Interpol’s New Material a Welcome Addition to Their Live Set in Sacramento
Eighteen years in, Interpol, in the live setting, still feel like that cool local band that only you and your buddies know about. Their current tour behind the new album 'El Pintor' stopped in Sacramento, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 19, and the sold-out crowd hung on every note.
One could argue that a band as well established as Interpol could fill a much larger venue than Sacramento's 1,000 capacity Ace of Spades, and that would be true, yet it would completely miss the point. Unlike some of their contemporaries who have tried to scale up to arenas (some successfully, others not so much), Paul Banks and company seem to get that what's best both for their music and their fans is intimacy. Guitarist Daniel Kessler's washes of sound in 'The Lighthouse,' for example, would be lost in the hollow belly of a basketball arena, as would Banks's modest stage persona.
'The Lighthouse' was the sole track performed from 2007's 'Our Love to Admire,' but it was hardly the only cut from their catalog. The band devoted more than half of their 16 song set to fan favorites, the majority of which were culled from the essential albums 'Antics' and 'Turn On the Bright Lights.'
Opener 'My Blue Supreme' from the new album went over fine, but the crowd really came alive when the band launched into 'Evil' from the aforementioned 'Antics,' singing along to every word. This set the tone for the entire evening: 'El Pintor' tracks received polite head nods while deeper cuts were greeted with singalong enthusiasm.
This is the perpetual challenge for bands who enjoy longevity similar to Interpol's. Throughout the history of rock and roll, "Here's one from our new album" has translated to "We'll see you when you get back from the bathroom," but the half dozen 'El Pintor' cuts sprinkled into the set were solid contributions. Kessler's chorus-soaked riffs in songs like 'Same Town, New Story' laid the sonic groundwork for Banks's evocative vocals, each song delivered tightly and faithfully to the album version. Whether a track like 'Anywhere' finds a permanent place in the band's live set remains to be seen, but hearing the new material live was a delight.
Perhaps that's the best reason to recommend catching Interpol on their current tour: Music is best experienced live rather than through a pair of ear buds. Songs from the new album sounded right at home performed alongside the best of the band's four previous albums, an insight that may be lost when considering 'El Pintor' in isolation.
Interpol wraps up its American tour on Dec. 1 in Philadelphia, then picks up again after the new year for a two month European leg. Get their full itinerary here.
Interpol -- Sacramento's Ace of Spades
Interpol -- Setlist, Sept. 19, 2014
'My Blue Supreme'
'Say Hello to Angels'
'Length of Love'
'Same Town, New Story'
'Not Even Jail'
'All the Rage Back Home'
Interpol Performs 'My Blue Supreme' at Ace of Spades