I went to see Julian Casablancas play his homecoming show at New York's monster hellhole venue Terminal 5 a few days ago on Thursday, January 14th. What an incredible performance, and getting there early enough to be in the front row just made it so much better.
Although I've coined the three Phoenix shows I've seen the best & my favorites, Jules may be sweeping in for the number one spot. After all, The Strokes mean so much more to me than the poppy Frenchmen do. Anyway...

"Hello hello hello, we're Tanlines, we're from here, just like you." Jesse the keyboardist of the Brooklyn band says (in between every song the duo played). Thankfully, they started their set right on time at 9:00 and were the first band of three on the bill. For thirty minutes, they blasted out some unmemorable beachy experimental tunes. Mixed with the strange draft and the undanceable music they were playing, it really felt like a South American jungle.

(as always, all photos by me: SLR used, except some of the JC shots are pocket camera)


The second band on the bill was Telepathe. I'm sorry, but I just hate them. I saw them play in December 2008 supporting Vampire Weekend.
They're still boring and repetitive, overly synthed and unmusical. They had an even longer set than Tanlines, which just killed the vibe totally. It's a mystery why Telepathe keeps getting booked for big name shows. Absolutely nobody was moving in the crowd.


With the awfulness of Telepathe dissipating as the last set change ensued, Julian finally took the stage around 10:30 pm to Ludlow St. The five piece band at his back was as tight as it could be, and Jules swaggered his way through the set clad in head to toe leather, gripping the mic stand and occasionally jumping into the crowd.

He seemed genuinely humbled by the wild reception and constant cheering. He mumbled quite a bit of gratification in between songs, as well as how he was nervous to play back in New York after such a long time and how Alicia Keys' Empire State of Mind was stuck in his head.

Pretty much everything he played was off his solo album, except for a cover of Velvet Snow (Aha Shake Kings of Leon). He did not do justice to that song. It's sort of like that Elvis cover of Something by the Beatles. All of the artists involved are fantastic. And opposite vocally.

Only accompanied by an electric keyboard, he also sang I'll Try Anything Once - a slow Strokes demo of First Impressions of Earth's single You Only Live Once in the first encore. It seemed like everyone in the crowd knew the song. It was a great couple of minutes.

Jules returned for a second encore, playing Tourist.
After all of his band left the stage, he brought his drummer back to do a beat so he could sing a little bit of Empire State of Mind.

Now you're in New Yooork...

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