The Strokes Road Test New Album While Sticking Mostly to the Classics

Photo: Lindsey Blane

March 5, 2020
Rogers Arena

Approaching the 20th anniversary of their smash debut, Is This It, The Strokes are hanging on to their crowns as the cult leaders of early 2000s millennial rock.

Even with lengthy hiatuses between albums, the die-hards at the Vancouver stop of the band’s short tour never wavered in their loyalty to the band, while modest ticket sales made for a surprisingly more intimate show than expected.

Fans filled in the gaps of empty seats, sharing stories of shows past, discussing favourite songs and creating a more familial bond before the band took the stage. Opening with new single, “Bad Decisions,” from their forthcoming sixth album, The New Abnormal, Julian Casablancas and the boys then stuck to a mostly nostalgic set with the vibe of their new tunes blending in harmoniously among the charm of their classics.

Of course it was bangers like “You Only Live Once,” “Someday,” and finale track “Last Nite” that garnered the largest response as Casablancas’ signature lo-fi vocals crooned loosely with the band’s calculated tightness under the dimly lit stage.

Evolving from festival darlings to arena rock kings, these New York City cool kids are proving once again that they aren’t hanging up their skinny jeans and oversized shades any time soon.