Thick waves of blue-lit smoke ripple over the austere silhouettes of Interpol while Daniel Kessler’s striking stripped-back guitar – which, four albums down the line has become synonymous with the New York foursome – breaks through the fog.
Behind the band looms what looks like a set of huge metal panpipes, adding to the daunting atmosphere, but the thousands-strong crowd don’t notice; too absorbed in the baritone drone from Paul Banks, their eyes fixed on the stage as the grave-toned outfit pummel through the oddly catchy ‘C’mere’.
Interpol fans aren’t exactly a rowdy crowd, but for this slightly up-tempo corker they try their hands at some light pogoing. Suited and booted in their dark outfits, Interpol look severe as they run mechanically through the Pixies-leaning riffs of ‘Rest My Chemistry’ and jittery newy ‘Summer Well’, but the little smiles betrayed by Banks and his crew at the end of each song keep the mood on the right side of airy. The band race through ‘Say Hello to the Angels’ at double time, which again gets people moving, even if a little confused, before finally answering the climactic cries for the chart-topping ‘Evil’ during the encore. What Interpol seem to lack in stage presence, they more than make up for in unequivocally slick skill.
By DK Goldstein
Originally published in issue 24 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. December 2010