Kanye, Pharrell, Strokes Bring Attitude to the Bowery

October 18, 2006 6:45 PM ET

You would have thought the Jane Austen-style torrents of rain would've diminished the turnout at the Hennessy "Global Art of Mixing" party at Capitale in NYC. But umbrellas go with most New Yorkers' outfits, so there were still slews of party-goers angling for entrance outside long after the party started. And the party started late. Featured performers the Strokes didn't take the stage until around midnight (ie. hours after they were scheduled to go on), but that didn't seem to bother the crowd in the least. With models and bold-namers (guests included Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lance Armstrong, Carmen Electra, and Rosie Perez among others) corralled in their own vast special person section, it was clear we were the only ones getting up for work the next morning.

"You are certainly the best looking crowd we have played for," Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas told the assembled audience of models and actors, who may be good eye candy but can't dance to save their lives. Though the Strokes tore through hits like "Last Night" and "Juice Box," the intensity in the crowd never quite matched the energy coming from the stage. It wasn't until Kanye West came on in the wee hours before dawn that the crowd got loose. Backed by a demi-orchestra, Kanye played conductor between rants about life, death, and fame: "The press ask me if I want to win, I say 'yes I want to win,' then they call me arrogant."

When Pharrell joined Kanye onstage the girls in the audience abandoned any shred of composure they had left and began screaming in unintelligible drunk girl-speak. Pharrell egged them on, leading the crowd through a chant of "I want to fuck tonight" before getting the evil-eye from Kanye, who was antsy to get on with the show. He and Pharrell performed "Touch the Sky" and then Kanye closed the show with frenetic versions of "Gold Digge" and "Jesus Walks."

PS: We too are wondering what the hell Nikolai Fraiture did to his hair.

Reporting by Pete Maiden

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