In Concert: Interpol at Radio City Music Hall, 2/17/11

The first thing I noticed about Paul Banks’ voice is how very different it sounded from the last time I saw them. Not bad, just not like what I remember. There’s a richer, more developed tone in there with some subtle nuances that weren’t apparent several years ago at Madison Square Garden.

While my seats weren’t the best for visuals, sitting next to the sound board was ideal for maximum aural enjoyment. Everyone appeared to be in fine form, and even from a distance I could enjoy Daniel Kessler’s goofy dancing along with his excellent guitar work.

Since founding member and notorious man whore Carlos Dengler left Interpol shortly after the completion of their fourth album, Interpol, David Pajo filled in on bass like a ninja, managing to sink into the shadows on a fully lit stage. From the second balcony, there were times when I could have sworn he wasn’t even there.

Perhaps this was done intentionally, as Dengler was an integral part of Interpol’s writing team, and while Pajo is more than a competent musician he doesn’t have the same ownership of the music. Overall, the band felt like they’ve been working together for years; their choice of touring bassist was clearly suitable.

The strangest part of the night had nothing to do with the show itself. Towards the end of “Not Even Jail,” some woman jumped on stage, pranced over to Banks, wrapped her arms around him, and then pranced nearly off stage before the security monkeys even realized she was there. I hope the tour manager gave Radio City Music Hall a hard time about paying for their services, because lapses like that just should not ever happen.

Set list

Hands Away
Rest My Chemistry
Say Hello to the Angels
Summer Well
Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down
The Heinrich Maneuver
Memory Serves
Obstacle 1


The Lighthouse
The New
Slow Hands
Not Even Jail

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