Best night of my life.


8 Abr 2010, 19:15

Tue 6 Apr – Julian Casablancas, Funeral Party
Julian Casablancas
I arrived at the venue around 4:00, and there was already a short line beginning to form. I took my place in line and struck up conversation with the girls next to me (lovely girls!) who told me they could’ve sworn they had seen Jules by his tour bus across the street earlier. For 15 minutes or so, I’d alternate from trying to get some studying done to watching the tour bus for any sign of him. If I remember correctly, at around 4:30 he crossed the street towards us. I wish I could recall how I felt at that moment, but I really can’t, haha. “Hey guys!” he said. “Wow, you’re here so early! Gonna get a good spot?” Me and a couple of the other girls in line jumped up to greet him. “Aww—heh—you lost your place…” I remember him saying. Then I asked for a hug. I just went ahead and asked and he gave me one. Best moment of my life. Hands down. I really can’t describe how big a hero of mine he is, but… he’s the greatest, lol. He’s my favorite musician, so… yeah I can’t describe it. Also, he’s taller and thinner in person. Hearing him talk, though… ahh!! I mean I’ve been hearing that voice in interviews and whatnot forever. I couldn’t believe he was actually talking to us. It was just so surreal. Anyway, so another girl asked me to take a picture of her with him, so I did, and then asked her to take one of me with him. (We had this awesome awkward little neither-of-us-knows-where-to-put-our-arms moment for a split second. So awesome. We’re cool.) The girl took the picture, but to my dismay, after checking the camera for the picture I saw that it was on the wrong setting so it didn’t save it. WHICH IS WHY I’M WRITING THIS ALL NOW, so that if I ever become old and senile, I’ll be able to recall this memory by reading it again, haha. His tour manager ushered him inside after he took one more picture with a fan and that was that. I was literally shaking for several minutes after that. It was impossible to focus on studying after that, lol. I sent about a dozen friends text messages telling them what had just happened, mostly because I could hardly believe it myself. A friend of mine met up with me later (after calling, and since my ringtone is 11th Dimension, for the first time since I got it I actually got signs of recognition from people, haha.) She joined me in line and we were a couple of the first people to go in. There was no coat check so we ran up to the barrier (well we walked half the way, because an employee was walking in front of us, lol), I put my back down in front of me and held onto the barrier a little to the right, facing the stage.

At 7:30 Funeral Party came on. I’d heard a little bit of their stuff on YouTube and stuff, and honestly I wasn’t really looking forward to them, but I was pleasantly surprised, especially considering the borderline tacky F and P decorations they had set up onstage. Their frontman was really animated, but not TOO animated. It was charming, lol. I couldn’t really decipher their lyrics, but the music didn’t sound bad, and they really really looked like they were having the time of their lives, haha. All in all, I thought they were pretty fun to watch. Several members played a couple instruments, the frontman had a couple gags of his own, I couldn’t really hear the keyboard when it was playing but I’m not sure if that was a sound problem or if my plugs were blocking it too much or something. They finished a couple minutes early and then it was time for Julian’s band to set up.

That took 55 minutes, lol. I remember. It was really long, but I would’ve waited hours and not cared (it was actually really interesting lmao) EXCEPT for the fact that there was a very rude girl causing drama just to get up front. Part of me understands where she’s coming from. I was lucky enough to get front row, but I had come several hours early, and so had all the people around me, so in all fairness I couldn’t feel too bad for her. She managed to shove her way to the front, and a boy behind me tried to reason with her. I agreed with everything he said, and he was being admirably civil towards her (if you ever read this, mad kudos. You have my utmost respect.), but she was still getting really riled up, going from using her age as a reason to appear superior to him to trying to score pity points by saying she wasn’t going to be at a concert again for the next three years (???), until finally—unfortunately—she felt the need to start dancing around to irritate the guy talking to her. All up on me. Ick. Most uncomfortable moment of the night, definitely. First (AND HOPEFULLY LAST) time I ever had a 23 year-old woman rubbing against me. My friend kept asking me if I was okay to which I’d just respond “Yeah, are you? Are you getting crushed? When the fuck is Julian coming on? He should come on already. Everything will be fine if he just comes on. I’ll be perfectly alright in any situation as long as he’s onstage.” etc etc. Eventually the girl next to me got fed up by people telling her how rude she was and she asked me if she could go around me. I made it explicitly clear that I wasn’t moving but she could definitely go around me. She ended up causing so much commotion that an employee had to send her to the back. There was this weird but amusing moment where everyone who knew what had happened applauded—possibly confusing the rest of the crowd into thinking that Julian was coming on or something, haha.

Finally (!) Julian did come on, smiling and happy. He started off with a new song, which sounded amazing. More fast-paced than most of the stuff on Phrazes for the Young, and one I desperately wish I got video footage of. Ludlow St. followed. Fun fact: I really didn’t like Ludlow St. when I first heard it. Now I love it, and it was incredible live. (“Nightlife is raaaaaaaaaaaaaging!”) River of Brakelights was just as good—and I did manage to record half of it. Left & Right in the Dark was absolutely amazing. It was incredible hearing the crowd clapping along to the drums. Julian was, of course, pitch-perfect. Then the moment I’m sure the entire venue was looking forward to—Julian’s performance of Hard to Explain. It was surreal. The whole crowd was singing along. A crew member on the left side of the stage was ECSTATIC about the response it was getting. It just warmed my heart. It was my first time hearing a Strokes song live and it was just incredible. Absolutely amazing, and it ended way too soon. I captured about 40 seconds on my camera, but really couldn’t stay focused on recording and ended up just giving up and experiencing the moment, haha. The Glass performance was beautiful. It’s definitely one of my top 3 favorite songs of PoTY and it didn’t disappoint (as if it could). 11th Dimension was one of the most fun songs to watch that night. It had Jules moving away from the mic stand (dropping it eventually), moving around the stage, moving closer to fans, and swinging the mic around during the outro. Also, for the record, I love how his voice gets a little nasally during 11th Dimension. Heehee. After 11th Dimension he played another Strokes song, the demo to You Only Live Once: I’ll Try Anything Once. It’s the b-side to Heart in a Cage so I don’t think too many people had heard of it, but everyone’s heard You Only Live Once, so when it came to the chorus, the theater echoed with the crowd singing along. Surreal moment #2357905702987 of that night. Out of the Blue was a great moment. Probably a couple of my friends’ favorites actually. And then it was time for Jules to go. Like with most of his shows, however, he got a dual-encore. The first time had him attempt 4 Chords of the Apocalypse but some technical difficulties made the keyboards sound off, and Julian—ever the perfectionist—wasn’t having any of that. “That’s not the key I wanted.” he told both the crowd and the band, and a couple seconds later, tongue-in-cheek “This isn’t my fault.” So instead he decided on performing I Wish It Was Christmas Today. (“Forget it, I don’t like that song anyway. Let’s do the Christmas song, that’s always fun. And appropriate.” or something like that <3 Also take note, Julian apparently does not like 4 Chords of the Apocalypse xD) It’s a ridiculous song and everyone was really into it, so it was really really fun (“I don’t care about anything, except hearing those sleigh bells ring-a-ding-ding” <3). The second song of the first encore was Tourist, complete with a disclaimer: some people love it, some people hate it. A shocker for me, really. For the longest time Tourist was my favorite song off Phrazes for the Young. (“This world is just patches of water and land” love it.) I have this whole song recorded. He ended the song, waved and walked off stage. The crowd started right back up again, (“JU-LI-AN! JU-LI-AN!”) until he came back on stage humbly saying “You’re too nice to me.” Then it was back to work on the keyboard. “We’ll make something up if we have to” he joked. It was fixed and Jules closed with 4 Chords of the Apocalypse. At the end, he walked along the edge of the stage, reaching out and letting fans grab at his hands. He came to my end (DEFINITELY LOOKED STRAIGHT AT ME, and considering he most likely wasn’t the least bit tipsy, it does matter and now I’m going to shake and cry like a baby who’s met God for the next three weeks or so.) and I basically died after holding his hands. He went back, the crowd tried to start back up again, but the venue turned on the lights and the show was over.

Other things:
“What’s fine rock?”
“I have no idea what I’m doing.” (repeat like ten times)
Fan: “What do you think of Lollapalooza?”
Jules: “You mean Chicagopalooza? I don’t.”
“You know, I fucking love this venue!”
“I make inside jokes that no one gets, but I quite enjoy them.”
*puts on sunglasses a fan handed to him* “Usually people are like take off the sunglasses—oh do you want them back?” *gives them back*
“I don’t know why I’m stalling so much tonight.”
“Are you guys allowed to stand up? ‘I’ve been at venues where I was like ‘GET THE FUCK UP!’ and it’s like, after the show, ‘We weren’t allowed!’”

Also I wanted to give him a present, but he really didn’t have time to look at the ones he got, and I’m afraid I saw one or two that got left on the stage… I just think the curfew was pretty strict this show so he tried not to waste any time. He looked at most of them, though.

Also also, I think he was holding a pack of Rain 5 Gum. So if you ever want to buy Julian some gum, that is one kind he chews, lol.

And finally. I’ve read three reviews of his concert and they were all the most negative things I’ve ever come across. Honestly, I had the time of my LIFE. HE sounded PERFECT. What more could you ask for? I remember one article saying he had a “bratty nonchalance”. False. If anything at all it just shows how down-to-earth he is, duh. He cares about his fans, and he’s a nice guy. He’s not “bored”, he’s just… Julian. I could go on and on about the things said in those articles, but I won’t. Don’t read them, they’re all cynics haha. Although mine is so much more biased, but whatever.

I would’ve loved to have heard 30 Minute Boyfriend and Old Hollywood. There’s always next time, though :)

Also this is longer than my AP World History term paper. Nice.


  • Axeforhire66

    That really was a fantastic show. My friend got me into his music only recently, so I wasn't SUPER excited about the show. That is, until I was actually in Chicago waiting in line. I had listened to his album enough to know most of the lyrics to all of his songs. After FP left the stage, and he came on, I knew immediately that it was going to be an awesome show. He had a stage presence that just made the show much better. He was into the music, and wasn't bored with performing. Me and my friend were on the left side of the auditorium, right in the front row. That definitely enhanced the experience. Very good review.

    8 Abr 2010, 22:15
  • CoolLikePlastic

    Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself!!

    8 Abr 2010, 22:24
  • goldlion054

    So, i came across your profile through a mutual friend and saw this. I saw julian the night before in Detroit, (april 5). I've got to say, he may have been totally hammered for the show, but he was everything and more. I thought he may have only done the christmas song for us because some guys had been chanting it the entire show, but i'm glad you got to experience it to. how big was your venue? we had a small one, but i liked it better that way

    9 Abr 2010, 4:12
  • CoolLikePlastic

    Yeah, the Vic is teensy but it has wonderful audio.

    9 Abr 2010, 4:14
  • classyj8

    great review, im very jealous of you.. kinda hate you actually lol

    14 Abr 2010, 4:43
  • CoolLikePlastic

    Oh dear... xD

    14 Abr 2010, 4:48
  • classyj8

    i was really hoping for boombox because andy samberg was intown over the weekend, his girlfriend joanna newsom was playing a show... it would have been the perfect chance!

    14 Abr 2010, 4:52
  • classyj8

    also i was pretty bummed that there was no merch :( but was cute what he posted on his twitter: Another cautionary tale from the tour: don't ever use UPS unless you're trying to lose something. 9:56 PM Apr 7th via web

    14 Abr 2010, 5:06
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