Live at Leeds Festival 2002 on Saturday, 24th August 2002
Julian Casablancas hobbles on stage with the help of crutches tonight but, almost inevitably, he somehow manages to make it look like the coolest entrance imaginable. Taking a seat at the front of the stage, Casablancas leads New York's finest through a hugely-entertaining set, filled with all the favourites from "This Is It", as well as a spattering of new songs which promise more of the same sublime garage sound. Opening with a thrilling "New York City Cops", The Strokes now appear at ease with performing at a large outdoor festival, and even the heavy rain can't dampen the spirits of a huge and adoring crowd. Julian's enforced lack of movement is compensated by a strong, growling vocal from him throughout the performance, and he revels in an unexpected duet with Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices, who joins the headliners on stage for a feisty rendition of his own "A Salty Salute". The Strokes somewhat predictably decide against much variation from the album versions of their songs, but this only adds to the atmosphere as the crowd delight in each twist and turn of every instant classic. At the end of final song "Take It Or Leave It", Julian smashes his stool against the stage; this is a band who don't intend to sit around.