The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
TUL's Take: Julian Casablancas @ 9:30 Club

Having never seen The Strokes live since living in the area for the last decade, this was making up for lost time even though it was just Julian, who was on tour supporting his first solo album Phrazes for the Young. I liked this record so much I placed it in this past year’s Top 10, however, the show last night didn’t come anywhere close to receiving such a merit

Things kicked off slowly with “Tourist”, one of the stronger tracks off of Phrazes, but things suddenly came to a standstill when the drummer’s bass pedal broke. Filling in time during the repair, Julian blurted to the crowd that the Maryland state flag was the best flag in the entire United States. That’s real talk, ladies and gentlemen.

After the drums were fixed, Julian and Co. went into “River of Breaklights.” Maybe it was where I was standing, but the mix last night at the club was rather poor as it was much too bassy with not enough emphasis on vocals. “11th Dimension” was up next and it was perhaps the biggest disappointment of the night. It’s disheartening when one of the best songs off of Phrazes was performed so haphazardly. The energy realized on the record was nowhere to be found in the 9:30 Club last night during this performance, and given how danceable the song is, it was quite a letdown.

The best part of the night by far was when Julian closed the first set with “Left & Right in the Dark”. Probably one of my favorite songs off his LP, the band performed this number flawlessly and I was actually able to get myself moving, something I couldn’t really do earlier in the night because of how lackluster the show was. Julian then closed the evening out with a solo rendition of “You Only Live Once” which was a nice touch.

Overall, the entire show was just so-so and didn’t really meet my expectations, which was a shame. I also can’t believe that this was the first time I’ve been to the 9:30 since TV on the Radio. That’s just depressing. Setlist via

1. Tourist
2. Washington D. C Freestyle
3. River of Brakelights
4. 11th Dimension
5. 30 Minute Boyfriend
6. new song
7. Glass
8. Out of the Blue
9. Left & Right in the Dark


10. You Only Live Once (The Strokes cover)
11. 4 Chords of the Apocalypse

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