Leave me alone, I’m in control. I’m in control.

Written by

The Strokes – Take It Or Leave It

OK, let’s talk about The Strokes’ show at Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, on Thursday night: I’m not going to pretend to care about the opening acts (who were, by the way, Gypsy & The Cat and The Like) because let’s face it: everybody was waiting for Julian, Albert, Nick, Nikolai, and Fabrizio to hit the stage. The openers were good, they were somewhat entertaining, but in the way they performed and interacted with the crowd it felt as if even they knew everybody was hanging around to see the headliners play.

A band so deeply idolised by the indie cluster who dearly adore Julian’s close-fisted singing-into-the-microphone style attracted a surprisingly violent mosh. There were elbows thrown, toes trod on, gadgets and jackets lost, and tears and expulsions throughout the night. I started the evening two people away from the barrier and finished six or seven rows back, to the side, jumping deliriously as Julian screamed in his ever-waning voice, “He’s gonna let you down!”

I met ginger-haired freckle-faced op-shop jacket wearing Jerry’s with irritatingly high-pitched voices and a defined articulation. I tangoed with trashy blondes wearing leopard skin tights and a lack of inhibition. I frowned at the alpha-dogs thrashing about in their band merchandise with a bottle of Smirnoff double-black in their hands (I know, right?) tilting unsuspecting strangers on their sides with their unbridled aggression.

But, all things said, The Strokes fucking rocked.

Forget going through a list of the songs. Forget talking about how “Last Nite” was met with a chorus of bellowing screams and body jerking. Forget how Julian’s between-song chatter was pretty funny (at one point, he looks at the beaten crowd and says, “I see a lot of beautiful women and violent movements,” prompting more body jerking and screams).

Forget detailing every minute and moment; I’m surprised I remember any of it.

(photos posted courtesy of fasterlouder.com)

[Check my pre-concert ramblings for pathways to the albums. Daniel was supposed to post today, but he’s making a four-hour round trip to a Leonard Cohen concert and asked for one of us to deputise in his absence. I wish him a magical experience.]

4 Responses to “Leave me alone, I’m in control. I’m in control.”

  1. Hanan says:


  2. Draemanx says:

    The colour and enthusiasm in which you described your experience of watching The Strokes, live, makes this story all the more engrossing. In short: Beautiful x 2.

    This should settle our deal now.

  3. Sam says:

    Sounds awesome, I’m sure my brothers had a similar experience then. I know you say you didn’t care about Gypsy & the Cat but they are actually a really cool band in their own right in my opinion. Those photos are really cool too, was it from the same gig?

  4. Joan says:

    They were okay. Its that opening band gaaaargh that knocked them down, really, and they seemed pretty aware of it. I’m not sure I warmed to the lead’s vocals.

    And yeah, the photos are from the Sydney gig. It was simply set-up and worked to a tee.

Got something to say?