|Interpol (except for Carlos right, middle
who was recently replaced with David Pajo).
I don't think I was inebriated enough for the Interpol
concert in Allentown. But if I were, I'm sure I would have loved it. Allentown, on the other hand, was just tipsy enough to go bananas for the post-rockers (never call them punk), who played a surprisingly short set at a jam-packed Crocodile Rock. Even shorter and less thrilling was 4-piece opener Twin Tigers
, who didn't sound like anything someone with horn-rimmed glasses hadn't heard before.
I'll give credit where it's due: Interpol has toured relentlessly since releasing their sophomore effort Antics
in 2004, and the quartet has built up a fan base everywhere stretching from their New York roots to little old Allentown, apparently. Using all of my square foot of personal space, I watched from afar as frontman Paul Banks
kept the Allentowners wanting more of his matter-of-factly melo-tone. "Dude, this is my ringtone!
" I heard one denizen shout amidst the thump of "PDA
." Really? What an unnatural sound you've chosen to hear every time you receive a call. As the show plodded away, the head bobbing factor always hovered around 0, save my guilty pleasure track, "Slow Hands
." Most underwhelming was "Lights
" from their upcoming fourth album, eloquently described by the band as having "some classical stuff going on
Then suddenly, after about 35 minutes of "Oh my god, Interpol came to Allentown
," Interpol briefly departed Allentown. They returned after an unwarrantedly long "of-course-they-want-an-encore
" pause for the closer, "C'mere
," to the chagrin of one nearby Inter-po-po devotee: Apparently, they played the same exact setlist and encore at their last show in Pittsburgh.
My beef with Interpol has been that they were a band whose live sound would exactly mimic their album (in a bad way), a belief completely reinforced by this barely-hour-long outing. Indeed, Interpol reaches out even further in the same I-Wish-I-Was-Joy-Division-But-I-Have-Just-One-Setting
direction they have always aimed for, despite their alleged versatility. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt that they would exude a powerful, raw sound that would give them some serious groove potential, but I was left wondering: Where is it? Where's the hook? Where's the X factor that turns studio greats into live legends? They left it back in the van, right next to the other half of Daniel Kessler
Regardless of my pedantic criticism, the crowd ate it all up in one gulp. They wanted the same sound they heard on their iTunes (or ringtone), and they got it. With the quirky little stagelight show (debatedly my favorite part), they even got the Visualizer, too. Admittedly, I have never taken to the Interpol sound, though I tried, lord knows how hard I tried. This show was for the real Interpol folk, and it was good enough for them. I mean, dude, it's Interpol!