Arctic Monkeys are currently on tour behind their excellent new record, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and last night took the tour to New York City, where the band surprised their audience with a cover song, and a fairly iconic one at that. Since they were in the city that helped spur fellow early 2000s indie rockers, The Strokes, to fame, Alex Turner and the Monkeys delivered a faithful cover of that band’s beloved “Is This It.”
The title track off The Strokes debut album of the same name, “Is This It” has attained almost mythic status as the harbinger of a whole new age of indie rock in New York, most recently typified and remembered in the book gossipy, detail-heavy book and oral history, Meet Me In The Bathroom.
When Turner announced they were doing something unexpected, the crowd immediately lost it as soon as the recognizable drum fill began, and in the fan-shot video you can hear plenty of people singing along with all their might. For his part, Turner almost sardonically imitates the vocal style of Strokes’ lead singer, Julian Casablancas. The band plays the cover very faithfully, even adding in hints of synths, and nailing the infamous guitar line, too. And it all made perfect sense when you consider that Arctic Monkeys’ latest album shouts out The Stokes in its opening lyrics.
Watch Arctic Monkeys cover The Strokes’ “Is This It” above.