The Strokes At Leeds 2011 – Review

Who: The Strokes

Where And When: Main Stage, Leeds, Sunday

Vibe: With an ‘Is This It’-heavy opening (featuring the title track and ‘New York City Cops’ mixed with ‘Under Cover Of Darkness’ from ‘Angles’), The Strokes provoked a frenzied reception from the crowd from the outset. Julian, Nick, Albert, Nikolai and Fab helped to bring Leeds 2011 to a close, taking second place on the bill to Pulp after headlining Reading on Saturday.

The Strokes

Whether it was a wide-eyed fan’s first ever Strokes show or a veteran follower’s 15th, the audience weren’t let down by the boys and their classic-after-classic-filled set. Julian might not be the charismatic frontman that Mr Jarvis Cocker is, but he still easily managed to get the crowd hot, sweaty and dancing before Pulp’s slot, relying on the tunes to do the talking for him.

Best Bit: The singalong to ‘Last Nite’. You haven’t done festival season properly until you’ve seen thousands of mud-encrusted music fans – who’ve all developed bad cases of festival trenchfoot in the torrential rain of the weekend – dance like it’s the hottest August bank holiday weekend on record. It proved once again what a true indie classic the track is; people were waving their hands/banners/inflatable guitars/small children in the air and screaming the lyrics to each other while imagining they were Julian Casablancas.

Low Point: The terrifying people in the morph suits and horse masks in the audience. There was something pretty sinister about them.

The Strokes

Banter: Julian seemed a little confused at what time of day it was (“Hello, good morning, how you doing? Oh yes, attractive ladies”) before acting surprised at all the hysteria in front of him. “I can’t believe you’re being so crazy,” he told the masses.

Verdict: Tracks from ‘Angles’ mixed well with the likes of ‘Reptilia’, ‘Juicebox’ and the many hits from ‘Is This It’. However, watching the crowd reaction to ‘Last Nite’, ‘Hard To Explain’ and ‘Take It Or Leave It’ proved that while material from their latest album is popular live, their debut is still where the festival anthems lie.

Did you see The Strokes’ set? What did you think?

Get the full review from tonight in next week’s magazine.

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