October 22, 2010
This was my fourth time seeing Interpol live. Two of the three previous shows were absolutely spectacular with fantastic energy, eye popping light sequences, and pure crowd love. One of the previous shows was a short set, two days after they had played Coachella, a quick stopover as they essentially "tried out" some of the tracks for their forthcoming album and it felt exactly like what it was: a practice run. It was a letdown.
I was a little worried going into this show because their new self-titled fourth album is not really doing it for me. But I shouldn't have let my worries get the best of me. This is a tight band that knows how to put on a good show. They are also one of the few bands that seem to truly enjoy playing Vegas and lead singer Paul Banks is vocal in letting us know it. In addition I was a little concerned about Carlos D leaving the band. Would the lack of his prescence be noticeable? He was such a striking figure, a true individual character in a band with plenty of character as a whole, not to mention his throbbing bass lines that provided the crux of so many of their songs. But honestly, his absence did not affect the band's performance. I've always enjoyed watching guitarist Daniel Kessler's manic on stage movement the most anyway. He glides back and forth and side to side on his quick feet until you are suprised that he can move like that and play at the same time!
Overall the setlist consisted of five songs from their first album Turn on the Bright Lights, six from their second breakthrough and most popular album Antics, only one lonely song from their third outing Our Love to Admire, and a full six off their new self titled fourth album. I will first say that the songs off the new album sounded much better live and actually made me want to give the album more of a chance. Secondly, hearing live seven songs from their latter two albums and eleven songs from their earlier two albums ultimately reveals the difference between the two parts of their career so far: their early work contains a palpable energy, propulsion, and ROCK that their latter work is lacking. It's not that there new work is not as good as their older work, but it is decidedly different to my ears and I prefer the raw intensity of their first two albums to the rather lanquid unfolding of their last two.
But Interpol is a very smart band. They obviously know that my opinion is the same opinion as a lot of their fans and they rewarded our loyalty by playing a setlist that consisted of over 60% older songs.
And I thank them for it.
Setlist (for those of you into that kind of thing):
Say Hello to the Angels (Turn on the Bright Lights)
Memory Services (Interpol)
Rest My Chemistry (Our Love to Admire)
Summer Well (Interpol)
Untitled (Turn on the Bright Lights)
Slow Hands (Antics)
PDA (Turn on the Bright Lights)
Try it On (Interpol)
Not Even Jail (Antics)
NYC (Turn on the Bright Lights)
Take You on a Cruise (Antics)
Obstacle I (Turn on the Bright Lights)