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Julian Casablancas @ The Kool Haus: Still a Stroke at Heart

April 5th, 2010

JulianCasablancasKMillet

Side projects. They can be the worst or the best.

When The Strokes decided to take a lil break, many were scared, “WHAT SHALL I DO?” I yelled (to the displeasure of many around me). I was scared. Oh so scared.

But then! Hark! Guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr.’s first solo album was released! And it was oh so good! Other band members followed with great side projects of their own! Drummer Fabrizio with Little Joy (play this album at a BBQ = instant BBQ success)! Bass player Nikolai with Nickel Eye! And who should step up next, but the front man himself! Julian Casablancas!

His album Phrazes for the Young came out late 2009 and we still can’t stop listening to it. So when he stopped by the Kool Haus Friday night how could anyone say no?

Continue reading for a review of Friday’s show, other Stokes updates, and more attractive pictures of the man himself…

First of all? The place was jam-packed, which makes sense seeing as the show was originally set to take place at a smaller venue – but do to the high demand, the people got what they wanted. Yay for the people!

As the people waited for the Stroke to hit the stage, they (or at least I) wondered… With only one album out what will he play? Just that? He wouldn’t play a Stokes song, would he? Or one of his parodies?

These questions were interrupted by cheers as the band hit the stage. And those cheers were then interrupted by thunderous applause and screams as Julian emerged from backstage and dance-skipped up to the mic –front and center.

redpants

He began to sing his heart away, doing so dressed in what else but a studded leather jacket, bright red skinny pants, and fly kicks (all of this causing many a lady to swoon). Opening with “Ludlow St.” the crowd began to sing along, Everything seems to go wrong when I start drinking…

Indeed. Mr. Casablancas. Indeed.

After a few more songs off of Phrazes for the Young, Julian then surprised us/made my life by playing the much loved Stokes Heart In A Cage B-side “I’ll Try Anything Once (“You Only Live Once” Demo)” Yeah. Pretty great. Ever greater? It was followed by playing The Strokes hit – “Hard To Explain”.

As the songs continued so did the brilliant banter. Basically? Julian loves us. Well – Canadians that is. He told us of the fun he had in Montreal the night before, the fun we were (as hats, sunglasses, and gloves were thrown on stage), and how he wished to move here. What can I say? We’re the best. To Julian’s credit, it’s not often you see a Toronto crowd dance it up as much as we did Friday night.

But of course we danced! Duh. It was Julian Casablancas. Check the set set list homie.

1. Ludlow St.
2. River Of Brakelights
3. Out Of The Blue
4. “New One”
5. 11th Dimension
6. I’ll Try Anything Once
7. 30 Minute Boyfriend
8. Hard To Explain
9. Glass
10. Left & Right In The Dark
Encore
11. 4 Chords Of The Apocalypse
12. Wish It Was Christmas Today
13. Tourist

No those aren’t your eyes playing tricks on you. Julian Casablancas played his cover of Saturday Night Live‘s “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” for his encore. “This is what it’s come to: I do Christmas songs in April.” How can you not love him? Did I mention that “Tourist” ended with Julian stage diving into the crowd?

Yeah. No big deal. Only the best. Now peep these pics I took.

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Picture 5 of 6

You catch the show? Let us know what you thought in the comments!

Julian Casablancas is touring all over the US , then getting back together with the other Strokes to tour with their up-and-coming new album. I’ll leave you with the video of The Strokes (minus Julian) in the studio recording. Get excited ladies and gents!

* Photos by Kate Millet

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