“Happy New Year everybody!” was the greeting from the Strokes to the audience at Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center where they played Wednesday night. If it sounded strange to hear that in early April, there was a good reason behind it: the Strokes were scheduled to play the venue on New Year’s Eve 2021 but were forced to postpone the show due to the Omicron wave. The fact that they were making up for lost time to a packed crowd at the Barclays was an opportunity for the band to poke fun about it between songs in addition to them delivering an electrifying performance.
It was fitting that the Strokes—singer Julian Casablancas, guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr., bassist Nikolai Fraiture, and drummer Fabrizio Moretti—returned to their home turf of New York City, marking their first U.S. performance for this year after some recent dates in South America; it also comes on the heels of the 20th anniversary of their landmark debut Is This It, the album that catapulted the Strokes to acclaim and stardom.
Appropriately introduced by a snippet of Ace Frehley’s “New York Groove” on the arena’s P.A., the Strokes launched into 90 minutes’ worth of indie rock on full blast starting off with “Bad Decisions,” from their most recent album, 2020’s The New Abnormal. From there, the show was a ‘best-of’ with material spanning their 20-year recording career: among the songs performed in the set included the energetic “Juicebox”; the soulful and rhythmic “Eternal Summer”; the danceable “Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus”; the driving “Trying Your Luck”; and the pummeling “New York City Cops.”
Towards the end of the evening before their encore, the Strokes humorously recreated their version of a ‘New Year’s Eve countdown’ with footage on the video screen that mimicked coverage from CNN and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve—even though it occurred around 11:30 p.m.; then confetti rained down on inside the arena following the faux countdown. For the enthusiastic Strokes fans in the audience, it still felt like a New Year’s Eve celebration even in April.
Meanwhile, the Strokes are eyeing a busy 2022 with upcoming dates in parts of Europe—including an appearance at the Primavera Sound festival in Spain this June—as well as opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers in the States starting on August 3.
Setlist (April 6, 2022)
New York City Cops
Hard to Explain
Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus
What Ever Happened?
The Adults Are Talking
Heart in a Cage
Trying Your Luck
You Only Live Once
Under Cover of Darkness
Take It or Leave It
The Strokes Recreate New Year's Eve During NYC Make-Up Show – Forbes