Critics have been proclaiming the death of rock and roll for so long now, the genre's aesthetic demise is almost taken as a given. Buzzsaw guitars? Crashing drums? A lovesick singer whipping his microphone through the air? Uh, what else ya got, grandpa? So why the Strokes were able to take those three familiar fuzzed-out chords and whip up so much unalloyed excitement during their January Billboardlive concert is anybody's guess. The reference points were certainly clear enough -- a taste of Lou Reed's jaded snarl here, a dash of Television's dueling Telecasters there, even an old-fashioned sing-along. But somehow it all seemed fresh again, full of crackling energy, and the packed audience ate it up with a sweaty, body-tossing frenzy.
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