Feature photo by aurelien
These days a band can become legendary, branch off on their solo projects, and seamlessly reunite for epic endeavors all in the same lifespan. Such is the case for The World Famous Strokes. On April 6th, months before The Strokes get set to co-headline Lollapalooza at Grant Park to millions of fans, lead singer Julian Casablancas will play a much smaller, more intimate show at Lakeview’s The Vic Theater.
This type of schedule was not possible for popular bands back in the day. Contract disputes, legal obligations, and creative conflicts would not permit such flexibility. Take a look at some notable bands who broke up due to irreconcilable differences and tried to stage a “comeback” only to look silly (not to mention almost discrediting their prior work) in doing so: The Smashing Pumpkins, Pink Floyd, The Doors (not so much a breakup, but a preposterous attempt to use the band name nonetheless), and more recently Seattle’s New Faces. Now for some significant success stories: Tool/A Perfect Circle, At the Drive-In (one of my personal faves)/The Mars Volta/Sparta, Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave/Tom Morello’s The Nightwatchman, N.W.A. with some of rap’s biggest names (Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E) going on to huge success after the group’s breakup, but no band has done it quite like The Strokes, who are set to release a long awaited new album this spring. Room on Fire, Is This It, and First Impressions of Earth have garnered critical acclaim as well as a strong fan following, so expect a big outing on The Strokes fourth album.
As far as Casablancas’ solo effort goes, Phrazes for the Young starts off on the cosmically darker side with “Out of the Blue,” and picks up with upbeat, head nodding tracks such as “Left and Right in the Dark,” “11th Dimension,” (did someone say danceable?), and “River of Brakelights.” Casablancas’ knack for clever, witty wordplay is on display throughout the album, making it a must-have for any Strokes fan.
The show at The Vic promises a solid mix of Phrazes for the Young tracks and some Strokes songs sprinkled in for good measure. Got my ticket. You got yours? Surprisingly, tickets are still available. I’ll report back with my progress after the show. I do believe I figured out what is missing from the album though: ah yes…Albert Hammond’s guitar and guitar solos. Oh well, long live The Strokes!