Saturday, April 3, 2010

Casablanca Haus

I went to a Julian Casablancas concert this friday, at the Guvernment (Kool Haus). He's headlining his solo tour for his new album, Phrazes For The Young. He's of The Strokes fame, their vocalist and main songwriter. Indie rock and garage-rock revival based and extremely talented.

Had to venture all the way to Harbourfront.

I'm assuming The Guvernment is the major holding, and Kool Haus is the club/ concert venue part of it? I'm still confused as to whether Kool Haus is part of the Guvernment or just ajointed to it. Whatever it was, it took us forever to find it because the main building was all painted pitch black and I, being the idiot, completely missed the huge sign on top.

I don't know if I should laugh at the tackiness of the name or not...

First thing we noticed when we walked in was the sparsely decorated floor, with the pumbing and tubes still visible in the ceiling. After we became more comfortable to our surroundings, we tuned into the music that was playing. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea who or what band was playing over the speakers, but f**k me, they were good! My friend, M who went with me, and I were sorely tempted to ask staff for the songlist, but could barely see our hands infront of us through the darkness and occasional flash of strobe lights. But mostly because we were shy ;)

Maryam outside of the concert & me upon entry of said concert.

I wish I could say I knew the name of the band that opened for him, but I don't. Their music was along the same lines of The Strokes, the band that Julian Casablancas fronted, but just a tad too screamo for my tastes. Would've enjoyed the opening act a bit more if the five drunk college guys behind us hadn't yelled obscenities into the crowd and tried to boo them off the stage. They honestly weren't that bad, but the drunk dudes were probably too wasted to tell whats good and not.


 Halfway through the opening act, i felt a disturbance behind me and when I looked around there was this girl on the floor, completely blacked out. She got up pretty quickly afterwards so I'm guessing she downed too much alcohol too fast and took a fall. It wasn't even 10 yet.

You probably can't tell because of the crappy lighting, but the guitarist was amazing, and it didn't hurt that he was cute.

They were on for about half an hour and then after they left, we waited another half hour for Casablancas' crew to set up. But, HOLY, when he did come out, the people went wild! Out of the blue dozens of lighters were whipped out of jeans pockets and lit into the air. From our vantage point, we could see a couple of girls jump out of the way of the lighters, probably because they were afiraid it would set their hair-spray laden hair on fire.

I of course, screamed my head off when he got on stage. He looks exactly like he does in interviews/music videos/ tv. Only difference was his stage persona was much less softspoken and swore like a criminal. But he was funny and friendly, teasing the crowd and cracking jokes.

Song: River of Brakelights

Song: Out of the Blue

11th Dimension, one of his New Wave-esque and first solo single, was the one song that really got the crowd started.

Hard to Explain, one of The Strokes song got everybody there to sing along; sounded so awesome live!

Him singing a much slower, mostly instrumental version of "You Only Live Once", my favourite song by The Strokes. Totally disappointed by this number, the bass and beat of the original song was all that was great about it; he butchered it by taking those out.

By the time we pushed past the crowd and stumbled our way out, I was euphorically high on the music and also partially deaf.  Got home late and realised that I had to be at work at 8am the next morning.  You wouldn't believe the amount of people fist-pumping the air; they just ended up lowering them down really awkwardly.

But whatever, seeing Julian Casablancas in person and listening to the Strokes songs live is totally worth the eyebags I woke up with.