I’m still not convinced that Interpol’s Our Love To Admire is as bad as some contend, but watching the band try to incorporate many of these new numbers into their set, I began to wonder whether the band even believed in their new songs. Through two thirds of their set, Interpol looked uninspired at best, and even a little awkward as lumbered through numbers like “Pioneer to the Falls”,”Rest My Chemistry”,”Mammoth”,” and “No I In Thressome.” Considering Interpol aren’t the most expressive band on stage to begin with, the tepid tempos of the new material combined with some of the more methodical moments from their back catalog (“Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down,” and “Leif Erikson”) became rather burdensome. Guitarist Daniel Kessler and bassist Carlos Dengler didn’t seem quite sure what to do with themselves as they found themselves mired in mid-tempo hell. Their actions and mannerisms were exaggerated, and even a bit corny at times as Carlos D would play single notes on his bass like he was in the Who performing a slow motion “Baba O’Riley.”
So, what’s a band to do, when they find themselves forty-five minutes into a languid set? Play the new single. That trick always seems to work, and when Interpol launched into the propulsive post-punk of “The Heinrich Maneuver,” the crowd started moving around, and there were hints that the night could be salvaged. The band continued to gain momentum and confidence as the crowd sang along to a positively anthemic take on “Evil,” and followed that success by twisting and torturing “Not Even Jail” into a dance-punk masterpiece. It seemed as if that sluggish beginning was already forgotten by both the band and their fans. After the perfunctory short break and return to the stage, a three song encore of “NYC”,”Take You on a Cruise” and “PDA” was enthusiastically received by the sold-out crowd. It was a stark reminder that Interpol can be one of the most compelling acts in modern rock.
**Note: I thought I could make it through the review without complaining about the House of Blues. I was wrong. My regular complaints are still valid. Standing in general admission behind the floor is like watching tv with the top third of the picture missing. It’s more difficult to get into the music. This causes more chit-chat, which in turn muddles up the sound. A muddled sound degrades the concert experience and makes me swear I’ll never go to that venue again.
**Note 2: I also thought I could make it through this review without mentioning Carlos D’s moustache. Wrong again. He really needs to shave that thing off. The moustache, combined with the black dress pants, black shirt, black vest, and a shiny bolero under his collar, makes him look like a catholic priest, a used car salesman, a policemen on the show Reno 911, or worse.