The Strokes simultaneously seem like they have been both around forever and gone forever. Before they re-emerged recently with a new EP and a string of headlining spots at various summer music festivals, I had kind of forgotten about them. It was an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing.
That changed Friday night.
Let me set the scene for you. Friday night was the first night of Govenors Ball. I was not at Governors Ball. I was home, much more fitting for a man such as myself at this point in my life. But we live in an advanced age and thanks to the folks at Viceland, Govenors Ball was going to go be simulcast. Or at least part of it was. Friday night they’d be showing sets by Robyn and the Strokes. The Wife and I settled in on our couch, our daughter upstairs sleeping soundly and our dog next to us sleeping loudly. And then we watched the Strokes perform. And the Strokes were awesome.
Color me somewhat surprised.
I had been under the impression that the Strokes weren’t much of a live act. Their tightly constructed pop rock songs just didn’t lend themselves to a loud setting largely due to the fact that the Strokes didn’t stray too far from original versions when playing them. Seeing a band live is kind of an exercise in futility if the band is playing the songs exactly as they sound on record. That’s why I swore off seeing Weezer after a second time. You gotta spice up that live show, fellas.
So yeah, color me somewhat surprised because yeah dude, the Strokes were awesome. In a world devoid of big-time rock bands, they definitely played the part and seem able to do so going forward if needed. And if they stick around. They sounded so big and full and had just enough energy to get by. Their set also sent me down a Strokes’ deep dive of sorts in which I’ve re-discovered their entire catalog, a catalog I had pretty much forgot about for the most part. I still feel like their strongest stuff is their earliest stuff, but the older & more recent stuff works too. The Strokes are kind of like Kings of Leon in a way. Their sound has evolved in a natural, organic way.
It should be noted that I’m not into their new songs, but that could change.
In the meantime, I organized my deep dive findings into a playlist of my twenty favorite Strokes’ songs.
Giddy Up America’s 20 of the Strokes Playlist
“The Modern Age”
“Under Cover of Darkness”
“You Only Live Once”
“Heart in a Cage”
“All the Time”
“Taken for a Fool”
“The End Has No End”
“Take It Or Leave It”
“Hard to Explain”
“One Way Trigger”
“New York City Cops”