TVD Live Shots: Julian Casablancas at the Regency Ballroom, 11/8

There comes a time in every great artist’s career where they go off the deep end and try something experimental. It’s sort of like a George Costanza opposite moment for a musician—they do the exact opposite of everything they know and it leads to great success, at least for a little while. For Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas that time is now and it comes in the form of a new  record called Tyranny with a his new band The Voidz.

Tyranny is a hipster hat tip to the post punk avant-garde era that was ruled by Television, The B-52’s, Talking Heads, and later immortalized by Joy Division. It’s a time and place that Casablancas is very familiar with as The Strokes were pioneers in the ’90s revival of this movement which would pave the way for many.

Casablancas and company brought their eclectic show to the Regency Ballroom and a near capacity crowd—and let me just say right upfront what was surely on everyone’s mind that evening; Tyranny is a really fucking weird record. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s certainly not anything like The Strokes, nor should it be.

Casablancas released an absolute brilliant solo record back in 2009, which I think is the best work he’s ever done and this is an evolution, or maybe a de-evolution if you will. It’s sort of like a big middle finger to a failing music industry that put him on a pedestal only to drive him to form his own label in order to do what he wants.

Julian Casablaca  photographed by Jason Miller-6

Julian Casablaca  photographed by Jason Miller-3

Julian Casablaca  photographed by Jason Miller-2

Julian Casablaca  photographed by Jason Miller-4

The garage rock revival that would happen that night at the Regency Ballroom would have the Voidz kicking off with “Xerox” and continuing to play almost the entire record. There were a few surprises in the set including two Strokes songs, “The Ize of the World” and “I’ll Try Anything Once,” along with the Daft Punk and Casablancas collaboration, last year’s “Instant Crush.”

There was even a short teaser into Casablancas solo album, but sadly to no avail. Another interesting moment was a live version of the song “Crunch Punch”  which pretty much scared the shit out of everyone in attendance. I thought for a moment that Satan himself was about to bust out of the stage and condemn us all to hell.

Julian Casablaca  photographed by Jason Miller-5

Julian Casablaca  photographed by Jason Miller-7

Julian Casablaca  photographed by Jason Miller-9

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-2

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-3

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-4

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-5

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-6

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-7

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-8

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-9

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-10

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-11

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-12

Julian Casablaca  photographed by Jason Miller

Julian Casablacas  photographed by Jason Miller-13

Bottom line: Julian Casablancas is one of the last real rock n roll frontmen who can carry the torch of the post punk movement. I love that about this guy, but at the same time I really hope there is either a second solo record in the works, or a return to form for The Strokes. In the meantime, buy this record on vinyl, turn it up VERY loud, and listen to it until you get it (and you will get it).

Check out hi-res photos from the almost impossible to shoot show here. Apparently Julian doesn’t like the spotlight literally or figuratively and this was one of the most difficult shows I have ever had to shoot.

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