Playing their first show since August, and the first of a busy summer that includes a much-anticipated return to the UK, The Strokes were on killer form at Shaky Knees Festival this weekend. Here’s the best photos from their headline set…
Rejoice! The Strokes finally made their live return over the weekend (May 9), playing their first show since August 2014. And they picked a grand stage for it, too: a triumphant set at Atlanta's Shaky Knees Festival, playing in front of 30,000 adoring fans.
The band barely paused for breath as they played a greatest hits-style set comprising of material from their five studio albums. Hitting the stage sporting ripped up jeans and a mullet, Julian Casablancas barely spoke to either the band or the audience while storming through the set, though did ask "What does Shaky Knees mean anyway?"
Elsewhere in the set, The Strokes gave a live debut to 'Comedown Machine' single 'All The Time' and also played 'You Talk Way Too Much' (from the album 'Room On Fire') for the first time since 2004.
"Right, we're doing it," Casablancas later told the crowd. "In the unofficial capital of the south. This is a cool fest, lot of cool bands and a beautiful park too. It's just gorgeous." And although there wasn't much new material, they played a bevy of fan favourites to keep punters happy, including classic singles 'Reptilia', 'Someday' and 'Take It Or Leave It'.
There was room for a surprise cameo, too. Mac DeMarco, who The Strokes watched perform his own set at the festival earlier in the day, later joined the band onstage and played guitar on hit single 'Last Nite'.
While there may have been some disappointment at a lack of new tracks, The Strokes had the crowd on their side. Fan Courtney Fisher was delighted, telling NME: "I’ve been a fan since sophomore year of high school." Other audience members agreed, "I've seen The Strokes tonnes of times," said Franklin Rabon. "I even saw them one week after they released their first album."
The question now: will The Strokes preview any new material when they hit the UK? Casablancas revealed they had been writing together again, despite his other commitments to his other band, The Voidz. "It’s the first time we’ve been exclusively writing since 'Comedown Machine'," he said recently. "We’re planning on recording stuff. I still think we could do cool things and I’ll do that."
Fingers crossed, then, that they'll have a clutch of new songs this June: they'll play their first UK gig in five years when they headline the British Summer Time Festival in London's Hyde Park on June 18.
Go on Julian, give it some, pal.
Now there's a concentration face.