On The List :: Julian Casablancas @ Terminal 5 [1.14.10]

Everyone was calling Julian Casablancas by his first name. Near the ticket window it was, "Julian" and upstairs in VIP it was a more familiar, "Jules." Opener Tanlines even referred to him as the vaguely messianic "JC." Apparently, New York assumed it was on a first name basis with the guy who allegedly saved rock and roll in 2001 on the Lower East Side. As if winking at 3,000 people at once, Casablancas opened with "Ludlow St.," an overly sentimental ode to the street he helped make famous. Of course, it was also to say that if we thought we knew him, he most assuredly knew us better.

Casablancas, dressed almost head-to-foot in black leather came to the stage last, a subtle tip to the significance of his return to the city that bore him. After "Ludlow St.," he directed the band in the wailing and enormous "River Of Brakelights," a song that few outside the first twenty rows grasped or reacted to appropriately. Followed quickly with "11th Dimension," Casablancas turned Terminal 5 into a sea of jumping heads and bobbing angular haircuts. As if to endear himself, during "Out Of The Blue," Casablancas whipped the mike around by its cord, before catching it and ripping through the last chorus. It was the kind of maneuver that said both, "I've still got it" and, "I never really left."

Of course, this return couldn't be complete without an unscripted ending. After closing his first encore with "4 Chords Of The Apocalypse," Casablancas slammed the mike on the stage and reached into the crowd with all the magnanimous affect of a messiah. The crowd visibly pushed towards their hero and he seemed visibly affected by this display. Terminal 5 turned on their background music and the crowd was supposed to leave. No one moved. Casablancas returned, rather sheepishly, saying, "We really were done." He then played "Tourist," as if to indicate that even The Messiah feels a little weird when everyone tries to know his name. The crowd, unabashedly, sang along with their own personal Julian.

Listen :: Julian Casablancas - "I Wish It Was Christmas Today"


noah said...

Let's all agree that while Phrazes For The Young is mostly satisfying when played on your iTunes, it reaches transcendent levels live, yes?

32feet said...

absolutely. something in the loudness and sharpness of the arrangements. see it live. absolutely.

Nate said...

I would just add that JC stands for one thing and one thing only: Josh Cribbs.