Interpol @ Terminal 5 | 5/7/11

Before you read this, here is a slight disclaimer. While I absolutely love Interpol, this review of the Terminal 5 show last night will be completely unbiased.

Interpol took the stage at about 9:33 and played until the last second allotted (11pm-ish) and came on with a bang, performing “Success” off their most current album Interpol. Perhaps they were claiming something, from a band that would play Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom – now headlining Radio City Music Hall and Terminal 5. The one thing I noticed off the bat was Paul Banks’ hair. It was (and hold your breath) a mohawk. The second thing I thought of was the saying “Friends don’t let friends cut their hair,” which was seen here in 1996 on Jerry Cantrell’s guitar.

Hammering through power tracks from “Success” to (an amazing) “Say Hello to Angels” and “C’Mere,”” Daniel Kessler played the openings to Hands Away” from Turn On The Bright Lights, while people tried to clap. but kept missing the beat (white people problem). The obvious and obnoxious cheer came loudest during “C’Mere.” The crowd for the most part was upbeat, ready to dance, and attentive.

After banging through the first 5 songs, Paul Banks stops for a second and says “Thank you very much, really great to be here” with the upmost sincerity. Paul gazes around the room, almost in awe, and the boys in black pump right into “Rest My Chemistry.” The strangest part of “Rest My Chemistry” was the light treatment. From mellow shoegaze lighting, the lights became glowing crosses during the chorus and interlude. It was almost assumed that Banks is the Priest and this is his Church to preach. If you know Interpol, you realize that “Rest My Chemistry” is quite the personal song (lyrically). During a minute of dead-time, a friendly frat-brother yelled “Play freebird.” Luckily the band did not oblige and dove into “Narc.”

The real crowd roar came for the obvious Evil, Heinrich Maneuver, and the set closing Slow Hands. To end the night, Banks and Kessler played The Lighthouse as the first encore song to lead into the crowd pleasing Obstacle 1 and Not Even Jail to close in the end.

Overall and surprisingly the sound at Terminal 5 was perfect (for a first). The crowd however was a different story, and possibly the most diverse group of people you would see at an Interpol show. There was fist pumping, flashing peace symbols, hippies “grooving,” the typical Interpol “fan,” and yes even a few dads and moms. The real shocker of the night in the pit was a fistfight between two brethren (yes, bros). All I could hear was “Bro I will step on you!!” and a series of draggings to break it up.

Interpol last time in NYC played with the great David Pajo, who is now no longer with them. The replacement? A corpse brought up from the grave, Brad Truax who has played with numerous bands ranging from Gang Gang Dance to Animal Collective, Cass McCombs, and a boatload of others. Interpol is quoted as saying “He’s got taste and he’s got chops.  And that’s what we want.” Well, he sure did do his job playing bass, but lets be honest here, he is a dead corpse. Here is the setlist below:

Say Hello To Angels
Hands Away
Rest My Chemistry
The New
Summer Well
Leif Erikson
The Heinrich Maneuver
Memory Serves
Slow Hands

The Lighthouse
Obstacle 1
Not Even Jail

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About Jake Bernstein

Jake is the Online Marketing Manager and blogger at Wanderlust Festival as well as a DJ based in New York City. Jake has written for LA Times, NY Times, Elephant Journal, Long Island Newsday, Long Island Press, and Wanderlust Festival Blog amongst others.
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