If you haven’t heard, The Strokes will their first New York City show in nearly four years on Sunday, Sept. 12.
First, the details and then why I dislike this decision.
It’ll take place this Sunday, September 12th at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. The catch? The concert, which is part of a celebration for Tommy Hilfiger’s 25th anniversary, is invite only and unless you received an invitation that “resembled a box of ivy” in the mail yesterday, chances are you won’t be attending. [cos] [NYT]
I was pretty harsh about the Tommy Hilfiger gig today on Twitter* and it garnered a lot of mixed response. Some people agreed with the criticism. Some didn’t, arguing that this isn’t that big of a deal, especially compared to a band from Tennessee who used to open for The Strokes. I hope it’s still apparent The Strokes are still my favorite band and that I’m not going to shut this site down in favor of Radiohead or The Black Keys. I won’t do that until I’m disappointed by Strokes IV.
(* You can read my Twitter here, which is the best place to get an idea of my initial reaction after I read the NYT story listed above on my way to work.)
As I’ve had the day to think about why I was so disappointed with this Fashion Week gig, I’ve come up with a pair of reasons. First, I’m convinced the band is doing this for the money. Although Becky valiantly tried to link Nick’s step-daughter’s modeling career as the reason The Strokes are doing this, I don’t buy that they’re just trying to support their bandmate. What little I do know about the party planning for an event like this, I know a ton of money goes into these parties — from the invitations (resembling a box of ivy) to venue (NYC Metropolitan Opera). The Strokes, in my opinion, decided to play this show mainly because of the immense payday that came with the offer.
They’re artists who have spent the last two years recording an album and 3/5ths of the band have a wife and kids, so I guess this decision can be justified in that regard. Plus, a (likely) seven-figure payday for only eight songs is an amazing deal.
The contradiction in accepting the offer to play the Hilfiger party is the reason why the Hilfiger party planning committee likely pinpointed The Strokes as the band they wanted to play the party.
The Strokes are cool.
Everybody has different opinions of why they’re cool, but one of the reasons I think The Strokes are cool is because they didn’t accept offers like this. They might get back together for a reunion festival tour without any new songs for, as Julian said, the money. But those shows served as a reminder of how great a live band they are and celebrated their music.
In my eyes, a Venison-type show would have been perfect for The Strokes’ return to New York City, but that probably doesn’t make fiscal success at this point in the recording process.
The band’s return to New York City, the city from which they hail and a place still littered with fans who were there back before they recorded Is This It, is nothing more than a money grab. And even though I saw the first Strokes show in the States since 2006 at Lollapalooza, I feel bad for the fans of the band who, like me, love their music and have waited for four years for their live return only to be left on the outside looking in at an invite-only event.
If the band wants to party with a bunch of models and celebrities, that’s fine. But do they really have to play their first show in New York City in four years in front of Hilfiger and a bunch of other rich people?