Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., April 2, 2004
The StrokesAustin Music Hall, March 23
Why must you act like such a pompous ass? Sure, the hair and über-fashionable waistcoats count for a little something in the world of rock & roll, but that doesn't mean you get to glom on to your mic onstage, wasted. When you opened the set with "Under Control," we thought you didn't want to waste our time, but then you and your mates went on a rampage. If we'd been standing outside the Music Hall, we'd have thought y'all brought the rock, but no. You were just going through the motions. "Someday" was a long night drive rekindling our love of Is This It, but that was just nostalgia. Then you teased us a little. Room on Fire's "Reptilia" was a crunchy Seventies railroad begging to be ridden, and your "most romantic song," "Meet Me in the Bathroom," made us want to do just that. But, Julian, in a 20-odd song set, you can't count on "Last Nite" to get you through. Especially when you've got things so loud that all nuances are lost. You just can't bring the "Clampdown" without summoning at least a thread off Joe Strummer's tattered jeans. And we know you tried, with the light show and jumping into the crowd like a true rock star, but Julian, you just didn't try hard enough. As for the other boys: Well, Fabrizio, you are the true star here. You kept the solid, simple beat that kept us in the club. Nick, Albert, and Nikolai, you have talent, but can you entertain us a little? Julian, really, next time you have to tell the frat boys, "Don't grab my motherfucking mic," take it as a hint: It's time you got off your high horse. Next time, we'll just stay at home and listen to your albums on the stereo. Take that or leave it.