Oct. 19, 2010
Fox Theater Pomona
It's safe to say that this is a new Interpol--a new album, a new bass player, a new/old label with their return to Matador, the record label that helped usher the band into mainstream consciousness.
Interpol has always maintained that perfectly stoic stage presence, oozing cool-as-fuck apathy as the audience before them does the exact opposite. But last night? Reluctantly, last night's set just seemed like they were phoning it in.
Chalk it up to them being in Pomona, or it being a warm-up show to Los Angeles, or being in the midst of a lengthy tour (San Diego tomorrow, with Vegas and the Greek following), or, possibly, you know, maybe that they were touring in promotion of a new self-titled album that almost-but-not-quite didn't get it.
Let's go with the latter for now--while Interpol still follows that same bleak formula (and let's be honest, it's a formula they've mastered right down to the fucking suits, which, by the way, are, in part, still there) with the always amazing low-end and hazy lyrics, it just doesn't have that same grab-and-shake hold. But all in all, the album was just fine.
Which, actually, was kind of the theme of last night: It was all just fine.
While it's their usual M.O. to just go down the set list--interjected with the occasional muffled "thank you"--the band seemed even more detached from the audience than usual.
The sold-out night kicked off with "Success," the opening track off the self-titled, a slow-burning starter that had the already-loud crowd even louder.
"Slow Hands," a rousing favorite, followed, but it was just the beginning of a disappointing setlist missing some old favorites like "The Specialist," "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down," and "Obstacle 1."
And, to be fair, judging by the sheer amount of people singing every word the entire set, I probably was the only one in the audience with the grumpypants on.
I wish I'd gone to see Superchunk instead.
Critic's Bias: Just off the top of my head, this is something like the 11th time I've seen Interpol. I like Interpol. That counts as a bias, right?
The Crowd: Black was the color of the night. A couple of Carlos D. lookalikes. No holsters, though.
Overheard in the Crowd: "YOU GUYS ARE LIKE BEARS--BIG, CUDDLY BEARS!"
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Random notebook dump: I've never seen a choke hold being put on someone at a concert before. Also: The guy receiving said choke hold tried to grab onto my ass to keep himself from being pummeled to the floor during "PDA." Excellent.
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