One of the most quintessentially New York bands are throwing their weight into the New York mayoral race. Alternative rock veterans The Strokes have announced a fundraising concert for progressive candidate Maya Wiley that will take place on Saturday, May 15th. Notably, the group that helped make the electric guitar cool again will be performing their first ever unplugged concert.
Wiley is a civil rights attorney and former Counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio who has since become a fierce critic of her former boss. She made police reform and pausing evictions central to her platform, but is currently struggling to consolidate the progressive vote as more moderate candidates Andrew Yang and Eric Adams lead in polls.
“I’ve been a fan of Maya’s for a long time. I wanted to reach out to her even before she announced her campaign,” singer Julian Casablancas said in a statement. “When she announced she was running for mayor, I was so excited that someone so smart, solid and caring was running for any office, let alone to lead the city we’re all from and we all love and care so much about. Maya’s lifelong commitment to racial and social justice is so inspiring to all of us and we couldn’t be more excited to be doing this with her this weekend.”
For her part, Wiley sounds equally stoked to share a stage with The Strokes. “I’m so excited to join The Strokes for an evening of music and conversation this weekend,” she said. “In addition to being a huge fan of the band, I’m inspired by their commitment to speaking out on issues of social justice and civil rights. It’s not always easy for artists to take up space, to engage, and to stand up for the causes they believe in. The Strokes are fearless in their artistry and in their commitment to fighting for a better future. I can’t wait to hear some great music and have a great conversation.”
The event will be broadcast over Zoom at 7 pm ET, and tickets are available through the event website. While The Strokes have 20 years under their belts and six studio albums to choose from, it would be a surprise if they didn’t play at least a couple of songs from their 2020 LP The New Abnormal, for which they won their first Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. Over Halloween weekend, The Strokes will be playing at Outside Lands 2021.