postmodern tucson

Thursday, March 23, 2006

strokes in mesa, for better or worse... but mostly better

No matter how bad Phoenix seems, there's always Mesa.

(Begin essentializing rant here:) Mesa is the epitome of the ugliness and wastefulness that is urban sprawl. It puts the San Fernando Valley to absolute shame. Once a modest town, Mesa is now a SuperWalmart-sized suburb which doubles as the second largest city in Arizona. It's a one-two punch of 'back to basics' middle America: Mesa boasts a legacy of religious conservatism (the town itself was founded by Mormon pioneers in the mid-19th century) and neo-nuclear families fresh off the latest white flight.

That said, apparently The Strokes prefer Mesa folk over those of us here in postmodern Tucson. Or maybe our music venues were overbooked for March 21. After all, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was playing Solar Culture on the same night. Maybe their booking agent was a little more ambitious. Or just a little more in tune with Tucson audiences.

I mean, let's face it... the Strokes could have easily sold out Tucson's largest (yet still refreshingly intimate) venues, either the Rialto Theatre or TCC Music Hall. Instead, the band parked at the Mesa Amphitheatre where they played their first US tour date that hasn't sold out. Let me put it this way: Amanda, Miguel and I arrived at the venue a half hour after doors open, and the parking lot is fucking empty. I could have thrown a rock (or Miguel) from my car to the security check-in.

All things considered, the Strokes' set was stellar. After waiting out a bunch of hot air from the Eagles of Death Metal, the boys stepped up and played that stage like it was the goddamn Fillmore. If it weren't for a rather stiff crowd, I'd consider it to be the best show I've seen them play... but nothing beats the energy a Bay Area audience.

The setlist went a little something like this:
You Only Live Once
Red Light
The End Has No End
Life's a Gas
I Can't Win
Heart In a Cage
Last Nite
Hard To Explain
Ize of the World
Trying Your Luck
Barely Legal
Ask Me Anything
Vision of Division

NYC Cops
Take It Or Leave It

First Impressions of Earth might not be the band's strongest album, but its work makes for the best live performaces. "Ize of the World" and "Vision of Division" were guitar-heavy, bar-none standouts, "You Only Live Once" a swooning kick-off, and the stripped-down simplicity of "Ask Me Anything" eerily emotional.

The band spiced things up with "Life's a Gas," a cover of the Ramones' later work, which was delivered flawlessly. Apparently the song is the B-side to the Strokes's second single off of FIOE, "Heart in a Cage."

I was definitely missing three key Strokes tracks here: "Alone, Together," "The Modern Age," and "15 Minutes," the latter possibly the best off of FIOE, but perhaps too difficult to pull off well live. Amanda was a little upset she didn't get "Razor Blade." In any event, we were hardly left unsatisfied.

I'll always have an obvious bias for the Strokes, but 5 years after the release of The Modern Age EP, the band is undeniably at their best. For one, Julian's sobered up, finally comfortable and grown into his place at the mic. But the longevity of the band as a whole has been most impressive. In 2001, the idea of the Strokes putting out a halfway-decent third album would have been incomprehensible. Now, in 2006, the other bands once credited for ushering in a new, supposed Rock revolution alongside the Strokes-- the Vines, the White Stripes (certainly debatable...), etc.-- have faded/and or if not already been deemed extinct. This can't be a coincidence.

Keep it coming, boys.

(More pics and vid coming soon, courtesy Miguel)


Anonymous amanda said...

Yeah, and if they had been at the Rialto, I probably could have SEEN the the band instead of just hearing them. Still, they sounded great!

8:51 PM  
Anonymous dan said...

whoa, whoa, whoa. I will give the vines, but the white stripes, faded or extinct? Loved the whole post up until there.

12:23 AM  
Blogger adam said...

i agree, i'm being a little harsh on the stripes. but their last album doesn't help any, agreed?

12:37 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

longchamp outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, prada handbags, replica watches, burberry pas cher, oakley sunglasses wholesale, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, replica watches, ugg boots, christian louboutin uk, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, kate spade outlet, nike free, louis vuitton outlet, air max, christian louboutin shoes, polo ralph lauren, louboutin pas cher, christian louboutin outlet, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses, nike outlet, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, michael kors pas cher, jordan pas cher, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, chanel handbags, jordan shoes, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp pas cher, nike free run, polo outlet, nike roshe, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin, gucci handbags, tory burch outlet, tiffany and co, ray ban sunglasses, prada outlet

8:31 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

nike air max uk, oakley pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, coach purses, hollister pas cher, michael kors, new balance, burberry outlet, north face, vans pas cher, uggs outlet, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air force, nike roshe run uk, michael kors outlet online, mulberry uk, ralph lauren uk, sac hermes, true religion outlet, nike air max uk, nike tn, north face uk, ray ban pas cher, lululemon canada, michael kors, ray ban uk, true religion outlet, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, guess pas cher, hollister uk, polo lacoste, kate spade, true religion outlet, nike air max, converse pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike free uk, coach outlet, sac vanessa bruno, timberland pas cher, hogan outlet, replica handbags

8:32 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

gucci, louboutin, baseball bats, mcm handbags, abercrombie and fitch, soccer shoes, hollister, north face outlet, longchamp uk, vans outlet, chi flat iron, lululemon, herve leger, instyler, reebok outlet, converse, lancel, soccer jerseys, nike huaraches, mont blanc pens, hollister, mac cosmetics, beats by dre, ghd hair, ray ban, nike roshe run, insanity workout, timberland boots, nike air max, jimmy choo outlet, celine handbags, hermes belt, north face outlet, asics running shoes, bottega veneta, p90x workout, oakley, hollister clothing, babyliss, wedding dresses, nfl jerseys, new balance shoes, converse outlet, iphone cases, nike air max, valentino shoes, nike trainers uk, ralph lauren, vans, ferragamo shoes

8:33 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

canada goose outlet, moncler, replica watches, louis vuitton, pandora uk, canada goose jackets, canada goose, supra shoes, louis vuitton, doudoune moncler, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, canada goose uk, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, swarovski crystal, hollister, moncler outlet, moncler uk, links of london, ugg, moncler, pandora charms, moncler outlet, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, canada goose, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, moncler, swarovski, ugg pas cher, toms shoes, coach outlet, canada goose, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg uk, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, marc jacobs, moncler, karen millen uk, montre pas cher

8:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home