BY DANNY PHILLIPS
Seeing the New York City band INTERPOL live (at Lawrence’s Granada Theater) and in the fitted suit draped flesh was interesting.
I have never claimed to be an avid follower of the band nor have I built my life around their sophisticated, often somber music. However, in my life as a music journalist, it is my job to be part of or witness things that have the potential to let me down. INTERPOL was not one of those scenarios; in fact, I left the nearly sold out theater on that Monday night much more a fan than when I entered. The warming of my jaded heart rarely happens but INTERPOL pulled off the trick with their icy attack. It’s a fall miracle, Charlie Brown.
This would be one of the first nights of a North American tour to push the new and well-received new album Elpintor, an all the warmth of an ice cube on the south pole. Filled with synthesizers and slow, mesmerizing tunes, it takes me back to my childhood in the 80s, listening to my sister play Joy Division, Bauhaus and The Cure records. However, I am not hear to review a record or to convince you to buy said record (you definitely should), I am here to discuss the night NYC cool came to Middle America.
Much like any show one would attend, there seemed to be a “uniform,” a certain style of dress required this show: In some cases, the concertgoer of the male persuasion wore a combination of these articles of clothing: white or black button up shirt, skinny tie, suit and/or slacks, perfectly combed hair. My black t-shirt got me looks of derision, glanced of disgust.
A vast majority of the women on hand wore dresses, black framed glasses, bright red lipstick and were almost all beautiful; it is as if the band bused in their most gorgeous fans from the coolest Brooklyn or Manhattan hotspots. Let the record show that I am not complaining about this at all. I have not seen a phenomenon like that in Lawrence perhaps ever. Couple that with the fact that it was a Monday night made it even more unbelievable.
When the band took the stage, the chill of the band’s music descended upon the room. Everyone faced front and few looked at their phones as the band launched in “My Blue Supreme.” For the next hour and a half, INTERPOL channeled the ghost of late Joy Division front man and the sound that made JD so beloved to the depressed and disenfranchised youth of the world.
Obviously, the music means more than I could fully comprehend to those on hand. Couples held one another, solo flyers had a look of deep longing and loneliness on their faces and, by the time INTERPOL played “Narc” from Antics, three songs into their set, grown men (some with arms as big around as a basketball,) were crying. Let me say that one more time, they were crying. In addition, by the night’s closer “Evil” came around, many looked as though they had had religious experiences or, at the very least, some sort of awakening.
Interpol was on top of their game. They played like a well-oiled machine, reading each other on stage as if each would an old, beloved and creased novel; loving it as much as they did the day they found it and feeling joy, even after more reads they could count.
Yes, it was an interesting perhaps strange night filled with sights I had never seen and a setlist (“Say Hello to the Angels,” “Leif Erikson,” “Not Even Jail” and new track “All the Rage Back Home” to name just a few) packed with great songs and a performance that changed my mind. I have been converted, I am now a full-fledged fan of INTERPOL and though my sorrow is deep that I will never see Joy Division, INTERPOL is indeed a great stand-in.
Danny R. Phillips
My Blue Supreme
Say Hello to the Angels
Not Even Jail
Everything is Wrong
Take You on a Cruise
All The Rage Back Home