Interpol's Concert at Marquee Theatre Was Fine, But Way Too Short

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See also: Interpol's Fourth Full-Length Feels Flat

We've put in an email inquiring for the reason for the short show; we'll update if we hear anything back.

The popular indie group can't afford to have you leaving a show this way. Interpol hasn't released new material in four years due to a prolonged hiatus. Their bassist, Carlos D, left the group to pursue a career scoring films, and the band went back to their indie label. In 2012, the band released a 10-year anniversary reissue of its debut album, the true warning sign of a band trying to use nostalgia to make themselves relevant.

Interpol walked on stage clad in black and aroused the crowd with their very presence. As the opening riff from "Say Hello to Angels" was played, the frenzy began. When they played the song "Evil" from their second album Antics, you could almost make out a weak smile on lead singer/guitarist Paul Banks' face. Their music has always been a dour affair, eliciting comparisons to Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen. Tonight, they played like giddy schoolboys opening for The Cure on a late '80s tour.

There were some stumbles along the way. Things seemed off as the band quietly began the first verse of their signature hit "NYC," but they rallied quickly as the guitars built to tell the story of messy pavements and New York kids. Banks took over bass duties for Carlos Dengler (aka Carlos D) on the albums, which means bass and some guitar duties are left to a rotating cast of musicians. The new songs the band played from their forthcoming album El Pintor, particularly "My Desire," seemed to drone on a bit. The song wasn't enthusiastically played, but showed promise that the band is moving forward in a good direction.

It seems odd to lament the loss of a bassist in a band, but when fans had been led to believe that Carlos D played such an integral part in the songwriting and aesthetic of the band you have to wonder how the group would adjust. It's safe to say Interpol is going to be fine, maybe even a little better than they were before. Banks and the crew seem determined to make it work, and it's clear the band could have a few years of relevance left in them if they realize people are paying for an experience that last more than 60 minutes.

The first set closed with a rousing rendition of "PDA," which gave hope to the crowd that more songs from the first two Interpol albums were coming. Then the band left the stage played a two-song encore that consisted of "Lights" and the hit "Slow Hands." Banks told the crowd they were beautiful and the lights went up. Then the quiet revolt began as audience marched to the parking lot, some pleased and many disappointed.

See next page for set list and Critic's Notebook.

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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil