My story of how I met Julian Casablancas for the 1st time - March 10th, 2014
Prepare yourselves… this is quite detailed.
Here we go.
So, on Monday evening, I was sitting in my room around 6 pm working on a school assignment when my friend @hurtslikeheaven texted me saying that she heard a rumor about Julian + The Voidz possibly having a secret show in New Orleans that night. Of course I FREAKED THE HELL OUT. This kinda thing never happens !!!!! !! !!!1 Y'all, I’m seriously. N E V E R. Like why New Orleans? Why Louisiana? I don’t give my state enough credit.
Anyway, I immediately searched online “Julian Casablancas in New Orleans” to see if the rumors had any validity and saw on the rumored venue’s website that Julian would indeed be performing that night at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans (French Quarter district) and doors would open around 9pm. Tried to find tickets (regardless of the price), but no luck. I had 3 hours to make this work and hopefully be able to get in, and I was absolutely determined. As soon as I heard the news, I knew I had to do everything in my power to make it happen. After all, this is the biggest dream that I’ve ever had–to meet the man who changed my life musically and more. WHO CARES ABOUT SCHOOL, IT IS JULIAN FERNANDO CASABLANCAS. I’ve been running a blog dedicated to him for 3 years. My laptop background is set to show every photo that I have saved of him (*coughcough* thousands) every 15 seconds. Why would I ever pass up this chance of a lifetime? He’s my man. Therefore, I began to call/text every friend that I knew in person who loved The Strokes (and also had a car, because, unfortunately, I do not) and told them all that it was an EMERGENCY. Many friends couldn’t make it, but the 2 people who ended up being able to go were my best friend Kristi and also Estephania, who told me about the rumor in the first place. As we all were getting ready last minute at our places, I knew it was important to pack things like sharpies, water, snacks, breath mints (hehe;), and so on. I also changed into my “All the time” tee that came with my copy of Comedown Machine along with the Julian Necklace that I purchased years ago but haven’t really had a reason to wear. [pictured below]
It’s as if I saw this moment coming and knew exactly what I should do. And if you were watching me on twitter at the time, I was going insane. lol. But for some reason, I felt really calm and rational throughout the whole process of getting ready to leave to go see the most important male figure in my life like it was mean to be. We were all on the road before we knew it at around 7:30 pm, running a bit late sadly, but at least we still had a chance to make it there on time. We live about 45 minutes away from New Orleans across the causeway bridge that connects New Orleans to other parts of Louisiana (where we live). On the ride to the city, we kept talking about what we were going to do, how incredibly rare of an opportunity this was, what the plan was, if things didn’t go according to plan, and so on. We felt like we were in a dream. At one point, I even said “Pinch me, I am f*cking dreaming. This is not real.” And that’s when I looked on Julian’s twitter to see him say “See you at One Eyed Jacks tonight, New Orleans,” which suddenly made it all real to us and we squealed in excitement + anticipation We arrived at the venue around 9:05 pm. The doors were already open, but there were not many people there at all–25 to 30 at the most. Everyone in the small bar was dressed in leather jackets and vintage boots, some smoking cigarettes, discussing how they knew of Julian. It felt like home. We purchased our tickets for $25 a piece and entered the main area where the bands would be performing around 9:30-10pm. My friend Estephania happened to snag all 3 of us room right in front of the stage before the audience was full. And when I mean right in front of the stage, I’m serious. I put my bag down on it and leaned against it the whole night. It was a pretty small bar, although the temp was comfortable and cool. I really admired the interior of One Eyed Jacks because it was quite old-fashioned (red velvet tapestry on the walls) and reminded me of the set for The Strokes’ music vid “UCOD”, so I knew Julian probably adored the place The opening band, “The Yelephants” played a good bit of songs. They were aiiiight. [Below is a photo I took of the lead singer/lead guitarist]
Not really my style but they rocked out pretty good, which pumped us all up for main performance by Julian + The Voidz. The lead singer announced to the audience that their band found out about opening for Julian Casablancas + The Voidz at 2pm that same monday afternoon, so it really was a last minute show for everyone. They were about to play their last song of the set when Julian sent a message to the stage saying “Take your time, there’s no rush,” and the band members were so amazed by his patience and understanding (It was obvious how much they admired him like we all did). While the tech people were setting up the stage, I took this photo of the set-list right after it was taped down and intended to post it via twitter ASAP but had awful service, so I couldn’t :( this is Julian’s set-list from the show that I cockily snagged at the end and also the same set-list that he signed. Perfect, right? ♥
After much anticipation and another hour of waiting while tech people set up equiment on stage, Julian + The Voidz came onstage at exactly 11pm. If you haven’t yet seen the video of when they first came onstage, here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps26GxIl47E
There he was. My man. My Julian. He grabbed our hands when he first walked out onto the stage and greeted the audience for the first time. I latched onto his wrist gently as he took a step back. I melted inside. Could not believe that he was there, standing right in front of me, an arm length away. Never did I think I’d get to fulfill my lifelong dream of watching my favorite man in the whole world perform. *heart eyes* The Voidz warmed up and then performed “Ego” with Julian, which was a tight as f*ck song in my opinion. It sounded so raw and 80s, sorta like Joy Division meets FIOE. Julian talked to the audience for a bit after performing the first song and expressed his excitement for being in New Orleans. My 3 favorite performances of the night were Ize Of The World, Reptilia, and Instant Crush by Daft Punk. Ize was lovely because it’s one of my favorite strokes songs EVER and JC + The Voidz covered it really fucking well. Reptilia was incredible just because of the audience singing every lyric back to Julian; the passion in the room was practically tangible. I love love loved the cover of Instant Crush (Julian called it a cover) because it’s just such a brilliant song. Julian also said that it was a surprise for us in NOLA and they weren’t sure they were going to perform it because their version was like 20 minutes long, but we all encouraged them to play it anyway–the longer, the better. I don’t remember the new Voidz songs specifically and how each one of them sounded, which makes me sad, but at last I got 2 of them recorded for you guys :’) The way that Julian performed throughout the night was exactly what we know him for: singing into the microphone sensually, lots of praying motions, awkward dance moves (love u bb), he even broke the mic in half at the end of the night and didn’t know what to do with it lol! Dem arms. Dem muscles. @_@ So he just pretended like it didn’t really happen. Gotta love him. The only thing that I was kind of frustrated with was how much Julian kept his back to the audience. I wanted to see more of that beautiful, flawless face. But dat azz was a nice view too, na'mean hehe. The band tried to leave without playing the last song titled Arabic and that’s when the audience began to cheer “ONE MORE SONG” over and over until Julian + The Voidz came back onstage to perform it for us, thank god. So sweet of them. Right before leaving the stage, Julian ran in front of the audience to grab our hands and say thanks for coming out, and luckily for me, I was the last person to hold his hand. Our palms were touching and he squeezed as he was pulling away, letting it linger longer than I thought possible (it was slow and sensual, lasted about 6 seconds), which was TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE so I was the first to let go. ahhhh my heart…
The girls and I waited a few minutes for the audience to clear out before leaving, and we kept discussing ways to find Julian to meet him finally. That was a major goal of the night! We even went around the entire block of the building outside to see if there were secret exits. After stalking the tour bus out front…
[pic below features sticker on tour bus]
…and sitting on some steps waiting a bit (we witnessed a drug deal too, what a bonus), 1am rolled around and we couldn’t wait any longer. We were going to enter the venue one last time in search of Julian and then leave if he wasn’t inside.
WELL GUESS F*CKING WHAT…..
We spotted him standing down from the stage, where the audience was during the show, surrounded by a few fans, so me and the girls rushed over immediately to hopefully get photos/autographs/one-on-one convo with him. We got all of the above :’)))))) ♥ It was… magical. I felt as if I was speaking with a friend because Julian was so chilled out and just friendly as hell. He kept joking around with everybody. No one was really bugging him too much, and that made me happy. I didn’t want him to be uncomfortable or pressured by people to do sh*t. When I finally got my chance to talk to him, I had to say how much of an inspiration he is to me. I basically conveyed that my life wouldn’t have purpose without his existence. I could tell that it was a little much for him, lol, but I just had to say it. My best friend Kristi explained how he changed her life by making her love music more and Julian joked back with her in a cocky but jokingly way, “Go on, go on… just kidding” *chuckle*
After we finished with expressing our adoration to him, we asked him for photos and these are below.
[WHY DOES HE LOOK SO SAD IN MINE]“:
[my best friend Kristi and Julian]
[Estephania and Julian-different camera]
We all just had chill friendly convos where we would ask questions here and there, such as when I asked him "So how tall are you exactly?” to which Julian responded with “I am 6 foot 1 and ¾.” Me: “Damn. That’s specific and impressive haha” I also managed to bring up twitter and the fans, explaining how much we care about him online ♥ He was so gracious and sweet and kind about everything, but not arrogant one bit. He never rejected anyone when they asked for him to do stuff or take photos. I eventually asked if it would be too much to ask him if he could sign the setlist that I snagged, and of course, he politely obliged like the total sweetheart that he is. [Photo below]
While Julian was signing my set-list, I was talking to him about how beautiful his signature is because of the upside-down music note and said that I’ve practiced it a lot in my spare time. He said “Thanks, I’m glad you noticed.” I then proceeded to call him the “man of music” which made him chuckle. I asked about the rumors of him possibly playing shows with Albert soon and he said that he’s pretty excited about it, so that’s gonna happen I’m sure. I also wanted to know why he chose New Orleans for this secret show and he said that he’s wanted to play here for a while because he loves the city and One Eyed Jacks (I think he has a friend there). I then brought up that he’s been here before, during his solo tour and also with The Strokes for Jazz Fest, but Julian was like “Big festivals aren’t very personal. The crowd’s far away and it isn’t as enjoyable as small shows like this one,” so he’s a huge fan of personal shows, specifically private ones that aren’t announced until the day of. Sly one he is. ;) Julian was talking to Estephania about good places to eat in NYC, so I butted in by asking if he has a sweet tooth. Apparently not. I was like “BUT CHOCOLATE.” He didn’t hear me. haha
I forgot to show him the necklace that I was wearing of his face, although I have a feeling he saw it while onstage because at one point, he was staring down at my shirt and smiling. <3
There’s one more secret that I have no yet revealed and wanted to keep as a surprise…
Estephania told me later on that she talked with Julian about his birthsign when I was distracted. She asked what he considers himself to be since he is on the cusp of both Virgo and Leo. He said he sometimes finds traits from both signs in himself. He said that he’s a Virgo in the fact that he’s a perfectionist, then said “I was born at 11:44 if that means anything.” But he never specified if it was AM or PM. THAT IS VITAL INFO, JULES. I’ll find out one day i hope. I’m so glad that he cares about astrological birthsigns tho! That’s pretty major and super attractive. How could someone who’s flawless be even more perfect. jfc.
Ultimately, after we chit-chatted for a bit, hugged and chilled with him, we said our goodbyes. I told him “I wish you safe travels and good luck on the rest of your tour. Have a nice night” Julian replied with “Thank you very much, thanks.”
I think it’s safe to say that everybody at the show gave quite a good impression of our city and I really pray that he comes back again one day. There are so many things I still have left to say, but I am so grateful I was blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime to experience what I did. March 10th, 2014 changed my life.
Thanks for listening. I love you guys ♥ I hope this allowed you to be with me at the concert a little more than just in spirit.
Note: If you use any of these photos/quotes, please credit me and do not crop/edit! :) thaaaanks <3