The Strokes performed a full concert Saturday at New York’s newly renovated Irving Plaza as part of a fundraiser for mayoral candidate Maya Wiley.
The exuberant benefit gig — the first show at the venue in over two years, with attendees needing to show proof of vaccination — also featured onstage appearances by Wiley, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as well as surprise opener John Mulaney; the comedian previously hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in October 2020 that featured the Strokes as musical guest.
The 16-song set contained tracks from throughout the Strokes’ catalog, including six cuts from their debut Is This It and three from their latest LP The New Abnormal. For Comedown Machine’s “One Way Trigger,” the band welcomed guest Dev Hynes a.k.a. Blood Orange.
Prior to the show, Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi announced he couldn’t make the show for unspecified reasons. “Sending my love and support to Maya Wiley and my brothers in the Strokes,” Valensi tweeted via the Strokes account. “I wish I could be there tonight. Sorry I couldn’t make it tonight.” Longwave guitarist and Albert Hammond Jr. collaborator Steve Schiltz subbed in for Valensi.
In May, the Strokes performed their first-ever acoustic show during a benefit livestream for Wiley, with singer Julian Casablancas also hosting a Q&A with the mayoral candidate.
“I’ve been a fan of Maya’s for a long time,” Casablancas said in a statement prior to the event. “I wanted to reach out to her even before she announced her campaign. When she announced she was running for mayor, I was so excited that someone so smart, solid and caring was running for any office, let alone to lead the city we’re all from and we all love and care so much about. Maya’s lifelong commitment to racial and social justice is so inspiring to all of us and we couldn’t be more excited to be doing this with her this weekend.”
#Mayamentum with @thestrokes pic.twitter.com/Uzz8ISjHvy
— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) June 13, 2021