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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Julian Casablancas at First Avenue - April 8, 2010

Julian Casablancas
Funeral Party

This blog is started off with a disclaimer, and it reads as follows: This was the darkest show I have ever been to, the photos and video aren't brilliant, but the audio is fine and it gives you an idea of the show. Now let's got to the important shi.
First Avenue was surprisingly not full on Thursday night, but the joint was still buzzing, a Stroke was in town. And not just any Stroke, Mr. Julian Casablancas was gracing us with his presence.
Before we get to Julian however, we must talk about the opening act Funeral Party. I came into First Avenue totally neutral on Funeral Party, having never listened to them before. Their live show is amazing, and the band are great performers, this is where their music belongs. Aside from the great performance, I could take or leave the music. All the songs seem to be sappy songs about breaking up, set to a rocking bass. Every song was pretty much the same, except for that the guitar was different. Oh well, enjoyable enough.
The setup for the main act took what seemed like an eternity, but when the lights finally went off the crowd was frenzied. Mr. Cool walked on stage wearing bright red jeans and a funky black leather jacket, his swagger was extremely evident. The first few songs started off rather dull, the lolling "Ludlow St." was kind of boring and "River of Brakelights" dragged on, but then...
The opening drums to possibly my favorite Strokes song, "Hard To Explain," hit the crowd, and right away the place was a whole different world. A frenzied crowd moved back and forth, up and down, and from then on, the night was phenomenal. Apparently this was the best crowd of the tour so far, and I don't doubt it after seeing videos from earlier on in the tour.
Another Strokes song, an alternate version to "You Only Live Once" called "I'll Try Anything Once" was a personal highlight of mine, although you can see nothing. See for yourself, or not as the case may be, below.
After that, the night seemed perfect. Saturday Night Live cover "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" rivaled "Hard To Explain" for the level of rowdiness. That closed out the main set, then the singer and his band came on for an encore which started with my favorite song from his solo album, "Out of the Blue."
Julian Casablancas' concert proved that he has it, hopefully the Strokes still will when I see them at Lollapalooza this summer. Although the lack of light was disappointing, the music made up for it and then some.

Set List:
New Song
Ludlow St.
River Of Brakelights
Hard To Explain (The Stokes Cover)
11th Dimension
I'll Try Anything Once (The Strokes Cover)
Left & Right in the Dark
I Wish It Was Christmas Today

Out of the Blue
4 Chords of the Apocalypse

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