by Katelyn Baron
A small and divided crowd headed out to the Electric Factory on Thursday to see The Strokes’ frontman Julian Casablancas play out his new solo album with backing band The Voidz.
Mr. Twin Sister opened the show with a set full of dreamy jazz pop and bursts of energy. Vocalist Andrea Estella’s long violet hair and breathy voice gave the band an ethereal presence. The crowd swayed to the rocking drum beats and smooth guitar riffs, starting the show on a high note. However, that note quickly became shrill.
The main act opened with the trippy “Human Sadness”, a song chock full of screeching falsetto, heavy beats and drawling electric guitars that clocks in at a beastly 11 minutes. The cheering was drowned out by Julian’s distortion-heavy voice, making most of his words completely indiscernible. The majority of the set list blended into an incohesive auto-tuned acid trip. Tyranny is an experimental foray out of Casablancas’ comfort zone. There is no question that these men are talented musicians, and the attempt at eccentricity is somewhat successful but they have some cleaning up to do if they don’t want to alienate everyone.
As the show continued, concert goers seemed to split into two groups: love or hate. Some left early. Others enthusiastically waved their arms to the experimental mix of African rhythms and industrial breakdowns. The crowd was re-energized when the band played “Instant Crush” a la Daft Punk. And then, right before breaking out into a rendition of The Strokes’ “You Only Live Once”, in an odd attempt at humor, Julian tiredly announced they would be playing a Drake cover.
According to the show goers, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz will leave you feeling either wildly disappointed or entirely enthralled. The decision is yours.