Julian Casablancas and Albert Hammond Jr. did double duty at FYF Fest, playing with The Voidz and Albert’s solo act (respectively) on Saturday night before headlining the festival’s final night with the rest of The Strokes.
The crowd grew uneasy as 10-15 minutes passed after the listed 10:25 pm start time, but once they took the stage, things got started in a haste. “Barely Legal” began the set, perhaps serving as a reminder to the many underage attendees that were skirting their curfew to catch one of the influential bands of their older siblings’ high school days.
Fans went nuts when the band went into “Reptilia,” the chorus getting the full karaoke treatment as fans used what little was left of their voices on the final set of the weekend. Perhaps they were galvanized by the bridge: “Yeah, the night’s not over, you’re not trying hard enough…”
The stretch of songs that included “12:51”, “Someday” and “The End Has No End” built beautifully to the night’s final few moments. Casablancas was at the peak of his powers, even if his between song banter was a bit awkward.
The excitable crowd was able to celebrate one final hurrah, as The Strokes closed their set with “Last Nite.” Throughout the evening, Casablancas showcased his full range of vocal talent. On one song, his voice reached a near falsetto and sounded amazing. On other tracks, Casablancas sounded like he was exerting little effort as he killed it every step of the way.
The band came out for a one-song encore, which Casablancas dedicated to Ferguson. On “New York City Cops,” Casablancas addresses the cops not being too smart. It was a good way to end the night with a powerful message to go along with a great feeling.
If The Strokes were out to prove they’re still some of the world’s top rock stars, mission accomplished.
Words: Mark E. Ortega
Photography: Monique Hernandez
Want more photos of FYF Fest 2014? Check out the photo gallery below of all the performing bands and artists!