Interpol @ Showbox Sodo 1.28.11

January 29, 2011
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Arriving at the Sodo it was immediately disappointing to discover one of my favorite bands of 2010, School of Seven Bells delivering a massively mediocre set. Suffering from a poor audio mix and lack of stage presence, songs that should have appeared encompassing and epic were poorly represented and came off as mediocre and were easily dismissed. Losing a twin recently certainly didn't help the bands appearance as only a guitar, drums, and vocals were present. With the low end very blatantly lacking it was difficult to submit to the bands normally mesmerizing shoegaze soundscapes and it wasn't for lack of trying.

Scooting across the street for drinks a friend and I discussed our relative indifference and lack of affection for the majority of Interpol's catalog and wondered if the live show would convert us. It's certainly "cool" to like Interpol. I definitely want to like Interpol, for some reason I guess you could say I just don't "get" it.

Interpol took the stage to an eruption of cheers. Paul banks looking oddly militarian (not a word) with his mo...faux...hawk (Let's be real, I think it was a mohawk but I couldn't tell at the time so we'll call it a mofohawk) he definitely didnt' have when they stopped by the station a few months ago. The crowd however couldn't have cared less about his mofohawk or the fact that Carlos D was absent from the stage (he left the band about a year ago). The smell of marijuana pierced the air as the band began pumping out their take on the Joy Division brand of Post-punk. Powering through hits to thunderous applause and obvious fan devotion.

The crowd dominated by late 20 somethings seemingly reliving their first indie moments, now with girlfriends in tow and/or friends tired of hearing "dude you gotta check out this band I found!!", the sold out Showbox certainly didn't lack passion from the room or the stage. A new wave of excitement breaking with each familiar song played, the group sounding so tight it made fools of SVSB. As you go to more and more shows over time you realize, the loudest bands don't speak through performance, but through sound. Interpol didn't need to move 2 inches (and believe me they didn't) to prove they had command of their crowd, and people truly loved them for it. The whole evening was painted by an intense atmosphere of monotonous vocals over a wall of minimal guitars. And did I mention it was loud? Jesus. Lack of chords be damned, they turned it up to eleven to compensate.

Verdict: If That's your thing, it was right on point. Interpol are a tight band who sweat as much passion from the stage as they do from your speakers. But if you're not a fan going in, maybe split that 30 bucks between a few smaller, more diverse shows. For most of us, Interpol are still something we can appreciate just fine from the front seat of our cars.

Setlist:
Success
Say Hello To The Angels
Narc
Hands Away
Barricade
Rest My Chemistry
Evil
Length of Love
Lights
The New
Summer Well
Leif Erikson
Take You On A Cruise
The Heinrich Maneuver
Obstacle 1

Encore:
NYC
Memory Serves
Slow Hands
Not Even Jail
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