Rock favorites Guided By Voices and the Strokes heated up New York last night (Dec. 30) during the first of two shows at Harlem's famed Apollo Theatre. The sold-out crowd was treated to alternating se
Rock favorites Guided By Voices and the Strokes heated up New York last night (Dec. 30) during the first of two shows at Harlem's famed Apollo Theatre. The sold-out crowd was treated to alternating sets from the two acts, beginning with a high-energy, 20-minute blast from the Strokes. Frontman Julian Casablancas ran into the audience during opener "When It Started," bellowing for fans to fill the aisles and the empty space between the stage and the front row.
The hotly hyped group wasted no time setting the tone for the evening, barreling through such tracks as "Alone, Together" and the single "Last Nite" from its debut RCA album "Is This It," as well as the new song "Meet Me in the Bathroom." Guided By Voices followed with a 40-minute set that balanced new songs ("Back to the Lake," "Eureka Signs") with such sing-a-long oldies as "Game of Pricks" and "Tractor Rape Chain." Before the show, frontman Robert Pollard told Billboard.com that the group had recently completed its next album, "Headache Revolution," in its hometown of Dayton, Ohio.
By the Strokes' second set, which began with the controversial "New York City Cops," Casablancas was a bit unsteady on his feet. He fell face first into the crowd in front of the stage during "Barely Legal" and had to be helped to the stage by security. One song later during "Someday," he tripped over a stage monitor. Perhaps spurred on by Casablancas' abandon, the group closed out its performance with an undeniably powerful rendition of "Take It or Leave It," the final track on "Is This It."
Guided By Voices returned for an extended second set of songs spanning its nearly 20-year career ("Watch Me Jumpstart," "Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory"), as well as material from frontman Robert Pollard's various side projects ("Edison's Memos"). The Strokes came out to join the group for a finale of GBV's "My Valuable Hunting Knife," although Casablancas missed his cue to begin singing and wound up walking off the stage before the song was completed.
Comedian David Cross ("Mr. Show") opened the evening with a 45-minute set, culminating with his own spin on Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A."