The Strokes were joined by some very big names for their fundraising concert in support of New York mayoral candidate Maya Wiley last night (June 12).
The band took to the stage at the Irving Plaza for a show that journeyed through their back catalogue, with all proceeds from the gig going to support Wiley in her attempt to become the city’s first female mayor. All fans were required to provide proof of coronavirus vaccination to be permitted entry.
- READ MORE: The Strokes – ‘The New Abnormal’ review: proof that they’re still the best riff-makers around
But before the band had played a note, they were joined on stage by a pair of unusual support acts: stand-up comedian and noted Strokes affiliate John Mulaney, and US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Fans reacted with disbelief at the surprise appearances, both of whom spoke about their support for Wiley’s mayoral campaign. Ocasio-Cortez was later filmed dancing with Wiley during the Strokes’ show – see reactions and fan footage below.
HOLY FUCK JOHN MULANEY JUST CAME OUT AT THE STROKES SHOW pic.twitter.com/wCw4X4nwf4
— 🥸 (@newabnormaI) June 13, 2021
— ze kraken (@YsabellaMonton) June 13, 2021
John Mulaney and AOC opening for The Strokes tn is genuinely something I could’ve never seen coming pic.twitter.com/cTyqcj8IjD
— Kaszimir (@kaszimir) June 13, 2021
— sachyn (@sachynsuch) June 13, 2021
aoc was the hype woman at the strokes show for maya wiley tonight pic.twitter.com/ek7eMXqYSX
— jack (@myloveawaken) June 13, 2021
NYC is back and beautiful and ready for the future with @mayawiley. What a powerful night of music and political imagination w @aoc and @thestrokes. Let’s do this! #Mayor4NYC pic.twitter.com/pNOYAqgS1u
— AnaMariaArchila🦋 (@AnaMariaArchil2) June 13, 2021
There was also the small matter of The Strokes’ first public, in-person performance – variously described as “amazing” and “absolute pandemonium” – since March 9, 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic brought live music to a halt.
It was also New York’s first full-capacity show of its size since the city’s first lockdown, as well as the first show at Irving Plaza since its renovations in 2019.
Check out the full setlist as well as reactions to the concert below – including fan footage of ‘Someday’, ‘Ode To The Mets’, and ‘Last Nite’.
ok enough about john mulaney everyone look at the setlist the strokes’ roadie gave me pic.twitter.com/OaObQSau47
— 🥸 (@newabnormaI) June 13, 2021
the strokes were amazing tonight 🌹❤️ pic.twitter.com/d9HfZ0nFGF
— kendall roy’s gf (@filmchlo) June 13, 2021
— Make the Road Action 🦋 (@MaketheRoadAct) June 13, 2021
— chris (@holupwtf) June 13, 2021
literally never thought I’d cry at a strokes show but it happened
— ilana kaplan (@lanikaps) June 13, 2021
Absolute pandemonium in NYC for The Strokes and @mayawiley.
— Daniel Altschuler 🦋 (@altochulo) June 13, 2021
The live gig follows a virtual fundraiser the band played for Wiley back in May, which saw The Strokes play their first-ever acoustic set.
“Maya Wiley is the most grateful, gracious, and kind-hearted bad-ass I’ve ever witnessed,” frontman Julian Casablancas said in a statement prior to the show. “The more I know her, the more I know that she is absolutely the best choice to be NYC’s next mayor.
“This feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity to help elevate an incredible person to a position of power where they can protect the public — instead of the usual — managing their exploitation…”
He continued: “She is the only leading candidate without a PAC (political action committee), so it’s a privilege to use art to support a non-corporate candidate fighting against difficult odds. She is a benevolent warrior; at City Hall she got the cop who killed Eric Garner fired. We need to elect trustworthy people so when hard decisions need to be made behind closed doors, we know the people of NYC will be protected and in the best hands possible.”
In turn, Wiley said she was “so thankful to The Strokes for their support for my campaign and my vision for this city and for their commitment to making this event happen safely and successfully.”
As well as the New York band, Wiley has been endorsed by the likes of actors Chris Evans and Gabrielle Union.
The New York mayoral elections take place on June 22.