The Strokes at the Roundhouse: An epic, long-overdue concert
The last ticketed concert from the Strokes in London that didn’t take place in a field dates back to 2006. Since then, the band has played just two festivals and a secret gig. This is one of the reasons why last night’s show at the Roundhouse felt so special. But also so long overdue.
It goes without saying that nowadays seldom new rock bands come out, if at all, let alone one capable of writing this many iconic songs, whilst also shaping a unique sound for each of their albums. Scheduled for a 9.15pm start, The Strokes enter the stage closer to 10pm, sending the eager crowd into a frenzy. They open with Someday. Nostalgia, tonight, is a big factor. The noughties’ indie rock scene is truly missed. And finally being able to listen to those lyrics some of us sang out loud countless times – “alone we stand, together we fall apart”; “I say the right things, but act the wrong way”; “I wanna be forgotten and I don’t wanna be reminded”; “I said please don’t slow me down if I’m going too fast” – is almost cathartic.
The sound of Hard to Explain is nothing short of a miracle. The guitars, the bass and that voice. To experience it live in a venue like this one, is fantastic. And it has to be said that the Strokes are probably not the best performers but – ironically – it doesn’t matter. Clearly, though, the song that sets the Camden crowd on fire is Last Nite. It defined a generation, and it will soon turn 20.
The setlist is quite short, but rich in highlights. Automatic Stop and What Ever Happened? from Room on Fire; Take It or Leave It from Is This It; new single Bad Decisions; and even from One Way Trigger from Come Down Machine. It’s a crime that they haven’t played Under Cover of Darkness, hands down their best song not from the first two albums, and anyway one of the greatest overall. But they make up for it by closing with Reptilia – which was, quite frankly, a truly epic moment.
Photo: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit The Strokes’s website here.
Watch the video for Bad Decisions here: