Photos: Dave Watson
It’s a rare treat when you get to see two great bands on the same night who perfectly complement one another. One band, new to the scene with an old-school, upbeat sound reminiscent of the 50′s/60′s pop era and an established rock band with a darker complex style at a turning point in their career. A true yin and yang of rock n roll, two bands from New York City made it happen.
The Postelles put in a solid, high energy opener, playing to the early arrivals as though playing in a packed house party. Lead singer Dan Balk was on point with the “ohs”, “ooows” and “awws” making sure to capture the old-timey simplicity that echos through their head-boppin’ tunes. Lead guitarist, David Dargahi snuck in perfect solo after perfect solo reminding us of a time when solos could be quick and to the point instead of drawn out epic sagas. With only a nine-song set, The Postelles put on a lively 45-minute show that had even the most cynical of hipsters bopping along. Some songs like “White Night” and “123 Stop” stood out above the more basic, albeit fun, pop melodies like “Hey Little Sister” and “Stella”. However, if the point of music is to make you want to dance, then these guys can check that off their list. Clearly the Postelles are destined for great things so long as the keep the crowds jumping up and down to their vintage sensibilities and contagious melodies. (For more Postelles photos and our interview with lead singer, Daniel Balk click here.)
Something must have rubbed off from the joy and youthful fire shown by opening act, The Postelles, because Interpol’s energetic performance was on point for a band with such a dark catalog. It was quite a treat from the last time I saw them a few years back, when two “thank you”s and a “good night” were the only words uttered by lead singer Paul Banks in between his edgy baritone vocals. Not this time, as eerie songs like “NYC” and “Take You On A Cruise” were propped up with genuine enthusiasm by the band. “Say Hello To the Angels” stood out as a microcosm for the their ability to turn prickly, momentum-building songs into an all-out ruckus of a good time. Interpol has mastered the art of playing top-notch rock that playfully skirts above a pool of danger lurking beneath. Crowd favorites like “Evil”, “Slow Hands” and finale “Obstacle 1″ did just that. There’s something uber-creepy about Banks’ robotic voice at times but you’re still willing to get in his car and take a ride.
The band had a great rapport with the crowd and made sure to express their appreciation and love for the fans countless times. It was also nice to get a shout-out when Banks declared The Norva to be “one of their favorites”. Something you like to hear when your local club suffers from being a tad too far off the beaten 1-95 path. Dancing around the stage, guitarist Daniel Kessler, did much of the heavy lifting with an endless sea of gushing rhythmic guitar on such tracks like “The Heinrich Maneuver” and new single “Lights”. After a performance like this it’s hard not to include Kessler in conversations about the top guitarists emerging from the past decade.
I am not sure if any of this upbeat Interpol can be tied to the recent departure of the band’s longtime bassist, Carlos Dengler, who was reported to have had a growing dissatisfaction with the band over the past few years. Or maybe it’s a case of simply growing up. The band’s fourth album, self-titled as Interpol, is set to be released this September and songs like “Barricade” show a far less ominous feel than earlier works. I personally think “Lights” is the superior new track but both have me stoked on the new release. Because if there’s one way to get people excited about your new album, it’s by putting in the work where it counts, on the road.
Say Hello To The Angels
The Heinrich Maneuver
Take You On A Cruise
Not Even Jail
Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down
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