Shea Stadium is a tiny room in Bushwick with couch seating where the bathrooms have shampoo in them and you can break a ten dollar bill to see three bands who have all driven across several state lines to perform for you on a Monday night. Shea Stadium will, arguably, soon be the best music venue in New York City. What was Julian Casablancas and his new band doing at Shea Stadium last night?
"We like playing shows in cool spaces," Casablancas explained to the sold-out crowd. "I dunno why…We just like it."
Casablancas delivered The Apple Jacks Justification with typical cherubic insouciance, but he just put out a record with his new band, the Voidz, who are about to go on tour, and his record label happens to have New York's own Blood Orange (aka Devonté Hynes) on its roster. Shea Stadium was started by The So So Glos, a bunch of native New Yorkers—who doesn't like New York?
Julian Casablancas, apparently, according to a brunch-tinged GQ profile lobbed in from Los Angeles. He no longer resides in New York City, but no matter. Despite resembling a casting call for an Entourage spinoff, the Voidz can certainly play, and their set reflected the arpeggiated solos and chugging downstrokes of Casablancas's past, following him into the darker, industrial future he sets up in his new album, Tyranny. The distorted crooner's still got it.
Hynes felt comfortable enough to debut a chunk of new songs, most of which felt like club bangers in the dance hall of a spaceship piloted by a Madonna droid speeding towards planet Ice Funk.
Big Ups was the only true Shea Stadium band on the bill in the sense that the space is more acquainted with punk rock than girls squealing at the sight of rock stars. We're biased in favor of Big Ups only because they are very, very good.
You can catch Big Ups at Lvl Up's record release party tomorrow night at Shea, along with Pile and Fax Holiday. Cover is eight bucks.