Live Report: The Strokes Take Control At All Points East 2023

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A burgeoning music event a few years in, All Points East offers unique, informed live music curation featuring some of the most influential bands and artists of the past and the present. Today’s objective to bring together generations of indie alt-rock bands of a similar mindset, sound or attitude, is a fitting project.  

The event enables the meeting of classic and new contemporary artists to happen. It’s a varied line-up that concludes with an exciting, streamlined bill of evergreens and new music. If the argument that some of the bigger acts ought to be more evenly sprinkled across the day, the counter one surely is that the afternoon is an opportunity for emerging bands to make a mark, and shine. In saying that, the idea that less often turns out to be more, proves as challenging to shake off. 

The hectic running order includes artists such as Norwegian singer Girl In Red, progressive rock ensemble Black Midi, psych-rockers The Lazy Eyes, New York band The Walkmen, post-punk act Warmduscher, punk group Be Your Own Pet, alt-rock quartet Vacations, noise-pop trio HighSchool, multi-instrumentalist Tash, Coventry’s FEET and Leeds quartet L’Objectif, to name a few. Steve Lamacq along with the presence of BBC 6 Music is more than welcome, and is a suitable addition to the schedule. 

The ability to overcome, and recover from, temporary sound issues during The Strokes’ performance, is notable. It’s a vast improvement on 2019’s All Points East appearance, an event that fostered negativity both during and post event, with heated digital exchanges on social platforms. 

All that aside, in an attempt to capture some key parts of the action packed day, Clash has chosen to handpick five unmissable moments. 


Bringing their characteristic alt-rock sound to Victoria Park, English risers HotWax achieve more than just proving that they have potential. Playing the West stage in sunny weather, they take the crowd through a bundle of catchy, grungy sounding tunes that impress and increase curiosity. Echoing a number of legendary American groups across the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, the staging absorbs. HotWax is one to watch!

Amyl and The Sniffers

Demanding the space with energy, rockers Amyl and The Sniffers take over the West Stage of Victoria Park, in style. There’s little doubt about the Australian trio’s quest to conquer, they achieve that, and much more. Permeating the show with fourteen explosive belters is enough ground for chanting and mosh pit participation. 

If the heavy shower of rain that arrives mid set represents a small challenge for the group, they stay focused and composed. Admirably self-assured and visceral, the pub punks give a performance that entertains, and it solidifies the distinctness of their punk brand.  

Angel Olsen 

Elsewhere, singer songwriter Angel Olsen gives a fine lesson in indie pop. On the main stage, the American musician’s display has compelling narratives, harmonies and tender moments of beauty. 

An artist of integrity, Angel Olsen’s personal alt folk genre casts a much wanted spell over the main stage. A minor issue with a guitar strap is not enough to throw the singer off balance, and a raw version of ‘Right Now’ soon follows. While the pace of Olsen’s performance is moderate, the intensity persists, and the effects are enduring. It’s an impressive show from the guitarist, vocalist and producer. 

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Raucous and charismatic, New York art rock style icons Yeah Yeah Yeahs bring their sought after goods to East London. Much has been written, as ‘Meet Me In the Bathroom’, the documentary about New York’s music and fashion movement in the early 2000s, seems to have added further substance to the band’s story and identity than previous conversations probably could be said to enable. 

Displaying supreme form, vocalist Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase give one of the most vibrant performances on British soil this summer. Playing a mesmeric blend of tracks across five albums, indisputable set highlights include ‘Rich’, the pulsating ‘Rockers To Swallow’, the electro-punk vibes of ‘Zero’, the gospel-tinged ‘Sacrilege’ as well as the playful ‘Gold Lion’. The breath-taking tribute to Sinéad O’Connor, by way of ‘Maps’, cements the depth of their arty rock. A skilful, acclaimed production from the trio. 

The Strokes

Headlining act The Strokes rightly find themselves on the receiving end of an expectant crowd, however. Yes, the ongoing noughties nostalgia whenever the New York indie rock band hit London town is intact. It’s part of the group’s unblemished appeal, but the thirst for their body of work, as a whole, is of an equally permanent nature.  

Continuing to live up to quintessential definitions of New York cool, the extraordinarily singable, melodic rooting of The Strokes’ repertoire works a treat on this Friday night. Producing a string of eighteen tracks, comprising of classics, they throw some deep cuts into the mix, songs that just dig that bit deeper.

The declaration of London as their “second home” is a suitable springboard for revisiting their esteemed catalogue. Keeping the tone light-humoured and conversational, frontman Julian Casablancas is in good spirits, his mood elevates the audience, so both parties can feed off other another. While more introspective openers ‘What Ever Happened’ and ‘Alone Together’ reveal a desire to paint a different Strokes picture, a similarly intensified drive, a keenness to bring people together, is brought to life with ‘Last Night’, just before the zesty ‘The Adults Are Talking’ begins. 

Closing the East stage with an electrifying version of ‘Reptilia’, their encore includes ‘Hard To Explain’ and ‘Is This It’ to fulfil punters still hungry for more. The harmonious setlist goes some way to illustrate the variety and experimental range that underpin the band’s work, something they rarely are given credit for. Will the lasting effects of this extravaganza have the potential to alter this trend? A historic show, the hope of seeing The Strokes returning to the same spot in a few years’ time, for a round three, persists.

Words: Susan Hansen
Photography: Rachel Lipsitz