- Photo by Megan Schaller
I will scream along to gnashing guitar and a crowd that never stops jumping. I will sway with them when “Human Sadness” wracks our bodies into stillness. They will play a then-new track called “Wink,” premiered on Brazilian T.V. days before. They will take requests, and play a guitar-heavy version of “Instant Crush.” I will drop my glasses, and they will crack under someone else’s boots.
Before I return to New York, the band will drop the first part of its name and take up a residency in Bushwick. I will tell Casablancas about the broken glasses under a light rain at 1:30 in the morning. He will give me the pair of pink heart-shaped sunglasses hanging off his shirt.
“Will these help?”
Before the sunglasses and the rain, The Voidz play a memorable set. The third of their four residency shows at Elsewhere, the crowd is pure New York: arms crossed, leather jackets, heads nodding up and down. Casablancas is in the same suspenders and baggy white shirt he wore in Argentina. My publicist friend gets us backstage. I turn the corner, and see guitarist Jeramy “Beardo” Gritter laughing at a joke the tech guy just told him. The outdoor area is replete with familiar faces from Instagram and friends of friends. I’m standing inside, escaping the coming rain. My eyes start wandering the room until I hear the voice.
“I like your shirt.”
I look up, and the man of the hour is looking dead at me. He’s about two feet taller than me. We both have bags under our eyes. I imagine I look just as groggy. To quote Joan Didion, this was “the real thing, the authentic article.” I mumble out a thank you, and relax my shoulders.
He talks to my friend and I for a few minutes before going out to greet fans. He tells us, between laughs and using large hand gestures, about the most interesting gifts he’s ever received. Two stories stick out: the ballerina-style box with a miniature Julian inside, and the woman who comes to every show with a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses. The pink pair around Casablancas’ neck chain jingles as him and the rest of The Voidz walk out into the rain.