ALBERT HAMMOND, JR. + THE PARANOYDS @ THE TROUBADOUR
Photos by Eduardo Luis Words by Madison Desler
“You’ve broken me, Los Angeles,” Albert Hammond, Jr. said to the sold-out crowd at the Troubadour last night, in-between heavy cuts from his non-Strokes discography. Whether he was referring to his ripped pants or the way he was losing his mind on stage, he said it with a manic glee, obviously thrilled to be back on the road.
For a certain generation, The Strokes are like the Beatles, if only in the sense that they served as the gateway—an atomic center of musical discovery for people who didn’t know yet know that they loved rock ’n roll. In much the same way, The Strokes’ rabid fans are drawn to a particular member’s solo career. Consistent, tastefully understated, and still unbelievably cool, Hammond Jr. has been churning out his own angular, guitar-centered smashers since 2006, building him a formidable fanbase in his own right. With the release of his new LP, Francis Trouble (out Friday), he continues to strike the difficult balance of being the most visible member, and the most likable.
For one thing, he’s fully inhabiting his role as frontman, pogo-ing around the stage, leaping off the drum riser, doling out high-fives to the audience—wielding his white Fender Strat like a lethal weapon, only whipping it off his back or the stand to lay down a ripping solo or for those sweet, sweet three-part guitar harmonies. For another, some of the new songs he played last night are unlike anything else in his catalog—the “Lust For Life” beat of “DvsL” and the relentless pummel of “Harder, Harder, Harder” signaling a big sonic step when bumped-up against favorites like “101” and “GfC.”
In a yellow letterman’s jacket and T. Rex tee, he whipped through his more savage favorites like “Side Boob,” “Caught By My Shadow,” and “Rude Customer,” his eyes scanning every inch of the Troubadour’s balcony as his feet hit every inch of the stage. The triple-guitar assault is one of the main reasons to see Hammond Jr. live. Him and his band do it better than almost anyone—a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by the crowd who begged for an encore. Hammond Jr. readily obliged, playing “Everyone Gets A Star,” and new song, “Muted Beatings,” leaving the Troubadour wrecked, before moving on to the next town.
After attending many shows there, LA’s The Paranoyds have now officially played The Troubadour.