The Strokes Slay Coachella 2011 As The World Watches and Chews 5 Gum

by Eric Van Dril · 94 comments


I hope you saw it.

The Strokes played a headlining set at Coachella Sunday night and they were incredible. Nick’s solos were mind blowing, Albert showed off his pipes/suspenders and Julian, somehow, turned in a memorable performance BETWEEN songs. Fab and Nikolai were their normal steady selves with a huge amount of flair. I like this new Strokes 2.0 model.

Since many of us saw the Coachella live stream, which can be seen on the TSN Facebook page as soon as I receive it (I won’t be posting on here, so fan TSN on Facebook and the video will pop into your feed), I think it’s time to get out of the way and let everybody voice their opinions of the set.

I’d like to do a special Q&A session for this post. I’ll ask the questions and you supply the answers in the comments section of this post. Sound good?

The questions are…

  1. Favorite song from the show (which one left you walking away in a daze?).
  2. The MVS (Most Valuable Stroke).
  3. Song you wished The Strokes would have played in the Coachella set.
  4. Favorite article of clothing from the set (options include, but are not limited to: Niko’s jacket, Fab’s shirt, Julian’s hat, Albert’s suspenders and Nick’s sweatshirt).
  5. Favorite piece of Julian’s banter.
  6. Aside from The Strokes, your favorite Coachella set you witnessed from this year’s webcast/festival.
  7. Most annoying thing about the webcast was?

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nikki April 18, 2011 at 11:22 am

By FAR the best thing Julian said was “Was that a flute solo I saw earlier?” Referring to, and mocking Simon LeBon. (The Strokes followed Duran Duran, who delivered a very disappointing aged rockers set.” note to duran duran: no one was there to hear your new album…and yeah, the flute thing was totally lame.

2 Tim April 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Is it just me or was Julian mad when the band started playing Reptillia? When he said “Lead singers speak” it felt like he was telling them not to cut him off. Is it only me or did anyone else see this too?

3 wolfman April 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

First Impressions songs sounded really good.

4 Kevin April 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Julian definitely seemed a little under the influence haha. He was making cracks and taking shots at everyone, pretty funny stuff. “So, fuckin’ Kanye, huh? Shit..” Haha. “I just flew in off my diamond-encrusted jet, I have no idea what’s going on out here. I jest, I jest..”


1. You Only Live Once. Fucking brilliant song, amazing performance.
2. Any, although Julian definitely hammed it up and stole the show with his between song banter.
3. Machu Picchu! By far. Love this fucking song, I really wanted to see it live..
5. All of it, he was being ridiculous and hilarious.
6. Arcade Fire easily topped the entire festival, without a doubt.
7. While I was just glad to have it, the black and white thing got really annoying.

5 Marissa April 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I’ll answer your questions, they are interesting. :3
I think my favorite was “Under Cover of Darkness” solely because of Albert’s backup vocals. Then again, I really liked Julian’s voice in “Reptilia” and “Gratisfaction”. I’m indecisive, what can I say?

It’s so typical of me to say, but Julian was definitely the MVS. He made the entire performance even better with his chatter. With that, I will say that Julian’s “diamond-encrusted jet” and “I jest” bit cracked me up. Nobody says that nowadays, it’s so amusing to hear Jules say that.

I would have loved either Metabolism, Ize Of the World or Trying Your Luck. Then again, those aren’t the most popular Strokes songs, so I understand why they didn’t play them.

I absolutely LOVED Nikolai’s sleeveless jacket/shirt. My eyes popped when I saw them. Nick’s leopard print jacket was also very eye-popping as well. :3

What was really annoying was the way it was filmed. Black and white, really? The cameraman took about 5 minutes worth of the Strokes’ shoes and close-ups of their instruments, but not them. Super disappointing. There was barely any light as well, which Julian even commented on. When the light finally hit Albert, he noticed it and said, “really?” My thoughts exactly.

I only watched Coachella for the Strokes, so I only saw them and a bit of Kanye West, who had a very good performance. It was an exciting time for me, from “I Can’t Win” to “Take It Or Leave It”. I fangirled like crazy, I kid you not.

6 Pilar April 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Where does Julian get all those jackets?!
I hate the black and white.
You guys are playing Last Nite TOO MUCH.
Julian: Are those pants your lucky pants? You’re always wearing them.
Fab: Nice hair cut:)
Nikolai’s should bass should be louder. In most of the songs except for Reptilia.
You guys should play Soma, Electricityscape, or Juice Box.
I loved when Julian said ” Was that a flute solo I saw earlier?”
What was up with Julian before Reptilia? That was just weird.

7 saywhat April 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I liked the improv in Juicebox. “Waiting for some actress…bitch” haha

8 Pilar April 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

You should also play of your new album:)

9 Pilar April 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Correction, more of the new album…..

10 luis April 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm

1. Gratisfaction. Until Last Nite I had detested the song, but they really made it great.
2. impossible.
3. Barely Legal…or I’ll Try Anything Once, but that will never happen.
5. Psychedicklick
6. Yeezy
7. I couldnt tell if his has was satin or just looked that way from the weird effect they applied

11 george April 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm

what did julians hat say?

12 billy April 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm

coachella! was soooo aswesome!! i was right at the front!!!

sooo epic!!!!!!!!

13 kate April 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm

1.It’s a toss-up between Gratisfaction and Juicebox… amazing performance!
2. I can’t choose just one…
3. Evening Sun would have been nice to hear!
4. Niko’s vest said “Have a Nice Day”! I loved it!
5.”Hello Pilgrim Friends”
6. I didn’t get to see much else, since I didn’t know Coachella was streaming live. So I just saw a little bit of Ellie Goulding which was pretty awesome

14 wolfman April 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

are they rumored to play lolla this year at all?

15 Christine April 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm

1. Under Control – I absolutely love hearing that song live. Juicebox/YOLO were also AMAZING.
2. Either Julian for those parts where he never missed a tone/hilarious stage banter (even though my awful stream cut out most of it) or Albert, because his solos and KEYBOARD CAMEO ON GAMES sounded excellent. You go, Albie!
3. Evening Sun, because I finally got to taste “being 17” as of today.
4. Again, the stream made it too dark for me to tell what they were wearing, but after checking post-concert photos I’ll admit that Niko’s NIKO jacket just exuded swag.
5. I’m so upset that I didn’t hear most of his banter that I’m going to have to re-watch the set on video, but I did catch the diamond-encrusted jet comment. Cracked. me. up.
6. Two Door Cinema Club was wonderful, they really stayed true to their studio sound and the crowd was obviously appreciating it as much as I was. (Honorable mention for Best Coast, Bethany mentioned being excited for The Strokes and I was like, HELL YEAH!)
7. Okay, here is where I rant and fume about my extremely shitty stream that stopped IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERY FUCKING STROKES SONG and kept lagging, on top of the B&W and weird hipster directing that everyone here has been complaining about. I’m grateful that 5 Gum could pull off a live webcast and the stream actually worked fine for me on Friday/Saturday, but for some reason it was acting crazy during the Strokes set on both of my web browsers. I raged so hard when it cut out 80% of the Julian banter AND the solo in Under Control AND countless other times. Youtube must just hate me, I guess.

16 Carolyn April 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm

@wolfman well they played last year so probably not. unless that could happen, a band headlining two years in a row? but if they did, that would be amazing!!!!

17 Dom April 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Best Song: Someday was awesome as always, but Gratisfaction was dope too!

M.V.S.: Thats like asking me to chose my favourite child!

M.I.A.(song): Soma woulda been nice to hear.

Best Clothing: I’m goin with Jules and his glasses, and hat combination.

Julian’s Banter: “Psych-a-dick-lick music”

Worst part of stream: Pauses, and out of focus shots… I’t was still bloody awesome though!!!

18 Dom April 18, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Oh, forgot one…

Favourite other set @ Coachella: I really had no interset in seeing a full set from any of those other bands, ao I’m gonna say no one. Maybe it was cuz the Strokes were there, but every other band seemed pretty irrelevant next to them

19 joji April 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm

favourite song was under control or hard to explain. long time favourites and i was super happy to hear em play them.
MVS goes to Julian
i really liked julians jokes about duran duran playing coachella hhaha
really would have loved to hear them play automatic stop, i love that song favourite article of clothing was nicks leopard print sweater or julians trusty leather jacket
i really enjoyed kanye’s set, he killed it.
worst part was why was the strokes in black and white? so absolutely dumb. we have color film for a reason, let’s use it people.

20 saywhat April 18, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Soooooo it’s mid-April. Does anyone think they’ve started writing/recording the new material as was hinted earlier?

21 Dillon April 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm

1. Reptilia was pretty rockin, gratisfaction.
2. Julian, Nick
3. Meet Me In The bathroom!!! Killin Lies (but thats never gonna happen)
4. dont really care, i dont know if even julian can pull of that hat though
5. All of it was pretty good
6. Kanye
7. It glitched alot, but Coachella is still fucking rad for streaming the whole festival

22 KehDee April 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm

1. Tough choice between Hard to Explain (love how Jules hits the first line) and Under Control. I’ll go with Hard to Explain.
2. Again! What’s with the tough questions? For the Coachella show, MVS would be Malbert Mammond Jr. 😉
3. Ize of the World OR Trying Your Luck
4. Nick’s leopard print sweater
5. “I gotta get my fuckin’–my shit together… I just say random, generic shit loudly *mumble*… DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE?! You guys gotta do better than that *chuckles* DO YOU NOT BELIEVE IN…”
6. Arcade Fire (maybe Duran Duran’s flute solo?… I jest, I jest)
7. It wasn’t that it was in black and white, but that the camera kept going in and out of focus. I’m not sure if that was intentional; if it was, whoever directed it should never do that again.

23 Big Julian fan here April 19, 2011 at 4:38 am

Hey guys. Did julian also seemed a little like a jerk? Every other show i have seen he has been great and extremely awesome and great singing and sweet but… I don’t know. I just don’t know. I love them anyway, but i don’t think he sings with passion anymore. sadly, but true right? I still think he is a musical geniuse.
Love you all at this site btw. :))

24 Big Julian fan here April 19, 2011 at 4:39 am

*a little like a jerk to you*

25 Momo April 19, 2011 at 5:07 am

@ big julian fan
no, not jerkish..but i get what you mean. I thought about that too while watching..he doesnt seem to care if he hits those notes right..he was just kinda sailing through it.
BUT..I’m happy he’s not so hard on himself anymore..he’s a lot more fun or I dont know..interacts more..? but yeah..i have the old videos that remind me he can sing well..if he tries but..whatever, I enjoy anything they do, maybe thats the problem.

26 Big Julian fan here April 19, 2011 at 6:27 am

@ momo
I agree. I enjoy everything to. And i think he is amazing, but.. I most say. If he nowadays was like he was in 2001-2003 he would be a legend. I think he lost it a little. It hurst to say.. The first album witch he wrote is the best album i’ve ever heard. And his voice is incredible. The strokes is still my favourite band and he is my Idol.. SO. I’m a little fucked about this 😉

27 Big Julian fan here April 19, 2011 at 6:34 am

I think it’s cuz he don’t sing cuz he “have to” anymore. you know? Now it’s like he just do it for fans and he don’t really care anymore. Actually i think his solo album was amazing. Maybe the band don’t feel the same way for each other anymore. Maybe he’s greater on his own. I don’t know. I just hope that we soon will see a concert where he’s just a bit more serious and passionated… 🙂

28 Eric Van Dril April 19, 2011 at 8:15 am

I loved reading everybody’s selections. I couldn’t remember half of the stuff that Julian said (specifically the psychedicklick music and the flute solo). For those interested, here’s my list.

1. Juicebox. Nick’s solo was incredible and that song is so angry.
2. Nick
3. Ize. Always Ize.
4. Niko’s jacket.
5. Too many to choose, but I’d probably go with the jet thing and “I jest I jest”.
6. The National. I’m obsessed with The National.
7. The webcast stopped working quite a few times, so that takes the cake.

29 Carole April 19, 2011 at 9:09 am

Nice to read your quotes of Julian I’m French so I hardly understand! If you have other nice quotes don’t hesitate to write them down! 😉

30 Big Julian fan here April 19, 2011 at 9:47 am

Whos quotes? 🙂

31 daveyB. April 19, 2011 at 11:32 am

1. Juicebox. They’re playing it SO well now, like all the pressure from the FIOE stigma attached to the song was lifted off them or something. Was also one of the best moments, beside song, when I saw them play it @ MSG.
2. This will sound cheesy but ALL of them are the MVP. No one member should be bigger or more important than the band anytime or anywhere.
3. Two Kind Of Happiness. For the chorus alone with all the bullshit U2 comparisons set aside.
4. Albert’s suspenders. I’ve always wanted to rock them. Maybe that will give me assentive.
5. Did Jules say to the crowd something like, “Are you ALL in-LOVE? Do you hate LOVE?!”. Very uncharacteristic even though he said it in-jest but it got a response. If I’m wrong about what he said then I’ll go with what he immediately said after that: “ARE YOU FUCKING READY?!”.
7. I understand the connection issues with the stream. So many people logging on at the same time, they’re bound to be technical difficulties but the black & white color scheme shouldn’t have been used for the entire show. I also understand they probably did that because of how bright the light display in the backdrop was and all the distortion it would’ve created with the picture resolution and perhaps, disrupted the live streaming too, but it happened anyway with the black & white color scheme they used.

32 another Julian fan April 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm

@ big julian fan here

i totally agree. julian didn’t seem as happy/charismatic as he is usually. maybe it was just the feed, but i felt he was a little off in his singing. and also his banter, while this was funny, he is usually more ‘smiley’ and warm. don’t know. but i mean compare it to say, the rockness videos that were just posted.

33 John April 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm

1. The whole thing went by so fast. I would have to go with the Modern Age as my favorite though… i do recall going absolutely bonkers when they started that.
2. Nicolai…. using his beer bottle to play the bass.
3. Vision of Division or Meet Me in the Bathroom
4. couldnt’ say
5. “Juicebox their faces off”
6. Crystal Castles were incredible. I wasn’t even a big fan of them….. Alice Glass is incredible
7. Haven’t seen it yet.

34 Jenna April 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I was there and it was very underwhelming. Several Strokes fans were hurt/went unconscious trying to wait it out in the front and it wasn’t worth it at all. I thought Julian sounded terrible (although he did fine on ‘Games’) and had no energy at all. I didn’t deal with a webcast, so I was watching him the whole time and he seemed….upset. I think something was wrong and he really didn’t want to be there/care. While Fab and Nikolai were great and Nick had one awesome solo, the guitar sounded really off and I have no idea why. I couldn’t even tell when The Modern Age started because it was so off. And I caught part of Duran Duran, and guess what? They sounded better than The Strokes, so…

1. The only one that sounded good was Juicebox
2. Definitely Fab
3. Soma
4. Niko’s jacket
5. None. He was unenthusiastic and bitter. It wasn’t ‘awkward’, it was apathetic.
6. Foals. They trumped any set I’ve ever seen, not just including Coachella.
7. I have no idea how the webcast was.

35 Big Julian fan here April 20, 2011 at 6:27 am

@ another big julian fan
I coulden agree more. Those videos of rockness is amazing and RIGHT THERE he is the real julian you know? great singin, cool attitude, and all that stuff.. Maybe it was just an off day 🙂

36 toni April 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm

You only live once reptilia or take it or leave it
Julian or Albert
Ize of the World maybe, did they play the end has no end
Fabs shirt
That thing about kanye lol
Didnt see any
black and white

37 Johnny Bermana April 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Jules literally forgot entire lines in some songs and still sounded ten times better at Rockness

38 isurvivedcoachella11 April 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm

During the strokes I had just about a stroke. Had to be carried out by security over the fence. I fainted, shit was so scary. Strokes were rad, but fainting killed my mojo.

Reptilla…..that guitar riff is amazing & timeless.
Soma for sure.
Julians sunglasses & jacket
His comment about Kanye, although Kanye killed it.
Empire of the Sun & Arcade Fire….2 reasons alone to buy your ticket.
Didn’t watch the webcast. I was actually there.

39 connor pierce April 24, 2011 at 11:53 am

I didn’t get to see the whole thing cause i couldn’t stream it, but… did they play 12:51?

40 kate April 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I don’t now if anyone else has seen this….

I’m pretty sure that’s the full setlist for anyone that missed the broadcast or the actual concert. Gah.

41 aime April 26, 2011 at 4:17 am

does anyone know when or between which songs Julian said the thing about Duran Duran. It was so funnyyyy.

42 Gina August 29, 2011 at 3:36 am

1. why didn’t they play ‘is this it?’
2. can they stop being immature and get their act together and be adults
3. why did the most recent album sound more nickelback than the strokes?

43 Brook November 17, 2011 at 10:18 pm

can some one please please please tell me what brand the LEOPARD print jacket Nick is wearing. fucking love it and want it!

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