“How many of you are Irish?” Josh McClorey, guitarist of The Strypes, yelled from the Music Hall of Williamsburg stage on Saturday night. Whiskey drenched cheers erupted from the men grouped in front of me, and suddenly everything made sense.
“And how many of the rest of you are American but pretend to be Irish?” McClorey continued, the rest of MHOW cheered and The Strypes let out a laugh. “That’s why I love this country.”
The Strypes are a four piece rock band from Ireland whose average age is younger than that of most of the boy bands that are popular right now. Their show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on August 23rd was 16 and up, and the band members themselves just barely make the cut. However, their talent and sound is that of musicians twice their age, making for a live performance unlike any other.
Brooklyn-based band The Skins kicked off the night, making the lineup sound more like a scrimmage than a concert, but setting a high energy tone that was well received by the crowd. Their infectious funk-infused rock sound got the mid-August sweat pouring, and the crowd ready for what was to come.
Music Hall of Williamsburg was a time machine for a few hours on Saturday night, with The Strypes acting as the flux capacitor. Their influences come from bands and decades that they have only come to know via grainy concert footage and stories from when their parents were their ages, but they deliver their catchy tracks with such conviction (and a bit of attitude that only comes from teenage boys) that you almost think you have to be seeing things. There is no way that sound can be coming out of those young guys.
I expected the crowd to be much younger than it was, but the Strypes’ demographic was a healthy mix of late teens and middle-aged music fans alike, proving that these young Irish lads have an accessible sound and showing glimpses of the longevity they’re sure to have.
They played a healthy mix of songs off their debut album “Snapshot” like singles “Blue Collar Jane” and “Hometown Girls” as well as covers that brought the house down. Marky Ramone picked the wrong concert to crash on Saturday when he joined the stage with Arcade Fire at Barclays. He missed a spot on homage from The Strypes in the form of “Rockaway Beach.” Lead singer Ross Farrelly let the crowd join in to help him sing their cover of “You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover”, something he still hasn’t gotten used to, judging by the smile on his face. Willie Dixon was right, you can’t judge a book by its cover, but if you judge The Strypes by theirs, they are guaranteed to blow you away.
Article by: Erin Browne