Interpol at the Roundhouse
After a last-minute cancellation the night before, New York’s finest rockers appear on stage to raucous cheer from fans. For those of us fortunate enough to get a seat at the VIP bar, the band are a short distance away, where even the guitars being tuned are visible.
Lead singer and guitarist Paul Banks keeps things short but sweet with a show of appreciation to the crowd. Playing the first track from their seminal 2002 album Turn on the Bright Lights, the sound is breathtakingly precise. Drummer Sam Fogarino is off sick, but the replacement is great too. The rolling bass of Evil (Antics, 2004) is next to send shivers of delight and the first of many highlights, Interpol’s signature colours washing everything in red and black. Playing a couple of their recent tracks like Fables from upcoming album The Other Side of Make-Believe and If You Really Loved Nothing (Marauder, 2018), it is their earlier material which stands out. Songs such as Take You on a Cruise and Pioneer to the Falls, the latter of which is a haunting riff, are perfect choices for the Roundhouse; Interpol know how to make heart-breaking songs, while the lighter-toned tunes are testament to the group’s versatility.
With Obstacle 1, you cannot help but sing the chorus, “She can read, she’s bad”, which like any good track, sticks in the mind long after the last chords have been struck. For All the Rage Back Home, lights pulsate, lead guitarist Daniel Kessler unyielding, bending backwards and displaying his fancy footwork, while Rest My Chemistry exudes a thick grunge sound akin to Nirvana’s music; unsurprising that the Seattle band is Banks’s inspiration to become a musician. Leif Erikson sees the venue bathed in a deep blue; the lighting is both thematic with the group’s image and striking in equal affair when pounding lights match the rhythms, and especially stunning during Rover. And of course, C’mere (Antics, 2004) is another highlight. Kessler’s guitar riffs are as memorable as they were 18 years ago, making many of us nostalgic for our teen years; the band have a keen ear for music and intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics, with Banks’s vocals still urgent and in good form. What starts as a sombre affair transforms into a beautiful rocking experience during The New, white light beating alongside the instruments, a credit to the lighting engineer.
Interpol know how to seduce and sadden, make you dance and brood and always put on a show that makes you sing your heart out, turning on their bright lights with infectious rocking antics.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Interpol’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Evil here: