Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, The Strokes' Julian Casablancas, John Mulaney

The Strokes were joined by some very big names for their fundraising concert in support of New York mayoral candidate Maya Wiley last night (June 12).

The band took to the stage at the Irving Plaza for a show that journeyed through their back catalogue, with all proceeds from the gig going to support Wiley in her attempt to become the city’s first female mayor. All fans were required to provide a negative coronavirus test to be permitted entry.

But before the band had played a note, they were joined on stage by a pair of unusual support acts: stand-up comedian and noted Strokes affiliate John Mulaney, and US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Fans reacted with disbelief at the surprise appearances, both of whom spoke about their support for Wiley’s mayoral campaign. Ocasio-Cortez was later filmed dancing with Wiley during the Strokes’ show – see reactions and fan footage below.

There was also the small matter of The Strokes’ first public, in-person performance – variously described as “amazing” and “absolute pandemonium” – since March 9, 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic brought live music to a halt.

It was also New York’s first full-capacity show of its size since the city’s first lockdown, as well as the first show at Irving Plaza since its renovations in 2019.

Check out the full setlist as well as reactions to the concert below – including fan footage of ‘Someday’, ‘Ode To The Mets’, and ‘Last Nite’.


The live gig follows a virtual fundraiser the band played for Wiley back in May, which saw The Strokes play their first-ever acoustic set.

“Maya Wiley is the most grateful, gracious, and kind-hearted bad-ass I’ve ever witnessed,” frontman Julian Casablancas said in a statement prior to the show. “The more I know her, the more I know that she is absolutely the best choice to be NYC’s next mayor.

“This feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity to help elevate an incredible person to a position of power where they can protect the public — instead of the usual — managing their exploitation…”

Julian Casablancas of The Strokes
Julian Casablancas of The Strokes. CREDIT: Josh Brasted / FilmMagic

He continued: “She is the only leading candidate without a PAC (political action committee), so it’s a privilege to use art to support a non-corporate candidate fighting against difficult odds. She is a benevolent warrior; at City Hall she got the cop who killed Eric Garner fired. We need to elect trustworthy people so when hard decisions need to be made behind closed doors, we know the people of NYC will be protected and in the best hands possible.”

In turn, Wiley said she was “so thankful to The Strokes for their support for my campaign and my vision for this city and for their commitment to making this event happen safely and successfully.”

As well as the New York band, Wiley has been endorsed by the likes of actors Chris Evans and Gabrielle Union.

The New York mayoral elections take place on June 22.

The post Watch Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and John Mulaney open for The Strokes at Maya Wiley fundraiser appeared first on NME.


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