One of the best moments in Strokes history occurred in August 2002 at Radio City Music Hall, when Jack White showed up for “New York City Cops”. Even now, it sounds like something of folklore: Julian Casablancas sits on a bar stool, hobbled by a broken leg. The band enters into a rendition of their most controversial song in a city still recovering from the aftermath of 9/11. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, comes the White Stripes mastermind. Dressed head to toe in his band’s trademark red, White proceeds to do, well, the thing Jack White does. Appropriately, Casablancas bows. Not surprisingly, the end result is one of the best clips you’ll find on all of YouTube.
Which brings us to last night. Fresh off the release of Angles, an album featuring as many influences as it does critics, the band’s venue of choice is now Madison Square Garden. Yet despite the differences between 2002 and 2011, the band still relies on friends from high places to nonchalantly strut out on stage and aid in a masterful performance. Obviously, last night’s was a bit different: Elvis Costello? Even the legendary singer-songwriter made sure to mention it was April Fool’s Day when he walked on stage to deliver a surprise three-song opening set. Casablancas pointed it out again when Costello later joined the band for a performance of (appropriately) “Taken For a Fool”. Still, as evident above, the whole thing proved pretty specular — you know it’s good when Julian can muster a smile. New York, you keep winning.
Update: Per YouTube user thebitchin2011, you can also peep pro-shot footage of the band performing “Take It or Leave It” and “New York City Cops”:
“Take It or Leave It”
“New York City Cops”