The Libertines - Live

By theajaysharma

The Libertines
Club Luxx
Brooklyn, NY

Review by Mike Patterson

I have seen rock's present and it is the Libertines!!!

When I first heard this band in the late fall of last year I was instantly impressed. Struck me as a London Strokes, (which is the way everyone describes them now) but at the time it sounded to me that where The Strokes punked out NYC locals Television and VU, The Libertines did the same with British glam a-la Slade and the Sweet. The cultural parallels were undeniable, at least on record, but those parallels disappear almost completely with the live show these boys put on.

The band, whose first trip to the US was postponed due to visa problems, had 3 scheduled shows. Of the 3 this was the only one that did not pre sell tix. First come first serve. As the other two shows were all sold out (presumably to label suits and their kinfolk) this was the only show that fans of the band had a chance to see. As a result, after a full days work, I was forced to wait outside in a driving rain for an hour before the doors opened at 7:30. The band is set to go on at 10PM with 2 opening acts ahead; Grafton from Ohio who were really a very good garage rock with a fun loving edge and Beauty Supply, who I assumed to be a local band that were fucking UNLISTENABLE...however, that is to be expected now and again. The kicker about having to wait for 2 and a half hours is a new no smoking law enacted in NYC last month. You are forbidden to smoke in any place of business in the city, including bars, and nightclubs. In the tiny Club Luxx, there was no re-entry, which meant no outlet for smoking, which sucks bad when waiting 2 and a half hours for the band you came to see. It can make a brother a bit tense...and push you to buy a bit more at the bar than you expected. Of course the downfall here is that you can get quite the buzz before the real rock starts, which I did have but I'll be damned if I didn't wake the hell up very quickly

The band exploded onto the stage with opening chords of "Horrorshow" as if they were gonna bust the walls down of this tiny club. Honestly, the band hits like a hammer and continued to do so throughout the course of the evening. "Vertigo" and "Begging" removed all traces of The Strokes from my head as Carl and Pete traded vocals and microphones with all the fervor of The Replacements playing the Hamburg era Beatles. It struck me that The Strokes play in a claustrophobic brings across the tension to the crowd and is very effective only not as effective as The Libertines approach in which they refuse to be contained. They were loud, brash, and snotty...everything rock should be and fuckin hell, they know it. No mock modesty, and no unreal posturing. Just 4 lads rocking their collective heads off, and mine in the process.

The beatings continued with "A Time For Heroes" and "Boys in the Band" the best case for the girls to get the puppies out that I've ever heard (too bad none did, I really expected bare breasts during that tune, but you know what they say about Brooklyn girls...don't you?) In between songs the band ran tapes of an old man bawling, as if he'd seen the most beautiful thing in the world and could not contain himself and tapes of a crowd applauding that brings to mind the Monty Python stock footage of the applauding old all fit like a perfect puzzle.

Sometime during the closer "I Get Along" which finds the stage full of kids jumping, frolicking and air-guitaring along with the band I'm hit with the sudden sense of dread that this kind of moment never lasts in the history of a rock band, and that they will never be this good again.

I'm just pleased a a pig in slop that I did get to see it...

I hope you do too.