Take You On A Cruise

On Thursday night I crossed another of my favourite bands of all time off of my ever-growing list of artists to see in concert: INTERPOL (Photo courtesy of mashishka’s Flickr). As usual, I have no regrets spending money on somewhat pricey concert tickets instead of… food, or whatever, when the entire night burns itself indelibly into my memory for future reference of awesomeness.

Mink and I got to Gasometer a bit later than planned and missed the opening act entirely, but I’d never heard of them before and thus wasn’t terribly disappointed. But to their credit, Surfer Blood seems pretty cool and I’ve been listening to their album Astrocoast since first hearing about them this week. A photo of them in all their skinny-awkward-hipster glory:

I suggest checking them out if you like beachy, chill rock with pleasant man-vocals. They’re not revolutionizing a genre or anything, but they are very accessible and fun. Surfer Blood was probably good live, but that’s a concert for another day. Here’s their video for “Swim”:

And then. Cue fog, dramatic lighting, well-dressed men on stage with guitars – all excellent things in life, especially that last one. By this point I was basically bouncing up and down like a kid who’d eaten a bag of Halloween candy. Mink was dreadfully sick, but to her infinite credit she rallied enough to see Interpol with me and absorb some of my excitement. I’ve never gone to a concert alone, and I think I would have no problem doing it except for the fact that I love sharing the excitement of the adrenaline rush that comes from witnessing music being created. 

Paul Banks, the lead singer, has this incredible, unique voice that I love, and none of its charm was lost when they played live. Not for an hour and a half of pure bliss. [Sidenote: I also just found out that Paul Banks has a side project in which he goes by the name Julian Plenti, and I’ve been listening to Julian Plenti is…Skyscraper mostly on repeat since last night. The sound’s a bit grittier than Interpol, but his trademark vocals are impeccable as always.] It helps that he is also beautiful, in that brooding, ephemeral type of way:

I’m not nearly as into Interpol’s eponymous new album as I am their first two (Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics), so I was pleased that they ended up playing a good selection from all four of their albums. Here’s the set list, with the album in parentheses, for anyone who cares:

Success (Interpol)
Say Hello to the Angels (Turn on the Bright Lights)
NARC (Antics)
Length of Love (Antics)
Summer Well (Interpol)
Rest My Chemistry (Our Love to Admire)
Slow Hands (Antics)
C’mere (Antics)
Untitled (TOTBL)
Barricade (Interpol)
Take You On a Cruise (Antics)
Lights (Interpol)
PDA (TOTBL)
Memory Serves (Interpol)
Not Even Jail (Antics)

The Lighthouse (OLTA)
Evil (Antics)
The Heinrich Maneuver (OLTA)

Highlights, in brief: “Take You On a Cruise” is my favourite song by them ever. Super glad they played it. “Not Even Jail” was melancholic bliss captured by a song. “Length of Love” was witty and charming. Their entire encore was dramatic – “The Lighthouse” started off quietly, with the guitarist playing the opening bars, and then gradually the rest of them filed on stage silently to take their places for “Evil.” As the first 3 notes of the song rang out, my face split in half from my grin (not literally, that would have been kind of gross). I spent the whole concert telling Mink that they just had to play this song since it’s one of my favourites. Here’s a video of “Evil,” which was taken basically right in front of where we were standing, so it offers an idea of our sweet vantage point:

As for that thing about wanting to get the setlist for every concert I go to… We didn’t have much hope, as there’s a huge fence a couple of feet away from the stage at Gasometer, but we stormed that fence like champions to get the attention of the guys dismantling the stage. I suggested (rather forcefully) that one go up on stage and get one for us, but he ignored my request. Thankfully some other dude was handing a few out and strode over to where we were wildly gesticulating like he’d spotted us from up on stage.

Sweet satisfaction, and with neon pink tape adorning it to boot:

As we rode home on the U-bahn, the only thing I was thinking: I can die happy, once I’ve seen Radiohead.

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