Facing the obstacles…

Bathed in nothing but sweat, three of the four contributors to the Pulp and Circumstance blog got out to HOB last night to check out Interpol, on tour in support of their fourth studio record, Interpol, which will drop 9/7. Their short, sweet, gig, dug for crowd pleasures rather than typical soon to be released album promotion. Esteban Miguel’s review is as follows…

Interpol faced few “Obstacles” in incorporating new songs from an as yet released album (more than a month away from being dropped) into its set list at the House of Blues last night.

When usually “pace is the trick”, last night,  instead of pacing, it was this: keep new tunes to a quiet minimum.

Instead of indulging in tracks from its upcoming eponymous fourth album, Interpol played most of the crowd pleasers – from “Obstacle 1” to “The Heinrich Maneuver”. And it worked, keeping the restrained head-bobbing crowd interested.

The band, which relies heavily on its rhythm section, propelled through the set list with a steady groove throughout and seemed genuinely engaged with the material…even if they dipped into the clichéd “You’re the best crowd ever” one-liner toward the end of the set (Paul Banks tells that to every crowd, we’d like to bet). The sound mix was stellar; and Banks’ vocals came in nice and crisp despite the band’s bottom-heavy sound. (Even though I’m still convinced I’m mishearing NYC’s lyrics. What’s “like a porno”?)

One of the most prominent new tracks, “Barricade,” made an appearance during the show. So did fellow newbie “Lights,” which prompted some non sequitur hula swaying from a particular young female audience member. (She could have as easily been dancing to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.” Turn gun, point at face.) “Lights,” even among the band’s standards, was one of the highlights of the night despite my clearly being mesmerized or bemused (it vacillated strongly between the two) by aforementioned girl’s dancing, or whatever you want to call it.

Overall, the few new tracks performed seemed pretty heavy and dark, even by Interpol’s standards.

Nonetheless, the band set out to complete what it wanted to do – promote the new stuff – but still give the audience most of what it came to see and hear…without overstaying its welcome in what was a relatively short set. It was as if Carlos D. never left the band at all; I mean, we can imagine, since he certainly has his own operatic herpe-tic reputation, that he keeps his jaunts much like an Interpol set: quick, direct, to the point, in, then as quickly, lights out.

Mission accomplished.

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