Interpol, School of Seven Bells | 2.11.11

Whereas most encores are between one and three songs, this borderline second set was half an hour long. A few fans drew out their lighters and held them high just long enough for the vocal intro of “Untitled.”

 
 
 
 
Photos: Kelly Glueck 

The Pageant, St. Louis

Interpol is a band that has seen many changes throughout its nearly decade-long musical career. From major changes in labels, band members and hairstyles, it’s good to know these guys still wear suits to every show.

Speaking of band member swaps, this tour also featured guest appearances from bassists David Pajo and Brandon Curtis on keys and backup vocals. Pajo has worked with Stereolab and Tortoise, and he also joined the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for their It’s Blitz tour in 2009. Curtis might sound familiar, not only from his involvement in the Secret Machines, but also because he is the brother Benjamin Curtis—guitarist for the impressive shoegaze opening band, School of Seven Bells.

The new lineup worked well. The band seemed livelier than ever, putting an impressive breath of life back into Interpol. Lead guitarist Daniel Kessler brought the energy with his fancy footwork and guitar dips, emphasizing the powerful backbeats of Sam Fogarino’s snare.

Fogarino’s energy was reflected in the audience; however, there was a distinctive pattern in crowd movement. Although there were about eight girls clutching their hearts and belting out the lyrics to each song from the new self-titled album, the room, otherwise, remained silent. Interpol must have taken notice of their sleepy fans because they abandoned much of their new slower, repetitive, entrancing material for old upbeat Antics favorites such as “Evil,” “Take You on a Cruise,” and “Slow Hands.” The crowd’s polite attempt at head bobs transformed into an energetic roar of appreciation and applause within the opening beats of the songs from their first two albums.

Not saying much but a few thank yous and the song titles, Interpol left the stage just after 10:30 p.m. At that point, a guitar technician approached the stage to finely retune and reset Kessler and faux-hawked lead singer Paul Banks’ guitars and pedals; it was apparent they would be coming back for an encore.

Whereas most encores are between one and three songs, this borderline second set was half an hour long. A few fans drew out their lighters and held them high just long enough for the vocal intro of “Untitled.” The New York-based band’s final song, “Not Even Jail,” inspired some audience participation in between the powerful solos of Kessner’s rich, punchy guitar and Fogarino’s impressive drum beats. 

Interpol’s well-chosen set list, usage of dramatic eight-count musical climaxes and nearly-blinding back lighting made for an impressive show. The guys appear to have taken note of the lackluster response the new album and kept the suits and the old favorites on the bill, thus keeping their dedicated fans happy. And, while they might be bored with their old material, they played it off, and played it well. | Kelly Glueck

 
 
 
 
 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply