I was a little disappointed by the turnout for Interpol Tuesday at The Fillmore (the NYC band has long sold out the 2,400 capacity Disco Rodeo in Raleigh). But just like the Cure concert at Time Warner Cable Arena three years ago, Interpol played probably the best, most upbeat set I’ve ever seen them play - for a far from sellout crowd.
Before the group has eased into its sets like a slow burn, beginning with near dirges and playing fewer upbeat dance songs in favor of slower moodier pieces throughout the set. That wasn’t the case Tuesday, which I found surprising since its latest disc is brimming with moody pieces. This time Interpol built momentum early on throwing out one rocking track after another (my husband digs the slow stuff, but enjoyed it too). I didn’t even notice the omissions (“Stella,” “PDA”) until someone tweeted and asked me about those songs.
The five-piece band pulled heavily from its first two albums. It played five tracks off “Antics,” (“Evil,” “Take You on a Cruise,” “Length of Love;” encores included “Slow Hands” and “Not Even Jail”) and five from its first album (“Obstacle 1,” which ended the regular set, “NYC,” “Say Hello to the Angels” “The New,” and “Hands Away”). “Specialist” drew on that same era. It appears on an early EP. The new disc was represented by “Summer Well,” “Memory Serves” and the singles “Lights” and “Barricade.” The band’s last album “Our Love to Admire” got “Heinrich Maneuver” and “Rest My Chemistry.”
The atmosphere, while still very much Interpol, wasn’t as static or fog machine cloudy as before. Singer Paul Banks, sporting a part fauxhawk/part mullet, smiled and thanked the crowd frequently. It was as if the whole group was a little looser – maybe not as well oiled and serious as with longtime bassist Carlos D. who left the band before the release of its last album, but a little more fun. My husband said he thought that’s what it might have been like to see the old line-up touring behind its first album.