April 10, 2010

Julian Casablancas Album & Show Reviews

Julian Casablancas first solo project entitled "Phrazes For The Young" has been out for some time now but I've just recently taken the time to check it out. Knowing that Casablancas is the front man for The Strokes and the little I know about them left me without any expectations as I sat down to listen to his debut.

I must say, overall I was pleasantly surprised. For some reason I had this preconceived notion that his sound would be overly punk with an unfortunate vocal quality but again I must say, I was glad to be wrong. The first track, and possibly my favorite on the album, Out Of The Blue, comes with vocals that are strong and experienced. The entire album is a collection of eclectic sounds ranging from rock, pop, synth, 80's (30 Minute Boyfriend), and even a little bluesy (4 Chords Of The Apocalypse). I think you will have a hard time not moving to a couple of the tracks on this album, especially 11th Dimension, another album favorite. Despite the album only having 8 tracks on it, I would certainly encourage you to check it out.

Now, on to the 'Rock for Riley VI' show at The Vogue that I had the chance to see last night with Julian Casablancas as the headliner...

I always enjoy seeing shows at The Vogue. I think it's one of the more solid smaller venues in Indianapolis. My concert-going-companion @bhsmith1 and I got there in plenty of time to see the opener, Funeral Party, play their 35min set. Not an awful opening set, got the crowd moving a little bit and some of the best musicians I have seen. I found their lead vocals to be a little unfortunate and difficult to listen to for 2 main reasons: 1) I couldn't understand what he was saying and 2) he screamed much more than he sang.

Next...the first half of the worst part of the entire show...the set change took an HOUR! I do not hold the 'Rock for Riley' people responsible for this but instead think for a venue this size with artists of this "size" an HOUR is UNACCEPTABLE! Actually, I am not sure an HOUR set change is ever acceptable, regardless of who you are.

Casablancas finally took the stage and the crowd immediately responded. There was energy and movement all over the place. By this time the crowd had filled out and was ready to go. He put together a solid set, playing I believe, his entire debut album but that is where the second half of the worst part of the entire show comes in...his set was actually shorter than the HOUR set change. That is not cool. We sit through 2 hours of an opening band and set change and get 45mins of the headliner? Quite a disappointment minus the fact that over $76k was raised for Riley Children's Hospital. So, save yourself the $20 to see him live and spend $4.99 at Amazon to buy the album and use the other $15 to grab something to eat (unless of course it's for a good cause).


Joe said...

My favorite part of this is that you use the word "unfortunate" when describing the possibility of punk vocals. Love it! haha. I've never put it that way but I like it.

Matt Lipan said...

Joe: ha, thanks! i wasn't really sure how else to say it.

Anonymous said...

i was also at this show and what really bummed me apart from the set change of course was that he did not do the entire album, the one song i wanted to hear most, Tourist, he did not do which drove me nuts! lol, other than that i do have to say what i got i loved julian sounded amazing :)

Matt Lipan said...

Anonymous: thanks for the read and comment.

i totally agree, his setlist was way too short! with an album of only 8-9 tracks, how do you not perform the whole thing? i would also agree with you that he sounded great, i just wish there was of him to listen to.

sorry you didn't get "Tourist". i was hoping for (and lucky enough to get) "Out of the Blue" and "11th Dimension".

thanks again for stopping by and dropping a comment. any chance you're going to see Rodrigo Y Gabriela in a couple weeks? that's the next show i'll be checking out at The Vogue, and i'm really looking forward to it.