The Voidz is a dark punk band with ‘80s inspired synth led by Strokes’ frontman Julian Casablancas. They’re cool, they’re mysterious and they’re playing every Wednesday at Elsewhere in Brooklyn this month.
On June 13, they’ll be joined by Public Access T.V., June 20 is with Dilly Dally and June 27 with Priests. I was lucky enough to catch the kickoff night this past Wednesday with fellow Cult Record artists Promiseland and Surfbort.
If The Strokes were the anthem to your angst-driven teen years then you probably perked up knowing that your mighty leader Casablancas hasn’t stopped providing tunes to corrupt the youth. However, though still equally as devious, The Voidz are nothing like The Strokes. Casablancas is tapping into a much more punk rock side. Their music sounds more like the soundtrack to life after A.I. becomes self-aware and takes over the world. The future of robotic romances and Internet warzones will surely have The Voidz playing in the background.
Surfbort was already playing when I walked into the venue. Frontwoman Dani Miller was on stage in her pink satin Playboy bunny leotard, torn fishnet stockings and grungy t-shirt. Her missing tooth and maniacal laugh is like a punk rock comfort. If I get to see those and hear her shout along to fast and energetic punk riffs about losing your shit or finding love then I know it’s going to be a good night.
“Open up the pit,” Miller shouts between songs. “Let’s get everyone dancing.” Their whirlwind of fast beats definitely got everyone’s blood pumping and I’m surprised I didn’t see anyone break a neck from thrashing so hard. Even though Surboft is intimidatingly punk rock with a no-fucks attitude, they spread friendship and music like sweet dark angels.
Promiseland came up next. I’m always in awe when I see this guy. I first met him behind the bar at Baby’s All Right when we realized we had the same birthday and rose tattoo. He’s a sweetie from down under, covered in tattoos and really gives it his all every time on stage. Promiseland literally did backflips for the crowd. His dark and frantic punk with heavy bass and guttural vocals was probably the most experimental of the night’s lineup.
The Voidz got the crowd pushing towards the stage. Fortunately for me, I’d found a comfy spot backstage to watch the rest of the show after I interviewed Promiseland. (My old teenage-self threatened to creep up from the dark crevices of my psyche to freak out about the fact I was backstage at a show Julian Casablanca was playing, but I was able to restrain her.)
With six people on stage and a capacity crowd, the venue felt smaller than usual. Or maybe it was just the massive punch and energy of The Voidz’ music. They played their instruments like their lives depended on it. Sweat dripped down Casablancas’ face while his vocals filled the room. Despite their obvious and intimidating coolness, they wished happy birthday to the woman who booked the residency, Casablancas’ right hand person in all his endeavors, Nasa Hadizadeh.
Every mouth in the crowd sang along and while tons of phones hovered over heads, everyone’s eyes were glued to the stage. Definitely not leaving this night in my dreams.