Interpol @ The Tower Theater

A friend offered Interpol tickets to Jeanne and I a few days ago. I’ve never seen them live and I’ve heard good things, so we decided to go. The Liars opened up and everyone around us hated them. I thought each of their songs tried to emulate a different band. I had fun guessing whether this was their Pixies song or their Radiohead song. I also heard Pavement and Jesus and Mary Chain. I went back and forth a few times on whether I liked them or not. The singer said the last time they were in Philadelphia not enough people bought tickets and the show was canceled. Ouch. Also, he wore an all-white suit and danced around like a faith healer on crack.


Interpol started and I thought they sounded fantastic. Granted, their songs are so simple they are unscrewupable, but they killed. (Side Note: I once got into a huge argument with the drummer from Photo Atlas simply by stating that Interpol’s music was simpler than the White Stripes). I’m not familiar with their whole catalog, but they definitely played every song I knew. The guy in front of me recorded the whole show on this camera and had a ridiculous zoom. We were near the back of the bottom section and you could see the band’s faces in the view screen. Of course, being zoomed in from that far away made for some jumpy camera work. Security came by and pulled him out of the seats, but he returned a little while later and resumed filming. I asked him if they took him out because of his camera, he said, “Yeah, but who cares?” and that they asked him to delete everything, but he just deleted one picture.

The crowd was a little strange. I wouldn’t expect Interpol fans to get crazy and mosh around, but I wouldn’t expect them to stand stiff as a board for an hour and a half either. I could see about a dozen people dancing in the whole theater. Even the front row was frozen. It’s not that they weren’t into it because the crowd went nuts after each song. A lot of Interpol’s songs are slow, but they played a primarily upbeat set so it was surprising to see no one dancing.

This girl went to the show last night:

There?s always a lingering high one feels after an amazing show. It?s a little like that happy calm one feels post coital, where it just gradually fades, leaving a weak smile on the lips. That, for the most part, is how I feel after seeing Interpol. For some, that may have been an odd analogy to use and they are slowly backing away from the screen wondering if they should disinfect it, but for others – most my friends in fact who go to shows all the time – understand what I mean entirely. Interpol know how to put on a show no matter where they are at and the louder the better.

Another take:

In all, a great live show. Maybe not worth a whoping $35, but I don’t feel too cheated. You can definitely tell that Interpol has been playing for almost 10 years. The show was energetic and professional, but not overboard, rehearsed and fake.

Like the old farts that we are, we bounced before the encore…



3 responses to “Interpol @ The Tower Theater”

  1. stark mitz Avatar
    stark mitz

    Of the two bands, Liars was the one to see. Not saying Interpol wasn’t good, because in fact they were great live (again). Liars just make much more interesting songs and musical choices than Interpol.

    Interpol have made 2 (TOBL and Antics) incredible albums, one album not as hot as the other two, and some b-sides of varying quality, all in a single cohesive post punk vein. Liars have made 3 breakthrough albums (They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, DRUMS NOT DEAD, Liars), one album so insane it could be considered evil (They Were Wrong, So We Drowned), and a handful of EPs, all with unique textures and sounds strung together by their signature tribal/dance drums.

    My purpose here is not to bash Interpol, or to tally achievements, but to give some background to Liars for people who saw this set at Tower and wondered what the fuck Angus was doing shimmying and echoing his yelps and gettin’ down in the white suit.

    btw, ‘the other side of mt heart attack’ was perfect, as was all the drums not dead and older material. new s/t album stuff fit perfectly.

    awesome double bill!!!

  2. Yeah I see what you mean. I’ve always really liked them and their songs are simple, but it’s the tonal layering that really defines their musical sound I think. Maybe not more simple than the white stripes, but simple in a different way. One of my favorites is “Take you on a cruise” from Antics.

  3. Can we have OMI Public start? It has been 7 months.