“Where’s Julian?” yelled a drunk idiot in the middle of Albert Hammond, Jr.’s set on Monday night. Some just yelled out, “The Strokes!” as if Albert was hiding the other members of his band backstage and was just waiting for someone to mention their name so he could bring them out.
Undeterred by trolls or the cool rainy Monday night (or every train conspiring to make sure I got to the Bowery in the middle of the first song), Albert blasted through a killer set. Hammond’s live band, consisting of session musicians who’ve more or less backed him up since 2013, was loose in a fun way that I never thought I’d see in a Strokes-affiliated performance. While I was bummed out that we only got two songs from Albert’s first record, Yours to Keep (a top ten, desert island disc for me), the tunes from his brand new LP, Momentary Masters, sounded fresh and powerful. An unexpected rendition of the seven-minute instrumental “Spooky Couch” from Albert’s oft-overlooked second record, ¿Cómo Te Llama?, was mercifully only about half of its usual runtime and went into “Side Boob,” one of the many great tracks off the new album.
The Strokes undoubtedly inspire a kind of fanaticism in their listeners, and even if some people in the crowd would have preferred that band up there, it didn’t stop the whole audience from singing along and dancing to every song Albert played.
– Layne Montgomery