The room was on fire….
Figuratively speaking of course. The Strokes set the Mophie stage ablaze at the Chelsea inside the swanky Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
They had this incredible energy that made the whole room jump, literally.
The floor felt like a trampoline of sorts, pulsing with the intensity of our excitement, cheering, and jumping.
My favorite boots are a testament to how brutal the show was, brutal in the best way. (To be fair they have seen many shows.)
So much raw energy from one of my favorite bands ever and the love the crowd had for these guys, broken boots are a small price to pay for being barricade the whole time at a Strokes show.
These guys have perfected the nonchalant yet vigorous energy, it was the same energy that they brought to Las Vegas. (Nonchalant vigorous energy may be an oxymoron but if you’ve had a lucky chance to meet any of the guys, you know that they are the most down to earth people but then you become aware of their brilliance and get intimated but they are such cool dudes that you are reminded why you love them so much. Julian Casablancas and Albert Hammond, Jr. are some pretty gracious dudes.)
Julian sounded better than ever, his voice was on point.
His low booming voice often soared, almost like a thrilling roller coaster. The lowest, deepest baritone at times and then reached the highest peaks like in One Way Trigger. The falsetto reminds you of his incredible range, even growling during the song, he absolutely nailed it.You even see glances of Julian’s silly and lovable dance moves during Hard to Explain which made the crowd laugh/cheer and can’t forget that little jump during You Only Live Once.
He was charming as well with his random musings which made the crowd more excited, like when he asked us “you guys like to party?” The crowd erupted with cheers and screams and he replied with an ever so calm answer of “cool” right before Someday.
During Someday he stepped up to where Fabrizio was and then there are his famous back bends which always capture my attention, just as it did during 12:51.
It always leaves me in a trance, that’s how incendiary Albert is.
Fabrizio was on a stand a little more to the center where Julian and Albert were but I was still able to see him clearly, thrashing on the drums from Welcome to Japan to the wistful melodic Under Control and Killing Lies, which was a great surprise to hear. The End Has No End made the room convulse with energy, the crowd was locked in and feeling infinite.
Nikolai has this stoic charm to him, it’s a quiet but confidant energy as he moved around slapping the bass and ‘keeping it funky’ with that power stance.
I had the pleasure of being right in front of Nikolai on barricade and watching him play was a real joy.
He was incredibly sweet thanking us and bowing and also egged us on as we cheered.
Nick seemed in a hypnotic trance but in a ‘I want to perfect this’ kind of daze.
He was zoned in and concentrating as he killed it on guitar.
Nick slayed his solo in Reptilia, the crowd got even more rough at that point because we knew it was coming to a sad end but Nick had everyone with their arms in the air as he shreds his solo
Right before the encore, the entire room was unified by chanting and screaming STROKES! STROKES! STROKES! STROKES! Then they walked back out onto the stage…
New York City Cops was the first song of the encore, it gave the room even more life than before, which is saying something.
The Chelsea felt electric. The whole day, and trip, was unforgettable.
Welcome to Japan
One Way Trigger
The End Has No End
You Only Live Once
Heart in a Cage
Hard to Explain
New York City Cops
Mama Loves Her Baby Blues (aka Happy Ending)
I got to meet some exceptionally cool fellow Strokes fans whom I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know through twitter/instagram. Here is only a part of our Strokes crew. (We had a long wait so we took selfies in the queue and while at barricade.)
I had an incredible time with them, they made the whole trip even more amazing.
(Shout out to my Stroker Dokers: Andrea, Jaime, Laura, Myra, Emma, Casey, Michael, Jennifer, Wil, Bri, and Sin.)
Some of us walked away with set lists, bruises, scratches, sore limbs, a broken boot (me), Nick Valensi’s guitar pick (also yours truly) but the best thing we walked away with is great memories of one incredible show which was one of the four shows they did for 2014.