I caught The Strokes last night at Plaza of Nations, with Ben. I’m a fan, so I was hoping for a good show.
Opening for them were The Raveonettes, yet another Scandanavian garage-rock band. We caught the last half of their set, and they were pretty decent — catchy poppy melodies, and generally pleasing but there’s a certain amount of generecism to their sound that makes it hard for them to stand apart. Their single, notably, sounds quite different — enough so that I wonder if perhaps someone else penned it? And was fun — I’ve heard it on the radio and liked in then also.
The Strokes came on around 9pm, and played roughly an hour-long set — about what I’d expect given that their 2 albums combined probably only are one and a half hours long. They played the songs straight, with little deviation from the album (any deviation there was can probably be attributed to mistakes rather than performance). Combine this with the horrendously shitty sound at PoN (Because of the glass, all the sound just bounced around and reverbs, muddying & fuzzifying everything) and I’m not sure if I wouldn’t have preferred to simply turn up my stereo a little.
The Strokes have also not yet adapted their stage show from club-land to arena-land. They have very basic lights (normally pointing straight out, which had the effect of either totally obscuring or simply outlining the band), no visuals, no décor, and not much stage presence. Even the limited crowd-banter seemed more suited to a club than a venue of this size (the song announcements, reacting to a heckle, etc).
So I certainly enjoyed myself, and the band played hard, giving a good show, but I have to say the show wasn’t nearly so satisfying as I had hoped it would be. On the other hand, while I’m slightly annoyed by them, it was great to see such a large contingent of young fans, all excited and nervous (example: a HUGE cheer went up when The Strokes’ roadies came on stage to set up — I suspect a case of mistaken identity)