The 40 greatest concerts in Boston history: 31

The Strokes | Gallery Bershad | April 21, 2001
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  October 25, 2006

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Julian Casablancas, in recent times
In early 2001, out of nowhere, a little band with a whole lot of attitude started playing T.T.’s every couple of months. With each gig word of mouth spread until it seemed a forgone conclusion that they were either too good to be true or the next rock-and-roll saviors from the returning plague of kiddie-corn pop. So when word filtered out that the Strokes were coming up from Brooklyn for a show at a little art space in Davis Square, well, you just had to be there. The keg beer was in paper cups, the PA was less than excellent, and there was no stage. People were literally standing on top of the band. And, for all the technical snafus, the band sounded great: nasty, hard, melodic, and full of NYC attitude filtered down from Richard Hell, Lou Reed, and David Johanson, as two guitars did short garage-rock interpretations of the long dances Television used to indulge in. It seemed as if everything good about NYC rock and roll had been distilled into these three-minute gems. If this were the new future of rock and roll, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing at all.
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