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Interpol at the House of Blues

By Samir Mathur
Contributing writer
(Photo: Nick Ware)

Last night the newly-expanded NYC five-piece brought old favorites and a handful of new songs to a packed House of Blues, and they certainly did not disappoint. Belying their reputation as permanently dour doom-and-gloom merchants, guitarist Daniel Kessler (who was immaculate in a suit and tie) spent most of the show dancing, while I’m sure that singer/guitarist Paul Banks even cracked a smile once.

The songs from ‘Interpol’ (out September 7th) pick up where the band left off three years ago: ‘Lights’ is all tension, gradual build, menacing guitars, and cathartic payoff. ‘Try It On’ and ‘Summer Well’ are more direct and up-tempo. It was a surprise that they didn’t play ‘Barricade’, the album’s first single, but with such a solid back catalogue, it wasn’t too badly missed.

‘Say Hello To The Angels’ is already frenetic on record, but live it was insane. ‘Take You on a Cruise’ was a surprise singalong hit, while ‘Evil’ and ‘PDA’ also blew the roof off, more expectedly. My main criticism of the band is that a lot of their faster songs sound very similar – I still can’t tell the difference between ‘C’mere,’ ‘The Heinrich Maneuver’ and to a lesser degree, ‘Narc’ – and that caused a bit of a drag in the middle. The slower songs like ‘Rest My Chemistry’ and especially ‘NYC’ really shone in the big venue, before the insistent riff and thundering drums at the start of ‘Slow Hands’ heralded the loudest cheer of the night.

If you missed it, you missed out. Hope they come back to see us again soon.

Setlist:
Success
Say Hello To The Angels
C'mere
Summer Well
Rest My Chemistry
Evil
Lights
Narc
The Heinrich Maneuver
Take You on a Cruise
Try It On
PDA
Not Even Jail

Encore:
NYC
Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down
Slow Hands