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The woman – whose name hasn’t yet been revealed – was spotted by frontman Julian Casablancas, who noticed she was holding up a sign that read, “CAN I SING ‘ODE TO THE METS’ WITH YOU”. Though initially hesitant to let her onstage, citing the overconfidence of some X-Factor contestants, Casablancas soon welcomes her up and relocates to the side of the stage. “I’m gonna be peeved if she sings it better than I do,” he quipped.
Upon taking to the stage, the woman walks over to Casablancas and says something privately to him. Seeming to admit that she doesn’t consider herself to be a good singer, Casablancas replies: “You’re not that good of a singer? But when I asked you up there, you said, ‘Yes.’ You’re being humble, right? …You can keep the notes? Alright. Okay. Good luck.”
Walking offstage, Casablancas joked that he was “gonna go do some blow”. The woman then sung in Casablancas’ place for all six minutes of ‘Ode To The Mets’ (which initially appeared on The Strokes’ 2020 album, ‘The New Abnormal’). Have a look at fan-shot footage of the performance below:
Upon returning to the stage, Casablancas asked his bandmates – “the judges” – what they thought of the woman’s performance. “It’s alright,” said rhythm guitarist Albert Hammond Jr, while lead guitarist Nick Valensi similarly joked, “No comment.” When the crowd began to loudly boo him, Valensi added, “I’m the Simon Cowell of the group, obviously.”
“She gets an A for effort,” bassist Nikolai Fraiture offered, before drummer Fabrizio Moretti emphatically declared that “she was fuckin’ awesome!” Casablancas himself gave the woman props for her “tremendous effort”, calling the moment “a really great memory and a great journey for you.”
He seemed to poke fun at her singing abilities, though, as he continued: “Should I mention that she’s German? Does that make a difference? Unfortunately she doesn’t make it, she doesn’t make it, but we love her forever, and we will have the memory… Now, what’s the next song?”
Earlier this week, Casablancas responded to criticism that emerged after The Strokes’ performance at this year’s Roskilde festival. According to setlist.fm, their set began half an hour behind schedule and featured “lots of erratic and endless banter from Casablancas”.
In a since-deleted post shared on Instagram, Casablancas shot back at rumours that he was heavily intoxicated during his performance. “I’m not tuned into Twitter things enough to know what some confused fan thinks or pretends they know,” he wrote, “but I’m fine… far as I know … people been asking me weiiird questionnns [sic] – ahh the dumb side of social media… Lame-Os running around so hard and free.”
The Strokes are currently on tour in support of ‘The New Abnormal’. Reviewing their set at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, NME’s Ella Kemp said Casablancas performed with “feverish energy”, and pointed out that he did treat fans to “small talk and jokes and frequent rambles”.
Kemp continued to say that “Casablancas’ puzzling behaviour still [left] room for an impressive performance music-wise”, declaring that “the power of the set” was “undeniable” and that the setlist offered “a celebration old and new of the [band’s] most infectious hits”.