Playing a sold-out show at Chicago's Metro this past Sunday evening, Interpol decided to add another date to their tour, staying to play to yet another sold-out crowd this past Monday night at Chicago's infamous Empty Bottle. I must admit, I have only heard of Interpol, I never took the time to look into their sound. A few friends had mentioned that they had gone to an Interpol show a while back, giving it rave reviews. These guys tour on a consistent basis, so I thought that the next time they pull into town, I should see what all of the craze is about.
As I walked up to the door of the venue, I saw a huge tour bus parked out along the curb. I thought, "Oh boy, what am I getting into here? They have a tour bus?!" Not many tour buses grace the Empty Bottle with their presence.
Taking my first glance around the room, I thought I was being subjected to a low-key fashion show. Almost everyone "looked" the part of "the indie-rocker." It was sadÖvery sad. I couldnít figure out if they were there for the music or just to look cool.
I usually have to stand towards the front of the stage because being 5í3" has no advantages over that "one guy" that is 6-feet tall and who always ends up standing in front of you. Surrounded by a thick gray cloud of smoke, I watched the many "hipsters" from behind squirm to the front of the room as the lights dimmed and the opening chords to "Roland" began.
Singer Paul Banks held an intense, trance-like persona onstage, making it seem as though looking good was a part of his job. His vocals reminded me a little of lead singer Travis Morrison from The Dismemberment Plan, which, to my ears, is a good thing.
Bassist Carlos Dengler and drummer Sam Fogarini seemed as though they were marked as "the shy kid" in their school days, but the aptitude of their playing overshadowed that. With lead guitarist Daniel Kessler, who, in my opinion, showed exceptional talent, the group was more than just good. The majority of their set list consisted of tracks off of their debut release, Turn On The Bright Lights, which came out on Matador Records this past August. "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down," "Say Hello to the Angels," "NYC," "Hands Away," and of course, the ever-popular single, "PDA" were just a few tracks that were featured.
When anyone mentioned Interpol, they would always bring up "the suits." What suits? I saw black pants and black shirts. With the exception of lead singer Paul Banks, who wore a white button-down under a black sweater with the sleeves cropped half way up the arm, there was no "out of the ordinary." I didn't know what Banks was going for, but it looked like something out of a fashion magazine.
After closing with "Obstacle 1," the band members said "thank you," waved goodbye and walked off stage. Following almost three minutes of fans screaming at the top of their lungs and the obnoxious stampeding sounds they made with their feet, Interpol came out to play "New" and "Obstacle 2" for an encore.
Some may say that Interpol is "the new Joy Division," but I believe that both their unique sound and style makes a name all for itself. They will most likely remain matchless. Overall, their sound didn't knock my socks off, but I thought it was very tight and impressive. This was definitely a show that made my trip in the freezing cold worthwhile. I'm glad I had the chance to go.
Source: Katie Ramsey