Before Little Joy hit the stage at the Plaza, I overheard a young lady swoon, “I can’t wait to see Fab [Moretti]! He is so hot—way hotter now without Drew [Barrymore].” I suspect that was one of the main reasons people were at the show—Stroke sighting. This claim was strengthened by the gaggle of dudes who turned up with their leather jackets and tight pants who were reliving their first foray into hipsterdom in 2001 when that too-cool-for-school five-piece saved rock ’n’ roll. I am one of those dudes so I should sound less sardonic (plus Fab is way hotter since he and Drew split).
But enough about the Strokes—the night was about Little Joy. I was compelled to attend this show primarily because I think their self-titled album is one of the strongest of 2008. With each song sounding like a cover of a touchstone classic song from the late ’50s/early ’60s, it was a record that I couldn’t stop playing over and over again. Indeed, a time-cramped early show at the Plaza was not an ideal setting for a band that I want to play my dream beach wedding, but in their 45 minute set, they managed to keep people’s feet tapping.
One of the finer moments of the show was the Binki Shapiro-led tune “Unattainable,” which brought focus to the relatively unknown singer’s coo (which sounds like Alma Cogan, if Alma Cogan was a cigarette smoked by Bridget Fonda’s character in Jackie Brown). “Brand New Start” and “Keep me in Mind” were strong numbers in the succinct set, the former being one of the finer songs of last year, and with the latter’s Rodrigo Amarante vocals sounding alarmingly Casablancas-like. But enough about the Strokes.