This Saturday, June 6th, at 6:45 PM, the Strokes play their first show within the New York City limits in three years at the Governors Ball Music Festival, on Randall’s Island. Based on a hot-ticket preview last weekend, on May 31st at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, the nu-garage five will slay the field. In a vacuum-packed fusillade of hits mostly from 2001’s Is This It and ’03’s Room on Fire, salted with choice surprises from last year’s blink-and-you-missed-it Comedown Machine, the Strokes were the kind of tight, crisp and loud – especially in the treble-laser crossfires of guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr. – you’d expect from a band in the middle of a heyday, not coming off another long, trial separation. They played everything reprised here except “Life Is Simple in the Moonlight,” from 2011’s Angles. That song deserves another walk on stage.
Other live dynamite last week, packed in here: a guitar-danger set by Radio Birdman‘s Deniz Tek at Bowery Electric, the night of Steve Wynn‘s Lou Reed tribute show (reviewed in this column); another, unexpected Reed homage, this time in Central Park as Phil Lesh and Friends (including Warren Haynes and ex-Miles Davis sideman John Scofield on guitars) covered “Sweet Jane” with the full prog-glam intro from Reed’s 1974 concert platter, Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal; and a good time, on that same Bowery Electric evening, from a local, heavy super-boogie band I’d never met before, the Nuclears from Brooklyn. I hope we meet again soon.