BELFAST IS ‘BRILLIANT’

The band's European tour kicks off with a blistering hour-long set...

THE STROKES opened their sold-out European tour in BELFAST last night with a blistering, triumphant show.

Drawing mostly from second album ‘Room On Fire’, the band played a 17-song set at the Ulster Hall (November 30) that clocked in at just over an hour – almost twice as long as some of the sets on previous tours.

The show finished with singer Julian Casablancas diving into the crowd for the final verses of ‘Take It Or Leave It’ as guitarist Albert Hammond Jr mounted the drum-riser to play his solo.

“Belfast, you are fucking brilliant,” said the normally reticent Casablancas. “This is crazy, amazing, thank you.”

There were several show highlights including ‘New York City Cops’ (which finished with several minutes of wild applause leading the entire band to smile broadly and look genuinely taken aback), new song ‘The End Has No End’ and ‘Hard To Explain’.

Fans were universally impressed. “It was brilliant, really spectacular,” said Marty, 17. “It was the best gig I’ve ever been to in my life.”

“Everything about it was amazing,” said Ruth, 19. “They looked beautiful, Julian is so beautiful. I love them.”

The show was a late addition to the European tour, announced last Tuesday. It sold out within 10 minutes when tickets went on sale.

The stage set had a stripped-down look, with only a simple black back-drop. The majority of the band’s lights and equipment had been sent on to Glasgow for tonight’s show at the Braehead Arena (December 1).

The band played:

‘Reptilia’

‘Automatic Stop’

‘What Ever Happened?’

‘Last Nite’

‘Between Love And Hate’

‘The Way It Is’

‘I Can’t Win’

‘The Modern Age’

’12:51′

‘New York City Cops’

‘You Talk Way Too Much’

‘Someday’

‘Hard To Explain’

‘The End Has No End’

‘Under Control’

‘Soma’

‘Take It Or Leave It’