Watch The Strokes Debut New Song “The Adults Are Talking” And Cover Erasure In LA

Before last night, the Strokes hadn’t played onstage together in a little more than two years. (Their most recent show had been a set at Lollapalooza Chile, in April of 2017). But this summer, the Strokes are playing Governors Ball and a few other festivals. And last night, they played a headlining set at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. The show would’ve already been special for the mere fact that it was the first Strokes performance in that long. But the band went out of their way to make it special in other ways, too: A few rarities, a fairly random cover, and the debut of a whole new Strokes song.

Last night, the band’s setlist included a few songs — “The Way It Is,” “On The Other Side,” “Ize Of The World” — that the band hasn’t played in more than a decade. And when they played that new song, reportedly called “The Adults Are Talking,” they seemingly did it spur of the moment. Julian Casablancas warned the crowd that they hadn’t practiced the song beforehand. But it sounded good! The song is driven by a lush, chiming guitar riff that reminds me of New Order, and it’s got that tick-tock rhythm and casual, tossed-off quality that only the Strokes seem to be able to do right. Here’s a fan-made video of that one:

And the set also included a cover that the Strokes have never done live before. They took on “A Little Respect,” the 1988 hit from Vince Clarke’s synthpop duo Erasure. Casablancas started out singing it over a keyboard drone, and it fell apart in the middle, with a drum machine apparently missing its cue and Casablancas throwing a bar of Sinéad O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” in there as well. But it’s a great song and a rare chance to appreciate the fact that Casablancas can really sing when he wants to. Here’s a fan-made video of that one:

Here’s last night’s setlist, via Setlist.fm:

01 “Heart In A Cage”
02 “You Only Live Once”
03 “Ize Of The World”
04 “The Modern Age”
05 “Happy Ending”
06 “Hard To Explain”
07 “The Adults Are Talking”
08 “One Way Trigger”
09 “Meet Me In The Bathroom”
10 “I Can’t Win”
11 “On The Other Side”
12 “The Way It Is”
13 “A Little Respect” (Erasure cover)
14 “What Ever Happened?”
15 “12:51″
16 “Automatic Stop”
17 “Soma”
18 “Last Nite”
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19 “Is This It”
20 “Someday”