Interpol’s Marauder initiated their second chapter as a trio with a post-punk cut that rings true to their signature blend of progression. In celebration of the band’s 6th studio album the band kicked off their world tour months earlier, which included expanded North American dates, adding one stop in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl. The post-punk revivalists did not disappoint throughout their 20 track set-list, two encores, and a vast amount of well appreciated hits that would make any Interpol fan weak in the knees, bringing along The Kills and Sunflower Bean on tour to prep the audience. As breathtaking as it is to witness the band in an intimate setting, Interpol’s charisma, presentation, and clear cut of their craft truly make them one of the greatest rock bands to witness live regardless of the setting, transforming the Hollywood Bowl into a monochrome pool of admiration.
Doused with tailored apparel that ranged from Daniel Kessler and Sam Fogarino’s black and white suit, to Paul Banks head to toe black ensemble, a familiar stylistic edge noted the band’s explicit attention to detail the moment they walked on stage. Quickly absorbing the crowd’s enthusiastic cheers beneath the musings of “Interlude 2”, Kessler’s somber and high frequency guitar chords made wave for “Pioneer to the Falls.” Riding on the buzz, “If You Really Love Nothing” soon emerged, the final single from the praised Marauder. Banks briefly interjected, “That was ‘If You Really Love Nothing,’ as if … you really love nothing,” cuing a collected amount of chuckles. Balancing beloved cuts primarily from Marauder, Antics, and Turn on the Bright Lights, the night was a rekindled flame for Interpol, stirring a faded ember since their first arrival upon the scene.
“All The Rage Back Home” saw a roaring crowd of red and white lights, flooding the arena with faint echoes of their last era, as NYC catapulted the crowd to an earlier time. Tracks that followed such as “The Rover” and “Complications” clearly reminded all of the band’s evolution especially upon “Number 10”, cleverly being the 10th track off Marauder, which saw many playful rhythmic beats conducted by Fogarino. Despite tight drumming, sharp riffs, Kessler’s appreciated fluidity on stage, and Banks’ matter-of-fact tone, the night was swept in a welcoming state of infatuation for “Rest My Chemistry.” Blue lights were strewn throughout the stage, breathing into the black and white screens that held the band’s images from shot to shot. Being one of the only two tracks played off the majestic and polarizing album, Our Love to Admire, the track’s vulnerability alluded the expansiveness of the venue, painting a missed intimacy with the band.
Ending their set with throbbing bass lines and the slight whisper of Rosemary, people flocked from their seats to lose themselves in the waves of “Evil.” The cult-classic single wrapped listeners in bliss and reciprocated the love throughout. Banks thanked everyone as the final lull raised anticipation for the next round of tracks slated for the first encore. With a slight rest once more, the band emerged for their final bow of the night and tour debut, “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down.” Similar to the potency of “Evil” the 6-minute track levitated any individual who sat and engulfed them in rich bass lines and disillusioned guitar riffs. Banks’ sultry croon quivered from tempo changes and rode Fogarino’s exquisite, timed bashes.
Still drenched in obscure narratives and melodically fueled soundscapes, Marauder allowed a freer sense of exploration of the band, musically and lyrically – noting a more personal penned narrative. Four years later from the band’s last reintroduction, the album showcased Interpol’s genuine passion, that is of a second chance at unrequited love, which became evident last night in Los Angeles.
Pioneer to the Falls
If You Really Love Nothing
All the Rage Back Home
Not Even Jail
Rest My Chemistry
Take You on a Cruise
Flight of Fancy
Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down
All photos: Donna Balancia