The Strokes :: "Take It Or Leave It" @ Madison Square Garden [4.1.11]

In a show that featured a guest spot by Elvis Costello on up-coming second single from Angles, "Taken For A Fool", the Strokes still elected to close their encore with a staple from their first record, "Take It Or Leave It". Casablancas was his usual bizarre self, punctuating sentences with unnecessary swear words and wearing high tops the color of a highlighter. But, for a band that has taken a seemingly unending stream of criticism about their internal relations, they successfully united around their MSG show, sounding tight and furious throughout, managing to fill an arena with the sounds of the best club rock band of the past 10 years. On "Take It Or Leave It", Casablancas drove into the crowd for the second time, finding himself at the bottom of one of the 100-level sections, screaming into the darkness. 13,000 people joined him. In a tender moment, Casablancas awkwardly nudged Albert Hammond Jr. upon his return to the stage. For two guys that clearly aren't totally fond of each other, it was a declaration of a momentary, "Hey, remember this used to be fun?" The audience agreed. It didn't matter that almost none of us were there at the Mercury Lounge in 2001-2002. After all, as Casablancas reminded us, "everyone has been playing the same song for ten years." They played it again, we took it, and they left.

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