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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Interpol and Canadians

I went to see Interpol on Monday night with Phillip and my friend Shanda. I was a little leery because friends of mine who had seen them the Friday before in Portland had reported a lackluster showing by the band and no encore. No encore?!? The thought was mortifying!

Lucky for us (sorry Jill and Frank) they were UH-MAY-ZING!!!! After two mediocre live shows in a row they completely restored my faith in live music.

This is the third time Phillip and I have seen them. The first time was September 19th, 2005. Phillip literally remembers this as one of the most perfect shows he's ever seen and I tend to agree with him. That night they played every song we could wish to hear, had a gorgeous light show that accompanied the music, and were tighter than tight with their musicianship. The second time we saw them was last April and it was a warm up show a few months before the release of their new album "Our Love to Admire" and it felt like that. Almost like the audience was just watching band practice: short and sweet set, no special lighting nor attempt to utterly please the audience. Not really very rocking. Well this past Monday night was thankfully a companion show to that first one. Long set, spectacular and atmospheric stage setup with columns of light and projected images, and perfect playing. You know how the layers of sound that a band can capture on a record sometimes can not be replicated on stage? That just isn't true with Interpol! They are so tight – every bit of that nuanced, cavernous sound from their albums comes through in their live shows. It's incredible!

Here is the set list from memory, so not necessarily in this order or complete:

Pioneer to the Falls
Obstacle 1 (these were definitely songs 1 & 2)
Slow Hands
Rest My Chemistry
Not Even Jail
Heinrich Maneuver
No I in Threesome
Say Hello to the Angels

And our encore (in order):
Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down

Phillip and I already knew that they would play "Pioneer to the Falls" first because it's just the perfect opening song and from most reports they've been opening with it on this tour, but we took bets on what song would be second. I guessed "Evil" but Phillip triumphed with "Obstacle 1." The encore was incredible. The first song they played we weren't familiar with and my friend Dave informed me later that it was an early b-side. Phillip feels like he summoned Stella because he was shouting it out like freaking Brando throughout the entire show. He had such a great time, Shanda and I were laughing at him because he was so into it! During PDA when that extended pause in the song occurs, the band held it for about 30 seconds too long while the whole audience screamed. Paul and the boys were absolutely playing with us, building our anticipation level up to that nice breaking point, and then they crashed back in with the music. It was AWESOME. If I had money I would follow this band around on tour.

During the show I met a random boy at the bar. He was from Canada, this was the first time he had seen Interpol and he was blown away. Before the show ended I ran into him again and invited him and his friend to come with us to the Double Down Saloon after the show for a drink. Since they were from out of town and it was a Monday night I figured they'd be happy to join us and they were. Their names are Rhys and English and they run a bar in Toronto called The Underground Garage and they are super cool people. They were excited to see a real Vegas bar and not another club on The Strip which is all they had seen of Vegas prior to this. Our buddy Ben (DJ Rex Dart) was spinning and our friends Dameian (DJ Standing 8) and Nicole met us for drinks too. The Canada Boys bought us round after round (although I was driving, so quickly switched to water) and we talked and talked and talked. We then decided to take them to downtown Las Vegas, which they had yet to see. They are truly music lovers and when we played The Stills in the car they were impressed that we would be fans of such an obscure Canadian band. We then exposed them to Neutral Milk Hotel who they had never heard before. We hit The Griffin, one of the coolest bars we have, and they fell instantly in love with it and played about a dozen songs on the jukebox. English is the drummer in a band (My Psycho Ex) and I wish him much luck. I hope we will stay in touch with these guys because I want to visit Toronto and drink in their bar now.

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