Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Strokes @ The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas. 3/12/11.

Guess who's back? Back Again...
It took some time before I came to embrace The Strokes. I was a snotty teenage metal head when their debut album came out in 2001. All the girls at my high school gushed over these five scruffy lads from New York and MTV tried oh so hard to convince me how buzzworthy their video for "Last Nite" was but at this time, if it wasn't Slayer I didn't care. All those trips to Tower Records when I should have been in class at ye olde community college helped me warm up to several tracks from Room On Fire but I still wasn't a confirmed fan. It was First Impressions of Earth that convinced me that The Strokes were for real. The album was darker, slightly heavier and more up my (contaminated by heavy metal) alley. I caught them live in 2006 and was thoroughly impressed. I could now safely say I was a fan of The Strokes. Then they went on a five year hiatus. Great.

So now the band I used to love to hate is back and I had to make amends. I snatched up tickets for their special one off show at the brand spankin' new hotel, The Cosmopolitan, in Las Vegas and prepared to rock out like it was the mid 00's all over again.

First, The Cosmopolitan is a siiiiiiiiiick hotel/casino. From the high tech underground parking garage, to outdoor pool alongside The Strip, and that giant fucking chandelier with a bar/lounge inside it, this place was pretty awesome. Too bad I probably couldn't afford to stay there until I'm old enough to collect Social Security (lol @ no hope/future for my generation!).
The show took place in the Chelsea, a giant ballroom on the 4th floor. It's a pretty large rectangular space, like the Hollywood Palladium, but 1000x fancier. We arrived around 7:30pm, The Strokes didn't come out until almost 11:00pm =/. The first opening band didn't show and or canceled for some reason and the next act, hipster folk lord Devendra Banhart didn't go on until 9:00pm and was done by 10:00pm. So yes, that equals about 2 1/2 hours of standing in a sold out/over capacity venue. It was the best of times, it was the BLurst of times...

Devendra "The dude who used to nail Natalie Portman" Banhart was alright. I think under normal circumstances I might have said he sucked but given the boredom induced dementia I was fighting I actually kind of enjoyed some of his tunes. His band was tight and hell and sort of sounded like a Doors tribute band, his over the top vocals are what killed it for me though. Funny stuff happened during the massive wait for The Strokes. Some girl repeatedly passed out in front of us after taking hits from some really foul smelling joints. My girlfriend ran into some girl from her high school that she hadn't seen in almost 10 years, and we meet some funny Michael Cera looking dudes from UNLV.

Finally, after waiting for an eternity, The Strokes hit the stage. They opened with "I Can't Win" off Room On Fire ( a song title that perfectly describes my exploits with Roulette the next day) and the crowd exploded. Between the rabid movement of the audience and Nikolai's at times over powering bass lines, I quickly realized it would be impossible to take any decent footage of their set at this point and put my video camera down, enjoying every beat of classic jams like "Reptilia" and "The Modern Age" instead. I was really pleased with how the new songs off their, then upcoming but now just released, album Angles sounded live. I was already familiar with "Undercover of Darkness" but man, the new track "Gratisfacion" they played during the encore was damn awesome. Anyways, back to the main set.  Coolest slow jam of the night goes to "Under Control." It really felt like we were watching the Rat Pack onstage during this song, everyone in the crowd swaying and singing along as Julian crooned extra Sinatra-y (Vegas man, Vegas...). "New York City Cops" gets the award for wildest crowd response. I was afraid the floor in the brand new Chelsea might collapse from the combined weight of the audience, and the chubby hedgehog looking dude in front of us dancing/jumping like madmen.



It wasn't until the band come out for their encore did the energy level drop just enough for me to get some quality video. And what an encore they did. "Automatic Stop" and "You Only Live Once"  back to back?! Good stuff friends. Good stuff. They ended the show with "Last Nite" and the crowd responded with one last final burst of explosive energy to see their heroes off the stage. The lights came back on and we all stood in this majestic new ballroom, in a swanky new hotel surrounded by some serious ballers on Saturday night in Vegas, completely covered in sweat, dehydrated and totally loving The Strokes. All the grumbles about the insane weight time seemed to vanish and quickly turned to "I can't wait for that new album." All in all, twas a great show and a nice little Vegas weekend getaway as well. Too bad traffic sucked heading back home Sunday night. Yes, I endured even MORE waiting...

22 comments:

  1. Very nice! thank youf or sharing!

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  2. ahh sick u recorded this. you're awesome.

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  3. Man I'm very jealous that you see all these great bands! I live in Florida and hardly any good bands come down. It's makes me sad =(

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  4. cool, the strokes is a great band

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  5. I'm going to have to look into these guys.

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  6. Fuck waiting for hours for the band to show up. Fuck em.

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  7. sweet venue, waiting that long is crazy - good stuff

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  8. i'm jelly

    looked like an awesome show :D
    aside from the waiting of course

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  9. him and Natalie Portman? really?

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  10. Great review for the concert! Not really familiar with their song but that is really a nice show.

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  11. That sounded like an amazing time despite the long wait. You captured some great footage! I just love them!! Thanks for the wonderful review!!

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  12. Man you're pretty lucky to get to see this stuff in person. For me I'm just a bit too lazy to do such things -_- plus I can't stand the volume of some concerts.

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  13. That must have been so fun!

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  14. First off, this blog is awesome. It took me a long time to get into them, too, but when they first came out I was into a lot of jam band stuff rather than metal. They're coming to Jazz Fest pretty soon here but I kinda only feel like going for one day, so I had to choose and I chose Arcade Fire. Sorry Strokes.

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  15. I never heard any stuff from the Strokes, but a lot of my friends recommend them to me. It's great that you were able to get into something different.

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  16. lol awesome chandelier.

    Followed.
    bigunicorn.blogspot.com

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