WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Julian Casablancas of The Strokes performs during the 2015 Landmark Music Festival at West Pot
Wendy Redfern/Redferns

Few bands have the pride of New York City bands. It takes a lot to make it in a town that’s as dirty as it is expensive: Everything comes from a very particular kind of ambition. In NYC, there’s no such thing as apathy...which means when a band is backed by the city, it’s really backed. 

At some point in the last decade and some change, the Strokes managed to find themselves on the right end of NYC’s passion. Alongside alongside groups like Interpol, they became what we now know as the quintessential New York band. They wrote massive pop-leaning rock tunes filtered through a love of UK music that continues to inform generations of young people. During their headlining set at the first annual Landmark Music Festival, it became clear why.

Hitting the stage twenty minutes after the scheduled time, Julian Casablancas and crew knew just how long to keep people waiting, the sweet spot between anticipation and annoyance. When they hit the stage, sunglasses and leather jackets in tow, the group powered through their most memorable hits for over an hour. There wasn’t a single person sitting down in the place. 

Even more memorable: Somewhere in the middle of the madness Casablancas confirmed that the Strokes are working on new music with a simple, “Let the cat outta the bag.” It’ll be their first release since 2013’s Comedown Machine. It felt reassuring that the band would let us in D.C. in on the secret but still, there in front of the National Momument, NYC was standing strong.