with Twin Tigers
House of Blues, Orlando, FL • August 19, 2010
Though the recent departure of enigmatic bassist Carlos D left a glaring hole, visually, on the stage where Interpol stood, there was no gap musically in the band’s performance. The NYC band that has survived the changing musical trends over the course of their so-far decade-plus career sounded tighter than ever as they played before a packed House of Blues crowd in Orlando.
Any heat felt during warm up band Twin Tigers’ set could be attributed to the scorching temperatures outside because they did little to stir up much more than mild interest. With the exception of a bright shining moment or two, the Georgia band just filled in the space between door time and the headliner’s arrival. The music wasn’t bad — guitars distorted with fuzz, and sweet pop melodies that paid homage to eclectic loud/soft bands like Sebadoh — but singer/guitarist Matthew Raines’ vocals had the tendency to peel the paint off of the eardrums’ walls whenever he reached for those high screams. On record these guys sound much more sonically pleasing, so it is possible that Raines was just having a rough night — I won’t write them off just yet.
Confidently opening up with “Success,” a brand new song off of their as yet unreleased fourth album (aptly named Interpol), the vibe-altering group easily brought a hipster cool to the air, but not so hipster that the fans were too cool to enjoy themselves. Oh no. Interpol fans in O-town aren’t your typical scenesters who fear the wrath of being seen having too good of a time, they’re not afraid to shake and groove.
When the favorites were played — songs off of Turn on the Bright Lights and Antics, of course — the love was passed up freely from fan to band. Rather than coolly shun the “hits,” as some bands incomprehensibly do, the group tossed out the gems readily. “Say Hello to the Angels” and “C’mere” were handed out as readily as a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, but it was the sweet little gourmet nugget “Evil” that got even the coolest cat letting loose. So what if guitarist Daniel Kessler hit a wrong chord or two? He more than made up for small slips with his happy feet that had him shimmying all over the stage from start to finish. Even the usually reserved front man Paul Banks seemed less hidden in a shroud of painful shyness. Though still preferring to get cozy inside of the shadows of backlighting, he was more at ease than I’ve seen him in previous years.
So how was Carlos D’s replacement David Pajo? Fairly unmentionable. Unassuming, yet keeping the time on the low end, the new bassist hit all the right notes, but didn’t hold down stage left like his former did with no more than a great wardrobe and an ever present cigarette. Also joining the live band of Interpol is Secret Machines’ Brandon Curtis on keyboard.
The new songs, at least at this early stage, are pale in comparison with the old. “Lights” and “Barricade” sounded solid enough, but not when rubbed right up next to “Narc,” “PDA,” or “NYC.” The latter — arguably, the band’s most famous song — was held onto until the encore, along with the show closing, drum beat orgy of “Slow Hands.”
To see more photos from this show, and others, go to www.jencray.com.