The Strokes Rock the Ryman

I was in attendance this evening as both the Eagles of Death Metal and The Strokes put on blistering performances at the Ryman Auditorium. I have to brag a bit–my seats were great. I was on the first row of the balcony, so there was no need to worry about people standing up in front of me. This was also my first “real concert” in the Ryman. I went to see the Fisk Jubilee Singers there last year. That concert just didn’t pack the same punch as this one did. I was able to really appreciate what an asset the Ryman is to Nashville.

On to my thoughts on the show. The Eagles of Death Metal came on stage promptly at 7:35. This seemed to catch most of the audience by surprise since the seats were only a quarter full around this time. I’m guessing most people were expecting the typical delayed start of a rock n’ roll concert.

Now, I didn’t really know what to expect of the EoDM. I’ve listened to a few of there tracks online, and I know that they are a side-project of Queens of the Stone Age lead singer, Josh Homme, and his buddy Jesse Hughes. Homme supposedly was handling the drums in this new outfit, but there was a hot, drummer chick rocking out with EoDM this evening. She seemed to be working harder than all of the guys in the band tonight.

Other than that, you could kind of tell this was more of a side-project instead of the the members main focus. They sounded great, and certainly rocked, but most of there songs seemed half-baked. Hopefully this tour in support of The Strokes will allow them to focus in on whether or not this should be a full time thing. I will wait to see what comes of this band in a year or so. If it peters out, so be it. They do have the potential to be really good if they decide to take it seriously.

So after a 45-50 minute performance by the EoDM, and a 45-50 minute stage reconfiguration (there’s the rock concert timing we all know and love), The Strokes finally took the stage. It was well worth the wait. The set list was long and deep. They hit all of the top cuts from all three albums. I know there are some bands out there that refuse to play their old stuff. That’s not so with The Strokes. For every two or three of their new songs they’d play, two or three of their old tunes would be interspersed.

It was also interesting to watch Julian Casablancas stagger around on stage. He looked bombed out of his mind. It made the show all that much more impressive. His musical timing was spot on, and he didn’t seem to blow any of the lyrics. There was one point during the set where he jumped down off the stage and started wandering through the crowd. This was when I wished my seats were on the floor level instead. You could totally tell the security guys had no idea what to do about this.

This was a fantastic show. I’m going to start looking into attending more shows at the Ryman. It’s a great venue, and there doesn’t seem to be a bad seat in the place. Maybe The Strokes will make it back to Nashville for their next tour. I’ll be in line again if they do.

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