INTERPOL

A review of their show at The Paramount in Seattle, WA on February 11, 2005.
By Michael Nielsen


In some ways, much hasn’t changed since the last time I saw live music at Seattle’s Paramount Theater some 20 years ago: black is still the new black, Mohawk haircuts can still be spotted and a hint of clove still hangs in the air. Even the performance by New York based Interpol harkened back for me the days of New Order and Dead Can Dance. With nary a stage affect, save for lighting that gave the back drop the look of torn paper and a constant cloud of fog, the band played through the songs on their current release Antics. The minimalism in the show reflected the hypnotic quality of the band’s music. Paul Banks on lead vocals sings in a monotone that still feels emotional and the bass line of Carlos D thumps through each of the tunes like a Philip Glass melody --- it is repetitive in a lulling, almost soothing way. The quiet energy of Daniel Kessler on guitar and Sam Fogarino’s drilling on drums filled out the tunes.

Whether it was a slow beat song like "Narc" or the popular "Slow Hands," Interpol’s music lends itself to head-bopping and toe tapping -- the rhythmic undertow of each song has a hypnotic quality that you can’t help swaying along with. It’s not the head banging of punk rock that can feel angry and mean; in this case, you are swept up in the sound. Along with the waves of sound, come lyrics that can be haunting (“touch your thighs/I’m the lonely one”) or almost old-fashioned (“Yeah, you make me want to pick up a guitar/and celebrate the myriad ways that I love you”).

The boys of Interpol have an unmistakable urban and cosmopolitan quality to them: they met up at NYU and two of the members hail from England, the others from New York City and Philadelphia. Despite the gritty trappings and sophisticated tunes, there is something young and earnest about them. They sing on the topics of youth -sex, isolation, and searching - but they are self aware in their musical musings. They are currently hip in all the right ways, with a Saturday Night Live appearance under their belt and inclusion on The OC Soundtrack. But these claims to pop culture don’t distract from their talent. Though not quite an old man, I date myself by letting you know that it was Eurhythmics I saw at the Paramount all those years ago. A band like Interpol makes me glad I keep up on what you kids are listening to these days.

TANGLED UP IN THE WEB

Get to know Interpol even better by looking around their cyber world.

Amazon Take Them Home Tonight
Pollstar Be There Live
Facebook Become A Believer
Twitter Tweet, Peep, Chirp
Official Site It's Official

LYRICS TO LIVE BY
"Yeah but nobody searches
Nobody cares somehow
When the loving you've wasted
Comes raining from
a hapless cloud
And I might stop
and look upon your face
Disappear in the sweet, sweet gaze
See the living that surrounds me
Dissipate in a violet place

Song * Slow Hands
Album * Antics
"I'm not the hero out the gate
So much to feel,
so much to gain
My higher reason
will take pain
I'll be okay,
I've got my shapes
We are not alone,
we share our stake"

Song * Safe Without
Album * Interpol
"Here I've been living
on roofs made from sin
Upward and outward
"Begin, begin."
Here I've been lucid
I'm living within
Inwardly urgent,
I'm sinking again"

Song * Lighthouse
Album * Our Love To Admire
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