with Q and Not U
Orlando, FL March 20, 2005
by Jen Cray
The guys of Interpol are probably the best dressed men in rock 'n' roll today. They've got four very different looks that come together like a well-balanced meal. If you want to break it down into stereotypes you've got the doe-eyed shy and moody British-type (Paul Banks), the sleek Creepy Thin Man mysterious goth-type (Carlos D), the dark and dangerous punk (Sam Fogarino), and the suave and attractive intellectual (Daniel Kessler). They're so focused on looking good, however, that they seem to have forgotten that as a touring band you have to also entertain the audience. Their trip to Orlando had no difficult selling-out the House of Blues, but their set seemed uninspired.
Lead singer Chris Richards looks like actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Twister, Almost Famous, Boogie Nights etc...) and dances like Jack Black. That alone kept me entertained! Switching between guitar, bass, and keyboards -- at times within the same song -- and still he found time to sing. Not to be outdone, keyboardist Harris Klahr also donned a guitar, sang, and joined John Davis on the drums at one point. Promoting their latest release, Power, the band's 45 minute set was a promising start to the night.
Interpol stepped onto the darkened stage, and opened the show with "Next Exit," bathed only in blue light. With each band member surrounded by their own cloud of cool, they drove their way into an uninterrupted set of music equally shared between their first and most recent releases, never pausing to so much as smile or say "hello" to the fans. Highlights included "NYC," "Say Hello to the Angels," and "Evil." Each song was performed in dark lighting which adds ambience to the hypnotic nature of the Joy Division-inspired music, but makes it difficult to see the band. This seems to be intentional.
The most fascinating aspect of Interpol's performance was the fashion. Don't get me wrong -- they sounded fantastic! The guys have been touring virtually nonstop since their inception in 1998 and it shows in the tightness of their sound, but if I want perfection I can listen to the album. I go to a show to see the band and experience part of their personalities. For this performance, I found no personalities -- just fashion.