Friday, February 18, 2011

Show Review: Interpol live @ Radio City Music Hall 2/17/2011

Last night, I had the privilege of seeing Interpol live at Radio City Music Hall. Before the show, they were playing random music that compliments their sound, and one of the songs was Caribou’s “Odessa”, which left me and my group dancing. Alone. School of Seven Bells were the opener, and they were fantastic. Their atmospheric, experimental sound was a perfect compliment to Interpol’s style. Their single “Windstorm” was done brilliantly. I’ve been a fan of Interpol since Antics came out, and my favorite song of all time happens to be “Obstacle 1”, so, needless to say I was very excited and anxious to see them. After 45 minutes of waiting following School of Seven Bells, the lights finally dimmed and my friend and I jumped up screaming. Paul Banks greeted the audience with a “Howdy!”, then proceeded dive into “Success”, as predicted. It was very nicely done, and only got me more pumped for the rest of the concert. It really didn’t take much to put me into frantic mode, for after “Success” they launched into a wonderfully brilliant sequence of “PDA”, “Evil”, “Hands Away”, and “Barricade”. It slowed a bit for “Rest My Chemistry”, but even that was executed grandly and emotively. After that, it’s kind of a blur of overjoyed happiness (and crying) and blood-curdling screaming because from “Narc” to “The Heinrich Maneuver”, it was nonstop mind-numbingly excellent song after breathtakingly gorgeous melody. I felt like I was having heart failure during “Stella Was a Diver”. Just soaking in that moment of everyone simultaneously yelling “STELLA! OH STELLA! STELLA I LOVE YOU!” was beyond powerful. They closed their set with “Obstacle 1”, my favorite song to ever exist. I was reduced to tears. The whole beginning set was one of the most beautiful things my ears have ever heard and the encore provided the most perfectly gorgeous end possible. A song like the “The New” is so painfully beautiful live, but the only thing it was lacking was Carlos D., for their new bassist doesn’t provide the same presence or showmanship. Quite possibly the most inspiring performance of the night was the closer, “Not Even Jail”. Note: My group were the only ones standing in our section, let alone dancing. “Slow Hands” and “Evil” didn’t motivate people to move from their seats, but it was “Not Even Jail” that had everyone standing and ferociously clapping. I’ve never, in all the concerts I’ve been to, seen such a large group so in sync and into a song.

If you are a huge Interpol fan, not a casual fan, I would suggest you go see them. This concert has changed my life. Interpol are a magnificent band that makes agonizingly beautiful music, and if you are in deep appreciation of this, their live show will move you to tears of utter awe and joy. I know for a fact I will be seeing them the next time I can.

Setlist:

Success
PDA
Evil
Hands Away
Barricade
Rest My Chemistry
Narc
Say Hello to the Angels
Lights
Summer Well
Stella was a Diver and She’s Always Down
NYC
Heinrich Maneuver
Memory Serves
Obstacle 1

ENCORE
The Lighthouse
The New
Slow Hands
Not Even Jail

"I wish we could play here every night."-Paul Banks


3 comments:

Lily Hydrangea said...

Nice review DH. Makes me want to go see them...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your review. I too attended the show but have to say I was underwhelmed; the sound mix was muddy and the band is just not dynamic in person. Paul not once even looked over at his new bass player, or engaged the fans with much more than occasional between song banter. Musically the performance was very strong and polished, but sometimes that can be a negative; for me music is best when it takes chances, and I didn't see any taken. That all said, I respect your opinion and the well-written review.

Double Hawk said...

Anon: I appreciate your opinion too! It probably depends on where you sat. When I saw MGMT there, the mixing was horrendous, but Vampire Weekend and Interpol it was great. It never struck me that Interpol were the kind of band that bantered or did big showman-y things live, but you are more than entitled to your opinion. Thank you so much for reading my review! I really really greatly appreciate it!