-out) Paradise room last night. I'm willing to bet most people in the audience were at the Strokes last concert in '06 Boston. We all welcomed the last member of the band in his solo performance turn. Sure it was fun to see Albert Hammond Jr., Nickel Eye and Little Joy come around town in the past few years, but hey. Julian is Julian.

Wearing the same black leather vest he sported to David Letterman just the other night, the guy was in a great mood. At one point, he commented on how familiar he was with the venue, and its odd central pillar. Then he realized it was better to keep on with the setlist.

Not a surprise, the two most popular songs were "11th Dimension" and "Out Of The Blue", which you can watch here:

Overall, not only Julian's solo album but his live performance reminded me a LOT of the Strokes' shows, minus a thousand people in the crowd. Despite what some blogs claim, his sound hasn't changed much, since I believe the Strokes were always centered on the the singer's essence. But it has grown, and it is more polished. It really helps that he has a badass band to back him up, just like in the old days.

Julian left a surprise for the end, and presented I'll Try Anything Once as a "cover song he would like to play". Sweet. I did make a video of it, but decided not to publish it since emotion took over and I sang along to every word of it. And I CANNOT SING. Ugh, sad. (For the record, I wasn't the only one. Half of that place screamed over the chorus, okay? - exclusive message for all my YouTube subscribers, who usually complain about my singing skills).

Little fun facts:

- in one of the videos you can spot a fan that, after sneaking onstage, tried a little 5-second dance before the roadie/bouncer made him stage dive. Too funny.

- The Paradise was extremely dark for Julian's performance. Reason why the photos and videos are awfully grainy. I had to boost the light manually, and the result was this:

Nevertheless, Julian Casablancas live kicks ass. Worth buying tickets in advance, not being able to grab a beer at the bar and feeling squeezed into a jam-packed venue. He is just starting his tour and I believe will play a couple of shows in NYC this upcoming weekend. So, if you have the chance, RUN FOR IT.

Need not mention that the post above was written by a die-hard Strokes fan. It's not like I don't believe the guy represents an entire generation and all that stuff.

First show of 2010: not too bad <3


Mike said...

Killer show. What was the Kings of Leon cover he did?

Bazzan said...

great way to start the year