Photos By Andy DelGiudice, Words By Morgan Day
I wish I saw The Strokes. If you like the way Casablancas’ side band plays out your computer I can guarantee you will not like the way Julian Casablancas + The Voidz play live. At best, you’ll enjoy the theatrics of Casablancas wrapping the mic chord around his neck and the way he screams “fuck the mic stand.”
If you’ve listened to the band you may have noted the graininess of their songs. That grainy tone escalated in their live performance as Casablancas chose to have a strange effect on his microphone. This effect made it sound as though he was singing out of a waterlogged megaphone and picked up the murmurs of girls chatting in the front row. The audience members that knew the words to every song stood blankly, mouthing the lyrics according to the beat because Casablancas’ singing was incomprehensible. The drummer, Alex Carapetis, and the flashing lights kept the show alive. The drunken mob bobbed and Carapetis had everyone dancing and ignoring the groaning erupting from lead man Casablancas’ throat.
Although the composition was bumbled, the individuals are talented. However, a jungle beat under a 70’s hair metal guitar solo, next to a prog-rock rhythm guitar, over a Nirvana-style baseline does not make for a quality product. Occasionally, when the beat was really good, there were moments of clarity. Suddenly their eccentricity was catchy, but that quickly was overthrown by what sounded like an entirely new song. I’m almost certain they didn’t tune their instruments.
Maybe this band is the late blooming product of Casablancas’ built up angst while attending the best boarding school in the world or frolicking around the models of his father John’s own Elite Model Management. Sarcasm and scathing review aside, no one can take The Strokes away from Julian Casablancas. Cue playing “Someday.”