the loud bassoon concert scene

Interpol @ Belmont/Sheffield Music Festival, Chicago, USA
1 June 2003

Having regrettably passed on an opportunity to catch Interpol in London a few months ago, I was pleased and also confused to see that they were hitting Chicago: pleased because they rule the school, and confused because they were playing a cheesy street fest with absolutely no other bands I would ever want to see. They're apparently not as big as I assumed.

Seems like most of the cool kids have decided to dismiss Interpol along with the other NYC bands to come along in the wake of the Strokes – classic case of jumping the gun to jadedness as some kind of means to stay ahead of what's perceived as remotely "trendy." This is one of my main problems with alties … they're so eager to be connoisseurs of "what's going on" that they not only latch on too hard to cool bands, but also write bands off too hard and too fast. It makes me wonder whether these folks ever actually like anything simply because they actually like it.

Not me. I don't even think about it. I'm one of those post-avant hipster goof-offs who happily listens to Moby's 18 album in 2003, probably to some degree because I'm not supposed to, but mostly because it's a pretty good album. And I embrace these NYC rock bands just for what they are, and nothing more.

The crowd at this show seems to have been decidedly not comprised of Interpol fans – this gig was probably a (wise) attempt to go for more exposure since the initial target audience is beginning to turn coat. Well, their loss, and everyone else's gain. It was nice seeing a crowd of people become a crowd of fans right before my eyes.

I missed the first five or six songs, but caught all my favorites off Turn On the Bright Lights, those being:

Plus several others that were good too. The band had six people on stage to recreate the wall-of-delayed-guitar sound that reminds me most of The Cure, though the vocals sound much more like Joy Division, if Ian Curtis had actually been able to sing. The show was straightforward and ball-rockin', a night with a band that will probably get bigger but is undoubtedly still quite enjoying their current spot not-so-near the top of the world.

I would have been really pleased had they wrapped up the show with an unironic cover of "Runaround Sue" or something, just to show they can be whimsical, but I can't argue that Interpol needs my creative direction.

Review by Montana Hash